Carrefour de la Méditerranée
Constantinople · En Chordais · Ghada Shbeir · Imane Homsy





medieval.org
constantinople.ca

Atma "Classique" ACD 2 2316
Ⓟ + © 2005







1. Bouselik Pishref   [5:06]   Dimitrius CANTEMIR (1673-1723)
Constantinople · En Chordais · Imane Homsy (qanun)

2. Tí aidonia tis Anatolis   [7:00]   monastère Iviron. Mont Athos, ms 1203
Drosos Koutsokostas, Kiya Tabassian (setar), Kyriakos Kalaitzides (‘ud), Kyriakos Petras (violin), Imane Homsy (qanun)


3. Hosseyni Agir Semai   [4:13]   Zakharia KHANENDEH (1680-1750)
Drosos Koutsokostas, Constantinople · En Chordais · Imane Homsy (qanun)

4. Sabor a santa Maria   [5:38]   Cantigas de Santa Maria   CSM 328
Constantinople

5. Pero que seja a gente / Virgen Madre   [7:08]   Cantigas de Santa Maria   CSM 181 / CSM 340
Ghada Shbeir, Constantinople · En Chordais · Imane Homsy (qanun)

6. Chant byzantin   [3:01]   Codex Byzantine
Drosos Koutsokostas, Kiya Tabassian (setar), Kyriakos Kalaitzides (‘ud)


7. Cercles migrants   [12:59]   Kiya Tabassian, poème de Hâfez
Ghada Shbeir, Constantinople · En Chordais · Imane Homsy (qanun)


8. Se kainourgia varka   [3:34]   chant d'Asie mineure
Drosos Koutsokostas, Constantinople · En Chordais · Imane Homsy (qanun)


9. Ariadni   [2:39]   Vasilis GEORGINIS
Constantinople · En Chordais · Imane Homsy (qanun)

10. Lamma bada   [4:12]   muwashah de tradition arabo-andalouse)
Ghada Shbeir, Constantinople · En Chordais · Imane Homsy (qanun)


11. Soultani Yegah Longa   [5:01]   Yorgos BATZNOS
Constantinople · En Chordais · Imane Homsy (qanun)








CONSTANTINOPLE
Guy Ross — oud, luth
Matthew Jennejohn — cornet à bouquin, cornet muet, flûtes à bec
Ziya Tabassian — tombak, daf, dayereh, percussions
Isabelle Marchand — viole de gambe, vièle
Kiya Tabassian — sétar

ENSEMBLE EN CHORDAIS
Kyriakos Petras — violon
Drosos Koutsokostas — chant
Andreas Papas — percussions
Kyriakos Kalaitzides — oud

ARTISTES INVITÉS
Ghada Shbeir — chant
Imane Homsy — kanoun

DIRECTION ARTISTIQUE
Kyriakos Kalaitzides
Kiya Tabassian




Nous reconnaissons l'aide financière du gouvernement du Canada par l'entremise du Fonds de la musique du Canada.
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Music Fund for this project.

Realisation / Produced by: Johanne Goyette
Enregistrement et montage numérique / Recording and digital mastering: Anne-Marie Sylvestre
Grand Séminaire de Montréal, du 29 au 31 octobre 2004 / October 29 to 31, 2004
Responsable du livret / Booklet editor: Jacques-André Houle
Graphisme / Graphic design: Diane Lagacé
Photos
: Elias Khammar
Couverture / Cover: René Magritte (1898-1967), Le Séducteur / The Seducer.
Photo : Herscovivi / Art Resource, NY




English liner notes








Tout au long de son histoire, la Méditerranée, d'une rive à l'autre, fut la terre d'échange de pensées, de muses et de croyances. Ceci à travers aussi bien des coalitions et des amitiés entre les royaumes et les peuples que des conflits et dominations entre les empires. Ces échanges se sont manifestés dans diverses couches de la société et dans divers domaines comme la culture, la science ou la politique.

Depuis des millénaires avant l'ère chrétienne, la musique a toujours eu une place privilégiée parmi les peuples qui habitaient les terres méditerranéennes et de l'Orient: suméro-babylonien, assyrien, égyptien, phénicien et carthaginois, crétois, grec et romain. Ces peuples ont établi les fondations d'une musique savante et d'un grand héritage qui se transmit de génération en génération jusqu'au Moyen Age quand trois grandes civilisations musicales se sont distinguées: arabo-musulmane, byzantine et d'Europe occidentale.

C'est vraiment à partir du XVIe siècle que chaque royaume et localité se diversifia davantage dans toute son identité culturelle pour donner naissance à des langages musicaux complètement distincts, mais dérivés du même héritage et de la même source.

Les œuvres jouées et chantées sur le présent disque reflètent cet héritage commun et la diversité des langages qui en sont dérivés. Elle proviennent des traditions musicales ottomane, byzantine, castillane et persane. Ce sont en partie des œuvres que nous avons trouvées dans des manuscrits écrits en notation alphanumérique, neumatique ou ekphonétique.

Bousalik Pishrow est une composition de Dimitrius Cantemir (1673-1723), qui figure parmi les grandes personnalités de l'histoire de l'Orient. Il a mené une vie de voyages, de migrations et d'exil. Il fut prince de Moldavie et knaez de Russie. Cantemir œuvra et contribua en tant qu'une sommité en histoire, en philosophie, en théologie, en diplomatie, en géographie, en ethnologie, en littérature et le plus important pour nous, en musique. Il jouait admirablement le tanbour (instrument cordes pincées de la musique ottomane), il composa des chefs-d’œuvre, inventa une notation qui lui convenait et qui permit la survie de ses œuvres et d'autour de trois cents œuvres qu'il connaissait et qu'il jouait.

Tí aidonia tis Anotolis est un chant datant du XVIe siècle qui évoque les oiseaux d'Anatolie (de l'Orient). Bien que de thématique profane, ce chant se trouve dans deux manuscrits des monastères lviron (codex 1203) et Xiropotamou (codex 262) du mont Athos. On retrouve également ce chant dans le répertoire des chants de la région de Thrace, qui a survécu par la tradition orale, nous explique Thomas Apostolopoulos, docteur en musicologie byzantine.

Zakharia Khanendeh (1680-1750) fut un autre grand maître de la musique savante de toute cette tradition. De famille grecque orthodoxe, il a vécu à Istanbul (Constantinople) et y exerça la profession de chanteur et de compositeur. Reflet de la société cosmopolite de son temps, sa musique est une synthèse personnelle des musiques savantes ottomane, persane et byzantine. Il composa et chanta des œuvres de musique ecclésiastique et aussi des œuvres de musique classique ottomane. Houseyni Agir Semai est un de ses chefs-d’œuvre.

Le manuscrit Cantigas de Santa Maria, qu'on peut trouver en plusieurs exemplaires, représente la quintessence d'un des plus riches phénomènes musicaux du Moyen Âge méditerranéen par sa cohérence formelle et thématique, par son ampleur et par la grande beauté de ses miniatures. Pour la création de cet ouvrage, Alphonse X s'est entouré d'une trentaine d'artistes dans les domaines de la poésie, de la musique, de la calligraphie et de l'enluminure. Tout en coordonnant et supervisant le travail des artistes, il fut lui-même actif dans la création artistique de ces cantigas. Il est également important de signaler que les artistes entourant Alphonse furent de trois différentes religions — chrétienne, musulmane et juive — et qu'ils pratiquaient leur art les uns auprès des autres, dans une harmonie exemplaire, malgré les différences. Pour cet enregistrement, nous revisitons trois des chants issus de ce grand recueil.

Un autre corpus historico-musical des plus riches est celui des chants byzantins dans lequel il y a près d'un million de pages manuscrites de notation des chants. Notation principalement ekphonétique, la notation byzantine a vu le jour au IIIe siècle et s'est développé au courant de l'histoire jusqu'à aujourd'hui. Le chant présenté ici fait partie de la liturgie de la semaine sainte.

Cercles migrants est une composition originale de Kiya Tabassian inspirée d'un chant ouïgour et composée sur un poème du grand poète persan, Hâfez.

Se kainourgia varka est un chant grec qui nous provient d'Asie mineure au XIXe siècle et Ariadni, une composition originale du compositeur grec Vassilis Georginis, dont l'approche rythmique nous rappelle l'esprit musical kurde.

Lamma bada se veut le célèbre muwashah arabo-andalous qui nous a été transmis par la tradition orale. Pour finir, Soultani Yegah Longa, d'un des plus grands maîtres de oud, Yorgos Batznos. D'origine grecque, il vécut à Istanbul et marqua profondément la musique turque du XXe siècle.

KIYA TABASSIAN






Throughout its history, the Mediterranean on all its shores has been a region where ideas, inspiration, and beliefs were exchanged, whether through coalitions and friendships between kingdoms and peoples or conflict and domination between empires. These exchanges took place in the various social strata as well as in many spheres, such as in culture, science, and politics.

Over the millennia before the Christian era, music had always held a place of choice among the peoples who inhabited the Mediterranean region and the East: the Sumerian-Babylonian, the Assyrian, Egyptian, Phoenician, Carthaginian, Cretan, Greek, and Roman. These nations set the foundations of an art music and a great heritage that would be transmitted from generation to generation till the Middle Ages, at which point in time three main musical civilizations could be distinguished: Arab-Muslim, Byzantine, and Western European.

From the sixteenth century, though, each kingdom and area acquired a more distinct cultural identity; music took the same route, yet always keeping something of a common heritage. The works performed on this disc reflect both this common heritage and the various forms of its lineage. They come from the Ottoman, Byzantine, Castilian, and Persian musical traditions. Some of the works were found in manuscripts written in alphanumeric, neumatic, or ekphonetic notation.

Bousalik Pishrow is a composition by Dimitrius Cantemir (1673-1723), who stands among the great historical figures from the East. He led a life of travel, migration, and exile. He was a Moldavian prince as well as Knaez of Russia. Cantemir was active as an authority in history, philosophy, theology, diplomacy, geography, ethnology, literature, and most importantly for us, music. He played the tanbour (an Ottoman plucked stringed instrument) admirably, he composed masterpieces, and invented a style of notation that served his purposes and assured the survival of his own works as well as of some 300 works he knew and played.

Tí aidonia tis Anatolis is a sixteenth-century song recalling the birds of Anatolia. Although secular, this song is found in two manuscripts from the monasteries of lviron (codex 1203) and Xiropotamou (codex 262) on Mount Athos. This song is also encountered in the repertoire from the Thrace region of Greece, where it has survived through oral tradition, explains Thomas Apostolopoulos, PhD in Byzantine musicology.

Zakharia Khanendeh (1680-1750) was another great master of art music from this tradition. Of Greek Orthodox ascent, he lived in Istanbul (Constantinople) and worked there as a singer and composer. Reflecting the cosmopolitan society of his time, his music is a very personal synthesis of Ottoman, Persian, and Byzantine art music. He composed and sang ecclesiastical music as well as classical Ottoman music. Houseyni Agir Semai is one of his masterworks.

The Cantigas de Santa Maria manuscript, of which several copies survive, represents the epitome of one of the richest Mediterranean medieval musical phenomena by its formal and thematic coherence, its breadth, and the great beauty of its miniatures. For its elaboration, Alfonso X enlisted some thirty artists in the fields of poetry, music, calligraphy, and illumination. Coordinating and supervising the work of these artists, he was himself active in the artistic creation of these cantigas. It is well worth noting that the artists with whom Alfonso surrounded himself were from three different religions—Christian, Muslim, and Jewish—and that they all practiced their art together in perfect harmony, despite their differences. For this recording, we have revisited three songs from this great collection.

Another extremely rich historical musical body of work is that of Byzantine chant, which counts nearly a million manuscript pages of music. Byzantine musical notation, principally ekphonetic, appeared in the third century and has developed to this day. The chant presented here is part of the Holy Week liturgy.

Cercles migrants (Migrant Circles) is an original composition by Kiya Tabassian inspired by an Oigur melody, and is a setting of a poem by the great Persian poet Hâfez. Se kainourgia varka is a Greek song that originated in nineteenth-century Asia Minor, and Ariadni is an original composition by the Greek composer Vassilis Georginis, whose rhythmic approach is reminiscent of the Kurdish musical spirit.

Lamma bada is the famous Arab-Andalusian muwashah that has come down to us through oral tradition. Finally, Soultani Yegah Longa, is by one of the greatest masters of the 'ud, Yorgos Batznos. Of Greek origin, he lived in Istanbul and left a profound mark on twentieth-century Turkish music.

KIYA TABASSIAN
TRANSLATION: JACQUES-ANDRÉ HOULE






CONSTANTINOPLE
www.constantinople.ca


Since its inception in 1998, Constantinople has endeavoured to find a unique mode of expression and a new, creative approach to interpreting the music of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. To do so, the group juxtaposes a careful study of historical manuscripts with a pursuit of the living oral tradition of the Near and Middle East—more specifically, the classical Persian tradition.

The ensemble uses early European instruments such as the lute, vihuela, medieval harp, viola da gamba, fiddle, recorder, cornetto, and shawm, alongside instruments from the Middle East such as the setar (a plucked stringed instrument from Persia), the tombak, daf, and dayereh (Persian percussion instruments), and the 'ud (one of the most ancient instruments of the Middle East and the Mediterranean, and the ancestor of the European lute).

These instruments have a rich history and a musical heritage that is kept alive by each of the musicians in the ensemble. Through their knowledge and skills, the members of Constantinople breathe new life into music of the past while creating a new, rich aesthetic experience in the present.

Constantinople produces an annual season in Montreal, at the Salle Pierre-Mercure and at the Théâtre La Chapelle, and performs in Canada, Europe, and Central America. The ensemble won the "Discovery of the Year" prize granted by the Conseil québécois de la musique at the 2003 Prix Opus ceremony and is Ensemble in Residence for the Radio-Canada radio service for the 2004-2005 season.


Kiya Tabassiansetar, artistic director

Born in Tehran in 1976, Kiya Tabassian received his initial training in Persian music from Mehrdad Torabi at the Bahârlou Institute in Tehran, from Reza Ghassemi in Paris, and Kayhan Kalhor in Montreal. He has since continued to develop his instrumental skills independently. He has also studied composition at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal with Gilles Tremblay and Michel Gonneville. He has taken advanced tuition in classical Persian music with Dariush Talai.

ln 1989, he founded the Tahmassebi Ensemble, which he directed for two years and for which he contributed several compositions. He is the co-founder of Constantinople, CodexQuartet and Radical 3, ensembles that have performed in a number of Canadian cities. In addition, he performs regularly throughout the U.S., France, Greece, and Mexico, both as a soloist and with other musicians.

In 2000, he was composer in residence for Musique Multi Montréal with a project entitled "Poussières d'étoiles." Along with his brother Ziya, he recorded a first CD of Persian classical music entitled Garden of the Memory and three CDs with Constantinople on the ATMA label.

He is active in the MediMuses project as a member of the research group on the history of Mediterranean music. Kiya is a member of the Conseil Québécois de la Musique. He has received several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.




ENSEMBLE EN CHORDAIS
www.enmusic.gr & www.medimuses.gr

The En Chordais ensemble is a workshop of Eastern Mediterranean sonorities, active in the fields of multicultural music, art music, and traditional Greek music. It forms an independent segment of the organization of the same name, which—along with a school of traditional and Byzantine music, and book and record publishing—is devoted to the promotion of Greek music. The members of the ensemble benefit from particularly interesting musical backgrounds which stimulate a great variety of musical exploration. Their love of popular traditional music, rooted in their own experiences, and their study of Byzantine music are a guarantee of the authenticity of their style.

Since its founding in 1993, the ensemble has given concerts in many Greek and foreign cities, including Thessaloniki, Athens, Istanbul, London, Venice, Marseille, Belgrade, Nuremberg, Plovdiv, and Larnaka. The ensemble has also performed in several international festivals, such as the Musical July at the ancient Epidaurus theatre, the Sani festival, the Mount Olympus festival in Greece, the Yapi Kredi Festival in Istanbul, Turkey, and the European Discovery and London Byzantine festivals, both in Great Britain.

The organization "En Chordais - Musical Traditions of the Mediterranean" has largely contributed to the dissemination and knowledge of Byzantine and traditional Greek music through the in-depth study of its cross-relations with the musical traditions of its Eastern Mediterranean neighbours.

In 2002, En Chordais initiated and has directed ever since MediMuses, an important international project devoted to the uncovering and re-composition of the primordial elements of Mediterranean musical traditions, and to the acknowledgment of a common musical heritage among all the Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern cultures.


Kyriakos Kalaitzides — Artistic Director and ‘ud

Born in Thessaloniki in 1969, Kyriakos Kalaitzides is considered today as one of the great 'ud players of his generation. He learned Byzantine chant since childhood with the greatest master of this art, Elefterios Georgiades.
He is the founder of En Chordais, an organization, musical ensemble, and school specialized in Byzantine and traditional Greek music, which is very active in Greece.

He is also among the most prominent scholars of 'ud and traditional Greek music. He has published the first volume of and 'ud treatise, and is currently preparing the second volume. Kyriakos Kalaitzides has also conducted in-depth studies on the work of a great eighteenth-century Greek composer, Zakharia Khanendeh. With the En Chordais Ensemble, he has produced the first recording of this composer's complete works. Among his other achievements, one can mention the double CD Sea of Memory, presenting the music of the lnousses Islands, performed by En Chordais, with a 100-page booklet on the music of this region.

He currently leads an international career, performing throughout Greece and in London, Paris, Copenhagen, Brussels, Lisbon, Istanbul, and Nuremberg with his ensemble and other prominent Greek and foreign artists. Since 2002, he is the Artistic Director of the international project MediMuses.




Gada Shbeir — voice

Gada Shbeir was born in 1969 in Lebanon. She took a degree in Arab Music of the Eastern Mediterranean and is a master of Musicology. She has specialized in Byzantine ecclesiastical music of the Eastern Mediterranean, and also in Arab-Andalusian music and the Syriac musical tradition, in the Aramaic dialect. She teaches at the Conservatory of Beirut and at the University USEK of Lebanon.

She has taken part in many conferences and festivals presenting Arab song in general and the Syriac musical tradition in particular. She won the award in the Third World-Wide Festival of Arab Music in Cairo in 1997. She has given concerts as soloist in many parts of the world, including Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Brussels, England, Poland, Canada, and Jordan in events and venues such as Institut du Monde Arabe, Avignon Festival, Festival Epidaurus, Greece, Festival "Memorie die Bisanzio," San Marco Basilica, Festival Albustan of Beirut, and Musical Traditions of the Mediterranean in Greece.

She has recorded several CDs of Arabic, Syriac, and Byzantine music in collaboration with the greatest ensembles and musicians of Mediterranean music.


Imane HomsyQanun

Born in 1967 in Lebanon, Imane Homsy is considered to be the most important qanun (a type of zither) virtuoso of her country. She graduated from the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory in 1991 after having obtained her diploma in qanun.

She has studied Classic Arab Music, while at the same time experiencing with Western music. She has developed her own technique in qanun playing with eight fingers, without abandoning the common way of playing by using two fingers.

Imane Homsy has participated in many international festivals in Europe, Asia, and Africa, including the Al Bustan International Festival of Music, Lebanon; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; Epidaurus Festival; and Thessaloniki's Concert Hall for the series Musical Traditions of the Mediterranean, as a soloist as well as a member of the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory Orchestra. She has also performed in many recordings of Arab music.

Collaborator of one of the greatest Arab singers, Fairuz, since 1999 she has performed with her orchestra in a large number of concerts in Tunisia, Kuwait, Jordan, the USA, France, and elsewhere.






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