Concert within the framework of the exhibition "Treasures of Afghanistan" at the Art Exhibition Hall in Bonn, Germany, on 5th September, 2010.
study with dialogos
One of the most popular medieval legends, the incredible story of Josaphat and his master Barlaam, originating from 3rd-4th c. India, has inspired the creation of this concert program.
This almost surrealistic tale opens with a king, Avenir, persecuting the Christians. When the astrologers predict that his own son, Josaphat, will one day become a Christian, Avenir decides to isolate the young prince from any contact with human suffering, aging or illness (and confine him in an artificial ideal world, almost like in today’s "reality shows"…). In spite of his isolation from the real world, Josaphat meets the hermit Barlaam and converts, through a series of colourful and unusual encounters, initiations and teachings through parables.
The first christianized adaptation of this story was the epic poem Balavariani, created in Georgian and written in the 10th century. It was translated into Greek and then Latin in the 11th century, before becoming extremely popular and widespread in Europe, appearing in many manuscripts, such as the famous 13th-century Golden Legend, spreading through a multitude of languages. The popularity of this story was so intense that Josaphat and Barlaam were actually canonised by the Christian church, even if there is no evidence for their existence. Their cult survived well into the 20th century, when their feast was finally removed from the calendar, but not from popular belief.
The popularity and cosmopolitan nature of this legend, as well as its universal dimension, inspired us to create a program in which three performers follow Barlaam and Josaphat on their many wanderings. The audience will discover the legend through the musical repertoires which inspired it in the Middle Ages, as found in Greek, Latin, Old-Russian, Old-Croatian, Old-French, medieval Occitan and Italian manuscripts.
These masterpieces create a dense and intense atmosphere, which grows like the pulse of a shaman’s drum and leads the audience to a strong experience in which different languages and musical cultures meet in a surprising soundscape – like an audible Tower of Babel – of early medieval Europe.
Musical reconstruction and text adaptation: Katarina Livljanic Instrumental reconstructions: Norbert Rodenkirchen & Albrecht Maurer
19 October 2013, 8 pm
Les Dominicains de Haute Alsace, France
7 November 2013, 8 pm
De Bijloke, Gent, Belgium
15 December 2013, 5 pm
Forum Alte Musik Köln, Germany
From 22nd to 25th of January
Workshops with primary and secondary pupils from Gonesse (Val-d'Oise). Exploration of medieval culture and practice of liturgical chant.
From 17th of Januay to 2nd of February
Workshop with secondary pupils from Viarmes (Val-d'Oise), concluded by a show. Discovery of Paris cultural richness in the Middle-Ages.
14th and 15th of February, 2.30 pm
Auditorium de Coulanges, Gonesse
Program « Barlaam & Josaphat », concerts intended to youngsters
15th of February, 8.30 pm
Auditorium de Coulanges, Gonesse
Before the « Barlaam & Josaphat » concert, the non-professional choir of Gonesse will present some pieces it worked with two singers of Dialogos.