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The Arabian Passion According To J.S. Bach
Nobody ever has pictured human suffering, represented by Jesus Christ, as impressively and as fervently as J. S. Bach in his Passions. An Arab-European cast of musicians and masters of European jazz transforms sound icons of classical music into a present-day statement on humanity. In a world marked by differences, this musical collaboration creates an intense and contemplative space for peace and respect. Adapted from Bach’s Passions, the spirit of Baroque is intertwined and reinterpreted with the living musical traditions of the Middle East together with the improvisations of Jazz. One of the most famous singers of the Arab world, Fadia el-Hage, reprises Bach’s arias as healing songs bridging the conflicts and differences between the Arab world and the West, between different faiths, between believers and non-believers, between modernists and traditionalists. “An Arabian Passion” evokes a musical plea for peace, with projections of photographic art depicting the ordinary people of Iraq taken by ‘unembedded’ photographers Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Kael Alford, Thorne Anderson and Rita Leistner (unembedded.net). They serve as a pressing reminder of the human ordeals of our contemporary times. The suffering of modern-day Iraqis gives new context and coontent to Bach’s Passions.
The Arabian Passion According to J.S. Bach is the masterpiece of one of the most famous singers of the Arab world, Fadia el-Hage, and reprises Bach’s arias as healing songs bridging the conflicts and differences between the Arab world and the West, between different faiths, between believers and non-believers, between modernists and traditionalists.
“Bach would have turned in his grave. Then he’d have stepped out, dusted himself and paid attention … The songs were most haunting when vocalist Fadia el-Hage reverted to Arabic. At those times, perhaps, Bach also wept.” The Business Times
„It is Vladimir Ivanoff’s strong point, to join cultures and to build musical bridges between orient and occident. With the «Arabian Passion» … he succeeded in a brilliant way. Heart, mind, gesture and communication with the other artists were merged into an intensive whole. … I could not have imagined more beautiful music for Good Friday.“ Franz Szabo, Salzburger Nachrichten
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