By Georgina Welch
By Georgina Welch
Washington D.C – As part of the Iberian Suite festival at the Kennedy Center, the Family Theatre hosted on Tuesday night a program of music, poetry and readings, put together by the Post Classical Ensemble.
The event, Iberian Mystics: The Confluence of Faiths, bought together some of America’s most highly acclaimed musicians to perform a selection of music spanning 700 years of Spain’s rich and diverse history. The program was in 4 parts and hosted by Clark Young, Hashim El-Tinay and Luz Nicolasthe.
The program opened with the “beautiful blended sound” (Washington Post) of Cathedra, singing pieces representing Spain’s Christian heritage. These were punctuated with 16th century poetry by John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila and followed by Manuel de Fala’s Keyboard Concerto performed by Pedro Carbone.
Trio Sefardi represented the Jewish world with their performance of a selection of Sephardic songs which were followed by six Sephardic songs by Cuban Spanish composer Joaquin Nin-Culmell performed beautifully by soprano Mariana Mihai-Zoeter.
Part three focused on the Muslim influences, with readings from Bezels of Wisdom and Don Quixote and a beautiful poem by the 13th century poet Rumi. This part of the program also included traditional Arabic music performed by the Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble. A special mention has to be given here to Hafez Kotain who’s amazing solo on the ‘derbouka’ (a traditional Arabic percussion instrument) had the audience giving him a standing ovation.
The confluence of these parts brought us to the 19th century and the magic of Flamenco, performed with skill and passion by the wonderful Sonia Olla and flamenco singer Ismael de la Rosa. Once again the audience were on their feet. The evening concluded with the Post Classical Ensemble and their musical director Angel Gil-Ordonez, performing works by Falla culminating with his ‘Danza del fin del dia’ accompanied by Sonia Olla.
The evening was a triumph, bravo to writers Joseph Horowitz and Antonio Munoz Molina, all the performers and everyone else involved in bring this wonderful event together.
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