Archipelago, from noon to midnightHumor, mystery and lightning

Concerts 24.04.2021

No respite for the Archipel 2021 Festival filmed from noon to midnight during ten days thanks to the Web TV - Archipel under surveillance inviting two experimental and artistic television teams live from Geneva.

Continuation and end of our report on this thirtieth special edition of the 100% digital Swiss festival where the public is invited since yesterday to attend the last concerts.

For the 7 p.m. concert on Monday, April 19, two specialized ensembles, the Moment baroque from Neuchâtel and the Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain (NEC) from La Chaux-de-Fonds under the direction of German conductor Lennart Dohms, will combine their energy in two colorful pieces by Sarah Nemtsov and Wolfgang Mitterer.

To begin the concert violinist Noëlle-Anne Darbellay is alone on stage in Allemande multipliée (2017) for violin and pedal. The Austrian composer Eva Reiter revisits baroque dance with distance and humour. She has created a noisy environment around the violinist that constantly interferes with the violin's otherwise brilliant playing: the squeaking of two foot-operated pedals, the amplified surface on which the performer is installed, where the rubbing of her feet and the clacking of her heels are heard. Equipped with a micro-lip, Noëlle-Anne Darbellay also gives voice (and whistle) in a sort of commentary on the effort she is making on her instrument: a musical theatre à la Kagel, humorous as well as grating, very well conducted by our musician. With his baroque violin this time, Jonathan Nubel performs the Allemande from Bach's Partita in B minor, this time in theUrtext of the Leipzig Cantor. Here, at 7:00:

The project is risky and the music amplified in Beyond its simple place by the German composer Sarah Nemtsov A flute and a bass clarinet face the string quintet, with the harpsichord in the centre, whose singular tuning produces strange colours. The piece alternates between moments of great sonic intensity, dominated by the harpsichord, and very ecstatic passages, close to collective improvisation, bringing a noisy universe that calls upon the playing techniques extended to the strings. The two wind players have a host of accessories at hand which they manipulate more or less violently: clinking porcelain, throwing objects into a dustbin, crumpled pages, clashing stones. Words are whispered by the instrumentalists at the end of the piece, suggesting an underlying narrative: mystery...

The last piece of the concert, Inwendig Losgelost ("Unleashed from within") by Wolfgang Mitterer, is still theatrical and sonorous. Wolfgang Mitterer. The instrumental set-up is spatialized: the NEC (three winds, three strings) is overhanging at the back of the hall; Le Moment baroque on either side of the conductor, the harpsichord in the middle with the electronic keyboard in the background. They all play (practically) standing up! As in the baroque suites, there are many movements, alternating fast and slow "dances", each one as strange as the other, because the composer superimposes baroque tonal writing and contemporary language in a joyful and scathing maelstrom, whose resonance is sometimes extended by the electronic keyboard. Very funny is this "danse en rondeau", lively led by the baroque ensemble, which concedes a few dazzling "breaks" to the NEC musicians; or again this "unappetizing chorale" à la Satie, distilling its hybrid harmonies. No hierarchy, no domination... Everyone finds their place in good humor and respect for the other. Mitterer's message is always political! 

Michèle Tosi

Photo Sarah Nemtsov©Elisabeth Naomi


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