Back Recital Life Victoria a Sant Pau

LIFE Victoria: Identity, Exotic and Exoticism

Friday 23 October - 20:00

What is exotic and what is exoticism? In a kind of aesthetic fever, exoticism permeated the art of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: it influenced decoration, fashion, architecture—and also music. Bizet’s Carmen and Verdi’s Aida are two well-known musical examples that fit well into the programme carefully put together by Fatma Said and Kunal Lahiry, centring on Egypt and Spain.

The aesthetic of these two countries seems, even now, highly exotic to Central European eyes and greatly influenced the aesthetics of exoticism. However, Said (of Egyptian origin) and Lahiry (of Indian origin) approach these countries with knowledge of identity. They open the programme with the beautiful but distant view of Orient of French turn-of-the-century composers—Ravel, Bizet, Gaubert and Berlioz—before moving on to contemporary Egyptian composers.

They do the same with Spain, approaching the country through Falla’s Seven Spanish Folk Songs, hugely popular with audiences but always tinged by a rather stereotypical folklore, before going on to Lorca’s songs of greater identitary depth.



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