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Cornucopia – Marsactu Agora

The festival actualizes what is generally excluded from music, the support of the landscape. Its device eliminates the line of demarcation between the concert and the framework in which it is given, one in the other absorbed to reveal an emotional quality specific to this unique event site. The distribution of spaces around its acoustic shell plays an inside-outside score between opacity and transparency when the starry vault gradually surrounds the musicians and brings us together under its unison. The rectilinear shapes of the large hardwoods, between dog and wolf, then give the illusion of opening the curtain of a natural opera by pastiche of a painting by Poussin or Carracci. It is the propitiatory moment preceding the first note during which the artists collected in a rustling and living silence make sure of the good graces of their muse before breaking the sound barrier. A present held on the tip of a needle whose intensity we would like to eternalise. It is to experience such moments that piano pilgrims cross the world to come to La Roque.

The festival sometimes moves away from its alpha scene (scene of all beginnings) to invest, for an evening, in a few charming surrounding villages. Thus, Gordes, Lambesc, Mimet, Eygalières… will come to tighten the meshes of its musical territory by welcoming soloists and chamber ensembles (Thomas Pellerin at the organ of Cucuron…), jazz at the Carrières de Rognes (Clelya Abraham, Charles Heisser Trio…) or baroque at the Abbaye de Silvacane (Ricercar Consort, Pierre Hantaï…). Lesson learned from both annus horribilis which have just passed, the 2022 edition offers concerts in the morning, allowing, with those of the afternoon and evening, to match the calm pace of the hours of the day to the breviary of its programming, which sings the praises of the keyboard in all tones, the most varied genres and styles embodied by their most famous interpreters (Sokolov, Pletnev, Volodos, Lugansky…) or young hopefuls called to collect the torch from hand to hand.

“Go to the Present”

The formula consists of discovering a contemporary composer around public rehearsals, meetings with the artist led by Florent Boffard, followed by a concert. This attentive proximity to the work and to the person makes it possible to discern, in addition to its processes and its resources, its questions and its aspirations. We will successively enter the studio of Michael Jarell and Gérard Pesson in order to sense how musical abstraction is embodied in the consciousness and the creative gesture of individuals in flesh and blood and thus collect the lived and the conceived in the word. even the composer. We will also discover current experiences which are to the piano repertoire what mushrooms are to botany, an unclassifiable species (Hania Rani, Abdullah Ibrahim…).

Previously, mixing its conflagrations with the sunsets of Alpilles, the opening concert will have lit the fuse. On the program, the two concertos by Ravel, whose pianist Abdel Rahman El Bacha will illustrate the suggestive intentions from the brightest angle. His delicate lyricism in theadagio assai from Concerto in the ground pours out with tenderness of tints with melted nuances. As for the lively movements of these two works, the technical volubility and the dynamic oppositions of the Franco-Lebanese pianist clearly affirm the composer’s borrowings from the balanced rhythms of jazz or rustic dances(1). Kaspar Zehnder will lead the Orchester Philharmonique de Marseille down the slope of those long-lasting crescendos that only Ravel and Rossini have used so successfully. Under the influence of the Swiss chef’s baton, each desk of the Marseille phalanx, especially its woodwinds and brass, will seem animated by a rustic divinity whose scintillating effects, escaping from the conch like a cornucopia, will ring their cowbells in the bleachers and the ramages by introducing us to these Arcadian fables from which the composer drew his inspiration.

Festival of old rock, the musical garden of La Roque proceeds a little from that of Epicure, marrying the sensitive to the spiritual; enough to convince us to come and plant some of our time there. In the field, there is, it seems, a hidden treasure.

Roland Yvanez

The International Festival of La Roque d’Anthéron: from 18/07 to 20/08 in Provence


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