“East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” – Rudyard Kipling
Joining two top names, the undisputed master of the oud, Naseer Shamma, and the prestigious Orchestre Métropolitain, this exciting evening offers initiates a journey to the innermost depths of Arab and Western classical music. The major concert in the 18th annual Festival du Monde Arabe, presented at the Maison symphonique, Oud à l’Ouest is a present-day musical tale that belies prophecies of an eternal duality deaf to any call for communion or encounter. Filling the gaps between styles and worlds of learned music through refined yet capricious sounds reflects the ambition of this unforeseeable gathering that will surely leave its mark on the FMA season. Performances and compositions rich in atmosphere, instrumental mastery and intense mutual listening, with a partiality toward sobriety and inwardness – all this is converging toward magnificence devoid of pomp, a form of existential poetry in tribute to openness and courage!
As temple guardian of an instrument symbolizing a vast musical world, spanning decades and traditions with pride and grace, Naseer Shamma is among the great artists who can assume this level of daring with flair. With his partners, an exploration-minded conductor and the 56 outstanding musicians of the Orchestre Métropolitain, they will give Montrealers the chance to hear pieces by Mozart, Rossini, Vivaldi and Rimsky-Korsakov in a whole different way, along with original compositions by Shamma, shaking up old habits in favour of an innovative and experimental approach.
As regards Rudyard Kipling, Oud à l’Ouest upholds his vision favourable to uncommon alliances and collusions, because “there’s no pleasure like meeting an old friend, except, perhaps, making a new one.”