Two concerts to describe and
experiment the process of an encounter between two cultures that
everything separates but at the same time unites.
Indeed, a great
deal of comings and goings existed between Jewish and Christian music,
mutual appropriations of melodies, a reciprocal influence which arose
by impregnation over the course of history.
In synagogues one
could find popular melodies, sung in Hebrew but inspired by the
Christian secular world, such as minstrel melodies, and in Christian
churches, songs intimately linked to Jewish everyday life: birth
ceremonies, circumcisions, weddings etc...
melodies from the Christian secular tradition are sung in synagogues,
just as Jewish melodies can be found in churches, starting with the
Gregorian song which takes its origins in Jewish liturgical music.
period which interests us here begins in the 5th century and ends at
the Renaissance. In France, the first Jewish communities were founded
from the 1st century BCE, mainly on the Mediterranean coast, then close
to rivers such as the Rhone, the Saone or the Rhine.
In the 10th
century, certain Jewish communities also settled in the North of
France, around rabbis with rich Talmudic traditions. Their songs used
the melodies of minstrel songs, the Oïl language and Hebrew intimately
woven in religious poems. Authentic "World Music" before its day, these
different kinds of music impregnated each other, enriched each other
and that is the whole point.
Thanks to the excellent ensembles Lucidarium
and Alla Francesca
both made up of passionate musicians who themselves engage in
musicological research in this specific domain, we are able to offer
the Genevan public a wonderful opportunity to discover the richness of
the fusion of Middle Age Jewish music.