A musical evening titled, 'Son Ar Mein Consort Vers Les Indes Baroqueson', was held at the National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy recently. It was jointly organised by Alliance Française de Dhaka and Alliance Française de Chittagong. French musical ensemble Son Ar Mein Consort from France, and Asian University for Women Choir from Chattogram, performed at the programme, which brought music of the Baroque era to the forefront.
Characterised by melody, texture and timbre, the Baroque period initiated the creation of tonality. During the period, composers and performers elaborated on musical ornamentation, modified musical notations, and developed new techniques for playing instruments. Expanding in size, range and complexity of performance, Baroque music also established opera, cantata, oratorio, concerto, and sonata as musical genres. Many musical terms and concepts from the Baroque era are still in use today. The Director of Alliance Française de Dhaka, Olivier Dintinger, mentioned that between 1650 to 1720, kings Louis XIV and Louis XV promoted music and art as a symbol of their power.
The Registrar of Asian University for Women, Dr Dave Dowland, mentioned that none of the choristers from the university are music majors but perform solely out of their love for music. “Bangladesh is a generous host of different cultures and it is a pleasure to see our students perform with a famous orchestra.” said Dr Dowland. He also thanked the organisers and supporters of the programme.
The programme featured ensemble members Alice Piérot and Camille Aubret on violin, Florent Marie on theorbo, Emmanuelle Huteau on bassoon, and Clotilde Lacroix on cello along with 32 choristers of 12 different nationalities representing the Asian University for Women Choir. They performed musical pieces of famous French composers Marc-Antoine Charpentier and François Couperin. The music held the spirit of French navigators' expeditions from the ports of Brittany embarking upon a journey to discover new cultures.