A sensory exploration of Vivaldi and the Middle East.
Each day that Vivaldi walked the streets or traversed the canals of Venice, a key port and global trade centre, it brought him into contact with a flurry of sounds, smells, languages and thought that were like no other in Europe.
From the Ottoman empire and the vast depths of Arabic intellectual and cultural life, through to the western European states and eastern European satellites of Russia, Venice was a cultural and economic hub. Also flowing through was a connection to North Africa and the trading centres of what would become India, all feeding into a community where design, food, religion and the arts didn’t just mingle, they absorbed and integrated.
Many much-loved bastions of western music such as The Four Seasons could only have emerged from this melting pot. Everything was grist to the mill for Vivaldi, from the Indian royal court and Grand Mughal alluded to in his operas and concertos, to his juxtaposing of explosive and almost meditative passages, which were longstanding devices of non-European musics.
Integrating Vivaldi’s masterpiece with music from the masters of the oud and riq, Joseph and James Tawadros, will provide a living bridge of composition and performance that promises to excite and illuminate.