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The 5th  Qara Qarayev  international                                                            
contemporary music  Festival          Baku, Azerbaijan, 14-19 April 2013



The French ensemble Accroche Note gave performance in the Theatre named after Rashid Beybutov, April 15. The ensemble is open for various creative directions, performing various music of classic and modern composers including jazz. Ensemble was formed around clarinet player Arman Angster and soprano Françoise Kubler. Musicians are constantly working with contemporary composers and participate in festivals in many countries of the world. We met Françoise Kubler before the concert.

— Accroche Note’s coming to Baku — is remarkable event. How did you start collaboration with Qara Qarayev’s Festival?
— Thanks to our meeting with Azerbaijanian composer Elmir Mirzoyev whom we met in Dresden 15 years ago. We were performing one of his plays and it was fascinating. Therefore we wanted to work together again making something new. At last we managed to realize these plans and we have come to Baku.
— Who initiated the program of your concert?
— It was Elmir’s idea mainly. He selected those musical pieces from our repertoire which he considered the most suitable for festival and close to his own self. It is very deep music. Elmir composed one piece for us and we are very glad. It is called Le complexe de Caïn for harp, flute, clarinet and voice. He used citation from Ravel.
— Apart from Elmir’s piece does the concert program include compositions to be performed for the first time?
— No, we performed them before. But we recorded Trois couplets by Georges Apergis for soprano and bass clarinet 10 years ago and since then we never got back to it. We should confess that it was not easy to recall it again. It is a very complicated composition. However we did it with pleasure.
— The program is complex featuring many names of those composers almost unknown for large audience. Are they stylistically close to each other or vice versa, is the concert based on contrasts?
— All compositions are diverse, each has its own manner. I think the audience will be surprised by every coming performance. And it is fine! Francesconi — is real Italian, his music is very elegant. Apergis is rather hard for perception. It we dare say is “hard” German very radical music. The piece is a very melodic one. Elmir Mirzoyev’s work stands between these poles: it is complex but at the same time it is very melodic. Michelle Jarrell’s music is meditational, deep and slow.
— Which of the compositions will be the most complicated for the audience’s perception?
— Well maybe Apergis’ piece. It doesn’t resemble anything and the composition is complex. It may seem bizarre to the audience.
— And which of the compositions will be the most appealing to the audience?
— It is not easy to say as we don’t know the audience here in Baku however we know mentality and cultural background. I think many things will be new for the audience.
— Is it your first visit to Baku?
— Yes! This is something extraordinary! As soon as we got off the plane we were shocked! We didn’t expected to see such a wonderful city!
— What was surprising for you most of all?
— Architecture, fantastic architecture. There are many unbelievable modern buildings here neighboring with historical ones. And certainly there are wonderful people here: full of joy, approachable and smiling…

The leader of ensemble Arman Angster kindly responded to our interview request after the concert.
— Did not you fear to bring such unusual program to Baku?
— No, because we did it together with Elmir and he knew what to do. We brought music of various composers representing France, Azerbaijan, Switzerland, Italy. It is some kind of panorama where one can find what he wants.
— Apart from Elmir Mirzoyev’s piece what was written especially for your ensemble?
— Many people write for us. Today’s program includes plays of Jarrell and Francesconi.
— Who thought of the introduction of instrumental theatre in Elmir’s play? Is there any plot there?
— It was totally Elmir’s idea. Of course there is a plot: it is meeting of the old and the new times. New time embodies bass clarinet which first intrudes into beautiful music, citation from Ravel. But gradually it gets assimilated and eventually musicians start playing together.
— Do you like the Baku's audience?
— It was unusual for them but they were firm enough and demonstrated true interest to our performance.

Natalia Surnina, Festival Press Service

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