2018/09/01 – A. Moths.

Arabic music on the harpsichord – this idea is not so absurd, because there is the thesis that in the 14th century keys were added to the Qanun that had been introduced from the Middle East, and thus “inventing” the harpsichord. This would be one more component of the strong influence of Arabic musical instruments on the European Middle Ages. Whether this thesis is tenable or not, it merits an experiment!

Under the direction of Angelika Moths and in cooperation with the well known Algerian violinist & singer Iméne Sahir, Algier, who is bringing some musicions with her ( Kanun, percussion, mandolin ) we can be exited how this experiment will work.
More info will follow here soon.

Angelika Moths studied the harpsichord at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague, where she got her diploma from Tini Mathot / Ton Koopman, and the basso continuo with Jesper Christensen and “Theory of Early Music” at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, as well as musicology, arts and Islamic studies at the University there, focusing on the music of the Middle Ages, the French chanson of the 15th century, the Seconda Pratica and Arabic music theory. She is engaged in considerable and manifold teaching activity in Germany and Switzerland and is a member of several ensembles.

Numerous trips have taken her to the Middle East, especially to Syria, and Egypt. In Aleppo she took several intensive Qanun classes with Julien Weiss and in 2008 she performed with musicians from the High Institute of Music at the Damascus Opera House at the revival of the opera Zenobia by Tommaso Albinoni under her direction. Other performances were planned in the amphitheater of Palmyra, which could not be held because of the beginning of unrest in the country.

The exchange with Arab musicians became more intense by her invitation to Arab composers to compose for her instrument, the harpsichord, and also to Western composers to let themselves be inspired by Arabic music. This resulted in both new compositions, as well as adaptations of various kinds.

Hence in this program is the strongly rhythmically influenced al-Maqamat al-Masriyya (which means something like “Egyptian modes”) by Ali Osman (* 1958). The Algerian Salim Dada (* 1972) is represented on the one hand with En Souvenir de Bach, but also with Samaï pour clavecin, in which he has transferred the Arabic maqam system to the harpsichord and thus shows a very unconventional facet in dealing with this instrument. The Iraqi Saad Thamir (* 1972) recalls visits with long philosophical talks. The fantasy of Julien Weiss was created as an etude for Qanun in the classroom. As homage to the deceased in January 2015, Angelika Moths adapted it to the harpsichord. The program is complemented by edited arabesques of the 19th and 20th centuries.