Easter 2017 – East meets West

KMA eAd Easter 2017

Echoes of far away lands are resonating in West London, strange harmonies and exotic scales have reached our shores, the time has come for a fusion of the senses and open our minds to new sounds!

Many composers over the years have used so called “Jewish” or “Arabic” scales to flavour the Western harmonies with Eastern sonorities. Our pieces this week will reflect the Orientalism of European music.

In a Persian Market

Composed in 1920 by Englishman Albert Ketelbey, this piece of light music is a collection of tableaux each evocative of the Orient. Camels, beggars, a princess, jugglers, a snake charmer, a Caliph and a caravan are all to be witnessed!


Fiddler on the Roof

Set in Russia in 1905, the musical by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick describes the life of a Jewish community and particularly of Tevye and his 5 daughters. We’ll play a medley of the best known songs (“If I were a Rich man”, “Sunrise Sunset”, “to Life”) and sing “Matchmaker, matchmaker”.
From the 1971 movie:



And from Jazz Sax legend Cannonball Adderley’s adaptation of the music:


On a little street of Singapore

Our choir will take a detour by this 1930’s hit made famous by Frank Sinatra, The Manhattan Transfer and…Bob Dylan!

Danse Macabre

The dead rising from their graves and skeleton getting up are the main themes evocated by Camille Saint-Saens tone poem compose in 1874. Not an oriental tune but it’s quirky melodic lines add a touch of mystery to the programme.


Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves

From Guiseppe Verdi’s 1842 opera Nabucco (short for Nabucodonosor, the Babylonian king), “Va, pensiero” is another tale of Jewish Exiles.



Jazz also got its fair share of far East inspiration. Duke Ellington was taken by the beauty of the Turkey city Isfahan and decided to write a feature tune for his Alto Saxophonist Johnny Hodges as part of their 1966 recording.


Tokyo Blues

The 1962 classic Blue-Note album of the same name was a huge hit for pianist Horace Silver whose trademark 4thy chords we instantly recognizable. We will play this version by Japanese group Trance Katz who takes the standard at a slower tempo and more latin feel. Improvisers, please step forward!


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