• Famous chamber choir and period ensemble to play in Mumbai tonight

    Joanna LoboMar 16, 2017, 10:23 IST

    Schola
    Schola

    Last Sunday, the Baha'l House of Worship (Lotus Temple) in New Delhi resounded to the strains of JS Bach's Magnificat in D Major. The eighteenth century piece, written in the , is Bach's first major liturgical composition on a Latin text and considered one of the cornerstones of Western music. It is one of the pieces that is part of the debut concert tour of chamber choir, Yale Schola Cantorum and period ensemble, Juilliard415. Tonight, they bring their music to the city.

    David Hill
    David Hill

    "This visit has been in the planning stages for years. We wanted experience Indian culture while bringing our own music to India," says conductor David Hill.

    The concert will include Bach's Magnificat, Gods, Storms, and Demons: Dances from Jean-Philippe Rameau's Operas and a new piece by Indian-American composer Reena Esmail called This Love Between Us: Prayers for Unity. The piece juxtaposes religious texts from seven major traditions of India (Buddhism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Jainism, Hinduism, and Islam). It will be sung in eight languages — English, Sanskrit, Punjabi, Malayalam, ancient Persian, Hindi, Prakrit and Arabic — and has been scored for baroque orchestra, choir, sitar and tabla.

    Reena Esmail. Pic Courtesy/Rachel Garcia
    Reena Esmail. Pic Courtesy/Rachel Garcia

    "This piece takes scriptures from seven religions and looks at what they say about unity, kindness, brotherhood and being good to each other. When you read any scripture, it tells you to be good to each other. There is so much strife in the world and much of it comes from someone's interpretation of the religion, not the religion itself," she says. The piece features Rabindra Goswami on sitar and Ramchandra Pandit on tabla.

    "Preparing this piece was indeed the first time most of the choir members had any exposure to the Hindustani Classical tradition," says Hill.

    The tour also includes school visits, and the choirs will participate in Sunday services at the historic St Mary's Church in Chennai.

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    ON: Tonight, 7 pm onwards
    AT: Tata Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point.
    LOG ON TO: ncpamumbai.com
    COST: Rs 300 onwards