miércoles, 22 de marzo de 2017

Hille Perl / Marthe Perl ELEMENTS

Greek philosophers in the pre-Christian era considered the four elements to be the basic components of life on earth; there was only the occasional argument if water or air should be considered to be the primordeal matter. The alchemists of the late middle ages and the early modern era placed the tenet of the four elements to be of crucial importance; physicians used it to characterize types of patients and astronomers discovered that celestial bodies are in corresponding constellations to the elements on this planet. Finally the Christian dogma also picked up on the elements and used them as characteristics of the four archangels.
Popular belief had a vast abundance of spirits who animated the world, there weresubterranean gnomes who populated the woodlands, fickle sylphs who whispered in the shrubbery, every well was inhabited by alluring undines, and salamanders could brave even the fiercest and hottest fires.
Is the mythological knowledge of these existential components of any significance to 21st century cosmopolitans?
Our answer to this question would be a very decidedly positive: why, of course!
Precisely at this moment, as the world seems to become unhinged on all levels,  we need more than ever the universal knowledge of the real and spiritual dimensions of the four elements, of their creative powers and their destructive energy, their interdependency and their sacred nucleus.
With this album we intended to contribute to this global challenge - and we are using music, being our language, our means of communication to enunciate the all-embracing love and kindness we have for the world- hoping to be received kindly and lovingly.
FIRE : Fire is a symbol of all-consuming love, it stands for burning passion and the comforting warmth of friendship.
And whether it be a devastating blaze or the consoling warmth of a burning wood-stove on a frosty winter’s morning….Fire is nourishing and protecting us, but it can also be a merciless destroyer - hence we are challenged to practice humility, caution and mindfulness.
A little thematic prelude by Marthe Perl initiates the contemplation of this element. We took the liberty to pick from the rich treasure of traditional Irish melodies to depict several aspects of real flames: a flag of fire to indicate the direction of movement, a fire in the mountain, maybe it is threatening the forest or a village, and an old woman who sits by the fire, sipping her tea. Then Soler’s Fandango fell into our hands: famous as a piece for harpsichord we found it quite suitable to carve out different aspects of persistent fervor and the burning passion for a theme on two bass viols.
EARTH: earth is our soil, the humus which grows our food, the life-giving furrow. We are made of earth, as all living things, and when all is said and done we return to earth, to become dust again and tobecome the origin of new life. The element earth symbolizes the circular flow of the years and the representation of growth, decay and resurrection embedded within.
Marthe’s Earth-Prelude opens this chapter, then another Irish tune about a boggy ground. Another Ground music are the Folia-related variations by Mr. Farinell, ere we turn to a funeral music for two viols : the ‚Tombeau pour M. de Meliton‘ who was a friend and patron of the great Marin Marais. 
WATER: the water-theme. Sister-element of the earth, allegorically depicting that our life is in flow, everchanging and in constant motion, like a river that in the end shall be released into the ocean, whose infinitude makes us small human beings feel humble and lost. Water is the emotional element: we shed tears of joy and sorrow. And - just like fire - water has a huge potential for destruction: it can wash away anything that thwarts its path.
The aspect of sorrow, of lamenting and of teares is our predominant theme in this set. ‚Hume’s Lamentation‘ follows Marthe’s initial Prelude and then the Lachrimaeby Sumarte for one viol is supplemented by Marthe’s arrangement of the famous Dowland-piece. 
AIR- air is respiration! God breathes life into us, when we first appear on earth, and finally we will take our dying breath and be gone. Air is a symbol for movement, for wind and whirl, for effortlessness and creativity.  But also for the damaging power of tempests and hurricanes. Marais’ ‚Bourrasque‘ isthe presentation of a storm, then we consider together with Thomas Ford how the air has changed - or the melody. Bagpipes are very windy instruments, and in the wild goose-chase we hastily cut through the air with our bows. Finally we describe a game of badminton which apparently the noble people of Versailles already knew and played.
A pensive Andante by Francis Poulenc from his Sonata for two clarinets is our farewell music on this CD. We believe, Poulenc could have meant it to be played with two viols, if only he had known the instrument.
Fire, Earth, Water and Air: four Elements - four different physical conditions of our planet - and of our selves. We believe it to be worthwhile togive special consideration to these ingredients of life, in these times of a growing  elemental imbalance in the world.
This concertis an invitation to give way to a musical contemplation of the complexities of the world, the ingredients of life,  and to encourage a general mindfulness. (Hille Perl, Winkelsett  2014)

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