The year 2020 will be infamously recorded as a time when musicians had to lead a solitary life, which is incompatible with musical activity.
Furthermore, travel has been severely restricted, having a devastating impact on performers’ lives.
Furthermore, I wanted to offer an experience of travelling in Europe through music.
There is a wealth of historical, and traditional European monophonic music.
Hence, the Tour is based around the 14th-15th centuries when Cello encounters different musical cultures.
The Tour is dedicated to my father, mother, brother, and sister; Jean-Pierre, Françoise, Fabrice, and Mahaut Lehmann; with whom I was fortunate to travel in my youth.
1. Ostentatious Overture
Viola is at the French palace of Versailles with all its pomp, splendour, and magnificence.
2. Mystical Minnesänger
Viola has travelled to the Holy Roman Empire, where he is performing an ode to a Germanic Knight.
3. Andalusian Nights
The Caliphate of Cordobá was a mixing-pot of Islamic and Judaic music. What is fascinating is that many of the ideas around performance; modes at certain times of the day, improvisation into metred, faster sections; go back to the Indian subcontinent and even further back into Ancient Greece. Viola is chanting for the Caliphate on a warm summer’s evening.
4. Tarantella of the Tagliatelle
I don’t know if the Medici family ate tagliatelle, but if they did, this joyful and lively tarantella is what Viola would have played.
5. Terrifying Tropak
A complete change of mood. Viola is playing for a swashbuckling performance of Ukrainian Cossacks, with leaps, stamps, and twirls.
6. Sami Herding Song
In the Arctic Norwegian north, Viola is with the Sami calling their herd of reindeers with vocalisations that echo in the icy distance.
7. Highland Fling
Viola is in Scotland taking part in the Highland Games. Female dancers perform athletic jumps.
8. Royal Festive Fanfare
Viola finishes his European Tour at Windsor Castle, England. Like the natural trumpet (played at the time), the lower range is based on the first notes of the harmonic scale and announce the entry of the royal family. This is followed by a melodic flourish in the higher register.