Cyprus Mail

Concerts and lectures as part of Francophonie 2021

douce france

The Francophonie 2021 events continue as the French Institute of Cyprus collaborates with embassies, organisations and speakers to bring a series of events until September. Coming up next is an online lecture by archaeologist and art historian Anna Marangou on Tracing French Scholars in Cyprus.

On the evening of March 29, she will host a Zoom lecture in French with instant translation into Greek by Maria Houvarda. The lecture is free and open for all to attend and will look at several important French scholars who passed through the island.

“At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century,” say organisers, “French historians and intellectuals, such as Louis de Mas Latrie, Camille Enlart and Jean Richard, on their way to the Latin East, stop in Cyprus and study the medieval history of the island, closely linked to the Kingdom of Lusignan. Their writings and the valuable published volumes remain to this day an important source of knowledge of the history and culture of Cyprus.”

Next month, the Francophonie 2021 events continue with a classical music concert featuring the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra. On April 8 at Paphos’ Markideio Theatre and April 9 at Pallas Theatre in Nicosia, orchestra musicians will present a repertoire titled Douce France.

“In this concert,” says the Orchestra, “we focus on French music from different periods as well as music with a French influence, beginning with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony no. 31 in D major, the famous Paris Symphony. Written during Mozart’s stay in Paris in 1778, the composer availed himself of the orchestral forces available at the time in Paris, and this was his first symphony to include clarinets, an instrument that has since become particularly associated with France.”

Although Swiss by nationality, Arthur Honegger spent a large part of his working life in France and was a member of Les Six, the name given to the group of composers who worked in the Montparnasse area of Paris and were particularly championed by Jean Cocteau in the 1920s. Honegger’s Pastorale D’été dates from 1921, when it was premiered at Salle Gaveau, and is a mellow symphonic poem for a smaller orchestra inspired by summertime in the villages of the Swiss Alps.

The main work on the programme is Charles Gounod’s Symphony no.1. Though most known for his operatic and religious music, Gounod was also an influential mentor to the younger generation of French composers of the second half of the 19thth century including Saint-Saëns, Massenet, and Bizet. His 1st Symphony from 1855 shows the influence of the German classical symphonic tradition, particularly Mendelssohn and Beethoven on this quintessentially French composer.

“In addition to the ‘French’ works on the programme,” adds the Orchestra, “we continue our highlighting of the musicians of the CySO as soloists with our clarinettist Angelos Angelides featuring in Carl Maria von Weber’s Concertino for clarinet.”


Tracing French Scholars in Cyprus

Online lecture with Anna Marangou. March 29. Via Zoom. 7 pm. In French with Greek translation. Tel: 22-459333

Douce France

Concert by the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra. April 8 at Markideio Theatre, Paphos. April 9 at Pallas Theatre, Nicosia. 8.30pm.


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