Spring 2019

2019 will be a year to look forward to. A beautiful spring is approaching, with numerous extraordinary productions touring both in Belgium and abroad. From renaissance and baroque music to jazz and traditional music. Zefiro Torna wishes you an inspiring and heart-warming 2019!

Discover Zefiro Torna's plans during spring 2019 in the latest news letter.


CD release BALSAM

Zefiro Torna releases 'Balsam' at Antarctica Records, successor to the productions ‘Les Tisserands’ and ‘O, Monde Aveugle!’. The project unites musicians who are experts in various genres such as old, ethnic and jazz music. This time the mysterious forces of plants, flowers and herbs formed the starting point for the programme.

"An unctuous and euphonious balsam for the mind and the soul. A truly intoxicating experience." - thus Stefan Grondelaers. Have a look at our trailer for a first impression.

Order the CD here - for yourself or as a Christmas gift. And for extra listening pleasure we offer the trilogy 'Tisserands - O Monde Aveugle - Balsam' for a small price.


Launch museum podcast Hof van Busleyden

From 9 November, you can discover the Hof van Busleyden museum in Mechelen through the eyes of three idiosyncratic storytellers. A musician translates Burgundian life into music, a classicist recounts the rebirth of the Court of Busleyden, and a psychiatrist connects past and present. The musical part is told by Jurgen De bruyn (the other museum podcasts were compiled by Patrick De Rynck and Dirk de Wachter), in an audio directed by the young radio producers Wederik De Backer and Lucas Derycke.


Allegoria at Ghent Festival of Flanders

This autumn a retrospective exhibition of Baroque painter Adriaen Brouwer will be held in his native town of Oudenarde. Brouwer was a master in painting lively folk scenes. With his sublime landscapes he inspired great masters such as Rubens.
As part of the Ghent Festival of Flanders, Zefiro Torna brings the paintings of Brouwer and contemporaries such as the young Pieter Breughel, Frans Hals and Jan Steen to life with soprano Annelies Van Gramberen. The allegorical themes from their graphics and paintings are the guiding principles: Love and Vanity, Death and Transience, Wisdom versus Foolishness and 'Rudities'. Zefiro Torna draws on a treasure trove of picturesque folk and Beggars’ songs and from collections of songs and madrigals by publishers, poets and composers such as Bredero, Vallet and Hacquart.

On Friday 28 September Klara will broadcast live from the MOU Oudenaarde. Jurgen De bruyn will be a guest at Pompidou (5-7pm), and will talk about the symbolic themes that inspired him to create the programme ‘Allegoria’.



The Allegory of Desire

— The Song of Songs in Western and Oriental traditions (2016)

Zefiro Torna – Vocalconsort Berlin – Ghalia Benali

  1. Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1702) - Meine Freundin, du bist schön (from ‘Hochzeitskantate’/Altbachisches Archiv)
  2. John Dunstable (1390-1453) - Quam pulchra es
  3. Hildegard von Bingen (1098 - 1179) - Ghalia Benali / Text: Abdalla Ghoneem (Egypt,1990) - Favus distillans - Mw'soul
  4. Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377) - Maugré mon cuer - de ma dolour confortés - Quia amore langueo
  5. Ghalia Benali (1968) / Text: Abdalla Ghoneem & Ghalia Benali - Last embrace
  6. Heinrich Schütz (1585 - 1672) - Ego dormio
  7. Ghalia Benali / Text: Zakaria.M (Egypt, 1992) - Dry Veins
  8. Orlandus Lassus (1532-1594) - Veni dilecti
  9. Allessandro Grandi (1586-1630) - O, quam tu pulchra es
  10. Riad Al Sunbaty (Egypt 1906-1981) for Oum Kalthoum / Text: Rābiʻa al-ʻAdawiyya (Iraq 8th C) - Araftu'l Hawa
  11. Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) - Pulchra es (from 'Vespro della beata Vergine')
  12. Dietrich Buxtehude (c.1637-1707) - Ad latus - Surge amica mea (from 'Membra Jesu nostri')
  13. Giovanni Felice Sances (c.1600-1679) - Vulnerasti cor meum
  14. Trad. (Iraq 9th C, Andalusia 14th C) - Lama Bada
  15. Johann Christoph Bach - Mein Freund ist mein (chaconne) from the cantata 'Meine Freundin, du bist schön'
  16. Ghalia Benali - Dama dai'man

The Hebrew Bible contains an extremely mysterious book known as the Song of Salomon, Canticle of Canticles or the Song of Songs. The book reads like a compilation of poems thematically centered around the theme of human love. The main characters are two lovers of the opposite sex. The poetry is rich in its imagery, often plainly erotic and suggestive. The Song of Songs is set in a sublimated world, it can be seen as an allegory for God's love and as a drive for mysticism. For centuries it has formed an inspiration for numerous oriental and western artists as well as scientists.

Was zunächts befremdlich wirkt, wird schnell zu einer grosen Bereicherung; bald schon treten Orient und Okzident in einen Dialog. Gmünder Tagespost – 02.08.2016

Zefiro Torna created this exceptional program in 2013, together with Vocalconsort Berlin and Tunisian singer and artist Ghalia Benali. In this program, single voiced madrigals with instrumental accompaniment, vocal duets and trios, a women's choir and polyphonic settings by composers such as von Bingen, de Machaut, Dunstable, Agricola, Lassus, Grandi, Sances, Monteverdi, Schütz, Buxtehude and J.Ch. Bach interact with traditional Arab songs, narrating texts by ‘Sufi’ poets and by a new generation of poets such as the Egyptian Abdallah Ghoneem. Creating an inspiring dialogue between cultures and history, ‘The Allegory of Desire’ bridges the distance between sacrality and humanity.

During the last couple of years, they gained success on prestigious podiums in Brussels, Berlin, Hamburg, Winterthur, Sevilla, Vilnius and Amsterdam. ‘The Allegory of Desire’ was released by Warner Classics in October 2016.

Zefiro Torna
Cécile Kempenaers soprano
Griet De Geyter soprano
Jowan Merckx flutes, percussion
Romina Lischka viola da gamba, Indian chant
Jurgen De bruyn lute, theorbo, artistic direction

Vocalconsort Berlin
Verena Gropper soprano
Anne Bierwirth alto
Stephan Gähler tenor
Johannes Klugling tenor
Christoph Drescher bass

Ghalia Benali Arabic chant, compositions

Musical supervision: Manuel Mohino
Audio recording, mixing and editing: Manuel Mohino
Booklet text: Ilja Stephan & Jurgen De bruyn
Photograph cover: Lieven Dirckx
Photographs booklet: Sebastian Bolesch
Artwork: Jef Cuypers
Production Warner Music: Brigitte Ghyselen
Recorded: June 2016, Eglise Saint-Rémi, Franc-Waret

Released by Warner Classics