An exciting cultural season

This fall, in addition to a few concerts, Zefiro Torna is preparing a number of (inter)national productions that will premiere in spring 2020.
We are especially looking forward to work with the theater company Laika. Together we'll transform the Balsam program into a mysterious alchemical lab where the public is served elixirs, ointments, syrups, all while the music enchants.
In addition, we will bring a few noon concerts at Opera Vlaanderen with the Champions des Dames program.
We'll also celebrate Beethoven 2020 with the hybrid concert installation PASTORALE, in which the music helps shape an ecology of microscopic life forms.


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— a new Musikalisches Opfer (2020)

Zefiro Torna - Ensemble KNM Berlin - AMVK

The BACHC®AB programme comes in the shape of a retrograde. Throughout history, chanting backwards has been a returning particularity, which, despite stylistic and compositional evolutions, has survived from the Middle Ages until now. Guillaume de Machaut’s rondo Ma fin est mon commencement, which can be seen as a compact contemplation of time and eternity, shifts into the finesse of the counterpoint in Renaissance and Baroque music. It culminates in the Musikalisches Opfer and Kunst der Fuge by J.S. Bach. But also contemporary techniques seem to have retrograde techniques as a source of inspiration.

Underneath a purely technical charm seems to lie hidden a symbolic purpose. Maybe it is an attempt to control the relentlessly ongoing concept of time? Is it the expression of a negative world view : a waning society in full regression? Or could it be a magical intervention : is it actually possible to rewind an event and undo it by chanting backwards? Or can we, this way, connect the end with the beginning, the alpha with the omega?

Zefiro Torna, contemporary Ensemble KNM Berlin and visual artist Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven join forces in an exceptional performance around J.S. Bach’s Musikalisches Opfer and a number of musical puzzles. Emblematic scores in the shape of a lobster carrying the world on its back (Cancer Cancrizans), circular compositions that depict the circle of life or compositions related to the symbol of the labyrinth and self-sacrifice, from the Middle Ages to the present, form the common thread. A video artwork by visual artist Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven reinforces the ritualistic character of the eternal struggle between good and evil and of this existential human quest.

Creation: October 2020

Zefiro Torna

  • Annelies Van Gramberen soprano, pan flute
  • Liam Fennelly viola da gamba, lirone, fiddle
  • Kristien Cueppens oboe, oboe d’amore
  • Jurgen De bruyn lute, mandolin, electric bass guitar

Jurgen De bruyn concept, artistic direction
Dr. Prof. Katelijne Schiltz musicological research
Folkert Uhde dramaturgy
Anne-mie Van Kerckhoven visual art

Ensemble KNM Berlin

  • Rebecca Lenton flutes
  • Theo Nabicht saxophones, bass & doublebass clarinet
  • Frank Gutschmidt piano, electric piano
  • Alexandre Babel / Michael Weilacher / Evi Filippou percussion