Time To Come Close To A Fusion Of Eastern & Western Music
It was a mesmerizing musical evening in the setting of the Clarks Amer at Jaipur last month when the Landwehr Orchestra celebrated 70 years of the Indo-Swiss Friendship Treaty (signed on August 14, 1948) with a rousing musical concert. The occasion also marked the celebrations of the 150th Birth Anniversary of the Father of our Nation Mahatma Gandhi and the 70th Foundation year of Clarks Group of Hotels. Speaking at the occasion, Apurv Kumar, Joint Managing Director of the Clarks said, “The Landwehr Orchestra today proved that music unites everyone. This performance has transcended the boundaries that we have built around us. Music knows no language, sees no religion or colour. That is why we are always keen to celebrate our shared humanity through arts and music.”
The 80-member band from Landwehr, from the city of Fribourg in Switzerland, was playing for the first time in India. The certified concert and a marching band of the canton and city of Fribourg has a strong legacy starting in the year 1804. The band has performed in numerous countries and has travelled across the world captivating the audience with their world-class music. The comprehensive 80 piece band was formed in the early 1800s and has been in concert ever since 1804. The band holds many coveted distinctions and was the first international musical corps to participate in the large Columbus Day Parade on New York’s Fifth Avenue. The band has also been the guest of honour at an audience with Pope John-Paul II. Throughout the year, it entertains audiences both in Switzerland and abroad. Mr Alain Deschenaux, President, Music of Landwehr, said, “Landwehr of Fribourg, is globally acknowledged and the orchestra with over 90 musicians creates an experience second to none. What is most notable is that we are largely a peace orchestra.”
A Musical Bridge
The celebrated Orchestra displayed the calibre of one of the oldest musical traditions of the entire Fribourgh canton and region. The evening at the Clarks was part of Landwehr’s India Tour (from 14th to 25th October 2018, playing in New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Mumbai) that has emerged as a result of an Indian-Swedish Government program where the continued cultural exchange between the two nations is taking place.
The people of Fribourg have traditionally been singers and musicians, and the members of the Landwehr share that heritage. Under the direction of Benedikt Hayoz, the wind orchestra focused on performing an extensive and varied repertoire. Works ranging from spectacular descriptive pieces to street music allow the musicians to showcase the entire spectrum of their technical and expressive skills.
The repertoire of the program included Vienna Philharmonic Fanfare (composed by Richard Strauss on the occasion of the first Vienna Philharmonic Ball), Harlequin (composed by Franco Cesarini), The Lonely Maid (Thomas Ruedi’s iconic melancholy Swiss composition), Armenian and Yiddish Dances, music from the soundtracks of Slumdog Millionaire and Lawrence of Arabia and the finale of William Tell’s Opera. The highlight of the evening though was a special composition called ‘Impressions of India’, composed by the conductor of the Landwehr Orchestra, Benedikt Hayoz. The aim of this composition was to combine the sound of a symphonic wind orchestra with Indian music tradition and the graceful movements of Swiss Kathak dancer Gauri Priscilla Brulhart. Beginning with a qawwali (played on Landwehr Orchestra’s wind instruments), the high and bright sounds condensed in a complex tihai, following by gatnikas demonstrating the chaal of a peacock. The final crescendo was a jugalbandi between the Kathak danseuse and the orchestra.
“This concert aims to celebrate the vivacious history of The Landwehr and the citizens of Switzerland. It is an honour to be able to fuse the rich musical traditions of both these countries,” said composer Benedikt Hayoz, after the concert, that culminated with a rousing performance of ‘Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai’ from the film Awara.
As a tireless patron of the Arts, Clarks Amer and its management including Timmie and Apurv Kumar have always tried to bring unique and enriching experiences to their beloved city. Regularly hosting and organizing Art Events, Animal Welfare Summits and Music Festivals such as the extremely popular Tablu Music Festival (to be held in November); the Landwehr Orchestra’s performance was one of the hotel’s most culturally refined presentations. It was truly an evening where geographies – cultural, topographic and anthropological were blurred by the crescendos of the symphonies of the Landwehr Orchestra.