The best of “Haiti my love” in concert

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The best of“Haï ti mon amour» in concert

Photo: Eric Dessons Pianist Célimène Daudet offers a mixed program that combines works from the European classical repertoire with those of Haitian composers from the beginning of the 20th century.

Célimène Daudet had created a huge surprise and no less great emotion in 2021 with her album Haiti my loverevealing works by little-known Haitian composers, including the very remarkable “Black Chopin”, Ludovic Lamothe. Bourgie Hall invited, on Wednesday, the Franco-Haitian pianist for a recital during which she will play her favorite pieces from this album.

“After the release of my record, I strongly perceived a real interest both from the public and from the programmers for this repertoire. I did not expect it and I was favorably surprised to feel a movement for this music as such, but also for what it conveys as a story and as a subject. »

A concerto recreated in Paris

Dive into the musical rediscovery of its roots, a reunion that owes a lot to the Société de recherche et de diffusion de Haitian Music (SRDMH) based in Montreal, Célimène Daudet had already confided in Devoir in April 2021.

Two years later, she has not given up on her quest and has even broadened it. “I continue to open up to other composers and other works by composers I have met before. Thanks to the SRDMH, she notably intensifies her knowledge of Ludovic Lamothe. “I was also interested in a work that I am playing in three weeks at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris: a concerto by the Haitian composer Carmen Brouard (1909-2005), who lived in Montreal at the end of her life. and whose family is based in Montreal. »

Célimène Daudet describes this concerto as an “original work that integrates Haitian heritage in a language that is not post-romantic, but much more contemporary”. This concerto entitled Baron Lacroix refers to a voodoo deity. “It's a new experience, since I leave the post-romantic period to approach something closer to us. In this regard, I am also thinking of David Bontemps, some of whose works I have played. It's interesting that composers and performers continue to collaborate. I want to take an interest in composers closer to us. »


Another lesson that Célimène Daudet title of the experience Haiti my loveis the matter of perspective. “As an artist, I almost feel on a mission, in relation to my origins, to work towards the rediscovery of these works by a wider audience. People are ready to open their ears to the fact that classical music is not exclusively reserved for Europe. This opens doors to important topics, including the issue of colonization and decolonization. What cultural encounters have been generated and what has come out of it artistically, and in particular musically? These things have been ignored for a long time, because we only present history, especially when we are on the side of the former settlers, from one point of view. It is therefore fascinating to go through the music to decenter the subject a little. »

In Montreal, Célimène Daudet will present scores by the three major composers on her album, Justin Élie, Edmond Saintonge and Ludovic Lamothe. For the latter, she wanted to portray three aspects of her music: “Voodoo, in a piece called Loco, imitating the drum present in voodoo ceremonies; the romantic affiliation, which explains his nickname “Black Chopin”; dance based on Afro-Cuban rhythms”.

In the second part, the pianist resisted playing Chopin: “I don't necessarily find it very happy to encourage a comparison between the famous 'Chopin noir' and Chopin himself. On the other hand, there is a sort of transition in the recital with two works by Scriabin, a Etude influenced by Chopin, and Towards the flame, a composition from the end of his life.

Célimène Daudet sees in the language of the late Scriabin “a form of trance which has nothing to do with voodoo, but proceeds from the search for ultimate ecstasy”. Scriabin also opens up to a search for timbres that can be found in Debussy. “That's why in the second part, I offer the entire 2nd Book of Debussy's Préludes, as a sound journey, and as I am Franco-Haitian, I wanted to have a Haitian part and a part devoted to a French composer. »

Célimène Daudet, piano – Haïti mon amour

Works by Justin Élie, Edmond Saintonge, Ludovic Lamothe, Scriabine and Debussy. Bourgie Hall, Wednesday, March 22, 7:30 p.m.