12.18.2010

Christmas Offering 3: Casals/Qi


Picture
Qi

El Pessebre
Pablo Casals
1945

The title means "the crib" in Catalan. The text of this oratorio came from a certain Joan Alavedra who won the 1943 Perpignam Poetry Festival. The sections of the story show 1) the shepherds (who are joined by fishermen, women, and others) on the way to Bethlehem, 2) the caravan of the three kings (with what I think is a choir of camels), 3) the manger scene, and 4) the adoration at the manger. 
At the manger features arias by La Mare de Dedu (Mary), Sant Josep (Joesph), la mula (the mule), and el bou (the ox).


Dr. He Qi's Nativity fits with Casals's oratorio for some obvious reasons: Shepherds, an angel, Mary, Joseph, and those two sonorous divas: the ox and the mule. Beyond the obvious there are other comparisons. He Qi's art is indelibly linked to the Chinese artistic tradition, though strikingly augmented with colors and swirling, vision-like parameters. They go very well together I think.

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