On February 17, 2022, La Seine Musicale programmed a major symphonic concert with Avishai Cohen on vocals and double bass, Elchin Shirinov on piano, Roni Kaspi on drums and Bastien Stil conducting. A wonderful evening, under the sign of virtuosity and enchantment.
Author, composer, bassist, singer, Avishai Cohen fascinates us and makes us travel far with his music. Two Roses, his latest album, is no exception to the rule. Thought on a higher spatial scale, fleshed out with strings, brass, wood, percussion, the compositions inspired by the Israeli artist diffuse a kind of magic and reach the audience in the heart.
On a stage flooded with colored light beams, the Orchester national d’Île-de-France conducted by the fantastic Bastien Stil kicks off the festivities with Noam (Opus No1) and Hayo Hayta. We immediately let ourselves be carried away by the melodic lines, both soft and powerful. We are literally caught up in a bewitching dreamlike climate. What a beautiful introduction before the arrival of the double bass player, who definitely immerses us in the poetic universe of Two Roses.
Song for my brother and Puncha Puncha lead the audience to dazzling musical lands, with syncopated rhythms. We oscillate between floating and meditation. When Avishai sings, we enter a new, almost spiritual dimension. A Child is Born evokes a voluptuous sweetness and we let ourselves be lulled by the intoxicating singing of the instruments.
The incandescent scene glows fervently before fading to intense blue. The chromatic variations accompany the musicians in their tremendous momentum and sublimate them. Between two tracks, Avishai Cohen explains the history of his compositions, shares some anecdotes and talks about his daughter who inspired him for Almah Sleeping. In his music, love is everywhere: The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. Nature Boy is not a trivial choice.
When he takes the microphone to introduce his musicians, the virtuoso double bass player is full of praise for them. It is largely deserved, if we refer even to the sparkling piano/drums duo which we witness at the end of the concert between Elchin Shirinov and Roni Kaspi. How to describe this formidable crescendo which kept us for long minutes in apnea?
It is an audience on fire that cheers the artists with a rare ardor until the final climax: Seven Seas provokes a visceral impetuous reaction. From the first notes played, the audience vibrates in unison and expresses its joy. The rhythmic and repetitive chords cause phenomenal tension. An imaginary thread stretches and one feels as if caught in a magnetic field. The moment is both intense, generous and lunar.
To close the evening, Remembering will wrap us in beauty and softness. The delicate and subtle notes will almost be whispered like a secret entrusted to the hollow of the ear.
An exceptional evening.
Read the original article in French here