CHAMBERFEST ’08 OPENING GALA by Stanley Fefferman

Friday , June 25, 2008, Chalmers United, Ottawa.

Isabel Bayrakdarian explains the tango: it is the voice of Argentina’s poor who have only one freedom to express their hope of rising above the crush of circumstance– the tango. Isabel! Her voice is a bell that rings out freedom.

Through her singing, we are drawn into the yearning, passion and drama that live in the songs of those masters of Tango, Gardel and Piazzolla. Bayrakdarian also sings in Armenian, French, Arabic, English and German, testifying to the power of tango to expand its expressiveness world-wide.

Many of the songs are arranged by her husband and pianist Serouj Kradjian, sometimes in collaboration with virtuoso bandoneon-player Fabian Carbone. They both feature brilliantly in the Tango Notturno Ensemble which includes the skilled violinist Marie Berard, the versatile and charming bassist Roberto Occhipinti, Roman Borys of the Gryphon Trio—Chamberfest’s Musical Directors, and the soulful clarinet of Shalom Bard.

One could not hope for a more richly satisfying gala opening to this 15th feast that holds Ottawa  for two weeks in the world’s chamber music spotlight.

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