Benjamin Attahir at the heart of creation and his performers

Benjamin Attahir at the heart of creation and his performers

Benjamin Attahir knows how to please the greatest musicians of our time with scores immediately recognised as timeless masterpieces. As proof and a preview before a series of premieres this month, our exclusive interview with Jean-Guihen Queyras, memorable performer of Al Icha, the cello concerto whose premiere deeply impressed its first public.


Presentations of the latest creations from the composer's workshop will begin this month on 11 February at the Philharmonie de Paris with the world premiere of O Pescador ea Lua for soprano and chamber orchestra (the Orchestre National de Picardie will perform the premiere) based on a text (interpreted by the soprano Raquel Camarinha) inspired by Portuguese culture and its tales.

We never really leave one another

When the surf covers the beating

Of your heart that takes to the sea

And I remain in this ether

My dissolved soul become water

The water of your mouth, the water of your eyes

I hear him waiting

The child against your belly

You rock him with stories

Of ivory ships

Of moons in the centre

Curve of the sky

That we watched in the evenings

Of artificial satellites

I hear him waiting

In the middle of the ocean

The boat that says goodbye

To the solitary nothingness

Days without wishes

Without the fires

Born from your lips

Without the knots

Born of our fevers

I hear him waiting

On tip-toes

The dance of our linked fingers

Untied discords

Tied by strings

That we call Time

We never really leave one another

Benjamin Attahir - Ô pescador e a lua

for soprano & orchestra
World premiere: February 11, 2022 - Philharmonie de Paris (Cité de la Musique)
Orchestre de Picardie
Raquel Camarinha, soprano
Michaël Cousteau, conductor
More information...

Then on 17 February at the Boulez Saal in Berlin, the German premiere of La Femme fendue, presented by Renaud Capuçon and Martina Gedeck, with a text by Lancelot Hamelin (in a German version).

Benjamin Attahir - La Femme fendue
for voice & violin
German premiere: February 17, 2022 - Boulez saal (Berlin)
Renaud Capuçon, violon
Martina Gedeck, voice
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Last but not least, the month will conclude with the eagerly awaited premiere of the Piano Concerto Khatoun wahidoun  on 26 February at the Halle aux Grains, performed by the dazzling Bertrand Chamayou (with whom the composer has already had the fortune of working during the new performance of his first piano concerto Al Fajr: a "wonderful encounter, both musically and emotionally, during which I was able to measure the extent of his expressive and sonic palette as well as his breathtaking virtuosity on the keyboard, all with immense generosity" - Benjamin Attahir) and the no less impressive Thomas Guggeis, at the head of the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, an ensemble that is admired worldwide.

With this work, Benjamin Attahir wished, in his own words, "to continue the exploration of the 'monodic concerto': a journey in a single stroke, in a single line. The tension is all the more stimulating as the piano is an instrument of polyphonic essence. Here, two hammers never simultaneously set the strings in vibration. The orchestra is derived entirely from this unique continuum, for which it is in turn a sounding board, commentator and interlocutor. The concerto genre is here diverted somewhat by the very nature of the musical project; instead of a concerto, it would rather be a concertante symphony, very dense, as if folded in on itself. The sound of the orchestra flows from the piano, as if an extension of its timbre. Thus, everyone participates in this same voice, along this narrow, winding path."

Benjamin Attahir - Khatoun wahidoun
Piano concerto
World premiere : February 26, 2022 - Halles aux grains (Toulouse)
Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse
Bertrand Chamayou, piano
Thomas Guggeis, conductor
More informations…

Have a look at the score on ISSUU: