Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou, 85-year-old Ethiopian Classical Pianist and Nun, In Concert

[Ethiopiques 21: Ethiopia Song; Buda Musique 860122 (2006)]

The above CD is available online for $13.19 from Allegro Music, which says: “An outstanding pianist and a remarkable composer, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou (now a Christian nun in a Jerusalem monastery) once recorded her own piano solo works, steeped in Ethiopian culture. The rich, personal poetry of these songs brings to mind Claude Debussy or Carlos d'Alessio's 'India Song' – a rare curiosity indeed, with beautiful melodies and a charming interpretation.”
From Jerusalem with Love: The Ethiopian Nun Pianist
Concert Review
By Makeda Amha
Published: Tuesday, August 19, 2008
“New York (Tadias) - Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru performed at a sold out benefit concert for the first time in 35 years at the Jewish Community Center in Washington, DC last month. The 85-year-old nun and renowned classical pianist and composer captured an eager audience, along with seven young performers who shared the stage with her.

“The first set at the July 12th event included 'The Song of the Sea' in E-Flat Major and 'Mother Love' in G major and the previously unpublished 'The Phantoms' — a set of works evoking early and vivid childhood memories from her early life, growing up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and traveling in Switzerland at the age of six. She played with an unabashed love for melody and thoughtfulness, finishing the set carefully with Beethoven’s 'Fur Elise,' one of her favorites.”

“Her astounding ability as a classical pianist and ability to warmly express 'Reverie,' was a pleasure to listen to, as was 'Presentiment,' a sweet, poetic Sonata in B-Flat Major. She finished the set with a moving 'Quo Vadis,' a spiritual reflection that asks where everyone is going. After a laudatory announcement from the audience, Emahoy returned to the stage to perform 'Homeless Wanderer,' a beautifully-phrased piece, with an improvisatory quality that only she can express.” [Full Post]

No comments: