WHEN YOU MENTION gospel, you immediately think of the powerful voices, from Aretha Franklin to Edwin Hawkins, who made this genre famous. But also to these choir members who chant hymns and express their faith (gospel coming from Old English Godspell which means gospel) with heightened enthusiasm. We therefore do not expect to listen to an instrumental version of this music born from the suffering of black slaves in the cotton fields in the South of the United States. However, this is the bet that Touve R. Ratovondrahety succeeded in achieving.
Conquered by Jessye Norman
Of Malagasy origin, this 61-year-old classical concert pianist, eclectic composer of film scores, having released numerous albums, is today pianist of the corps de ballet of the Paris Opera and instructor of the church organ Saint-Eugène-Sainte-Cécile, in Paris. It was while listening by chance to a broadcast of the spirituals concert given in 1990 by soprano Jessye Norman at Carnegie Hall in New York that the artist trained to interpret Bach, Chopin and Rachmaninov developed a passion for this Afro rhythm. -American. “Although born into a family of pastors and evangelists, my “evangelization” was completed by this woman,” he remembers. Through his interpretation of gospel, I reached the deep meaning of Christ’s words “I am the way, the truth, the life. ” » He then embarked on research into the origins of this music.