IV Tartu Early Music Festival 9-16 May 1999We can observe ties between the musical traditions of different countries and cultures by looking at the facts which history has brought down to us, we can make guesses, speculate and arrive at the truth, at least for us and discover that truth resides somewhere where facts and suppositions and interpretation begin because the facts come to life the moment we invest them with meaning for ourselves and other people. The range of vision, which accompanies the mastering of a new musical culture, is impossible to achieve without a thorough immersion in that culture. When compared to modern times, Medieval Europe was culturally much more open, both in the form and content (despite wars art has always lived a life of its own). So there is nothing strange in finding, for example, in Spanish music organic ties with Arab and Jewish culture or in using the methods of Indian classical music when studying medieval instrumental music today.
The main theme of this year's festival - comparing traditional Oriental cultures and European medieval music - will bring to Tartu interesting and outstanding musicians. Musical contrasts from Spain are demonstrated by groups Al Tarab from Marocco and Sepharad from Spain. Spanish music can be found as a dominant theme in the programmes of most of the groups.
Happy enjoyment of the festival!