Jean E. Saint-Eloi | Music of The Haitian Masters, Vol.1

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Music of The Haitian Masters, Vol.1

by Jean E. Saint-Eloi

Music of the Haitian Masters Vol 1. is a door way to one of Haiti's hidden treasures, this unique voyage to the realm of Haitian classical music takes us through the enchanting, soothing and inspiring sounds of composers such as Occide Jeanty, Ludovic Lam
Genre: Classical: Orchestral
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Invocation
5:09 $0.99
clip
2. Meringue Haitienne, Nostalgie
6:17 $0.99
clip
3. Valse, Rose Printaniere
4:47 $0.99
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4. Chant De La Montagne#1, Isma-o!
2:05 $0.99
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5. Chant De La Montagne#2, Nostalgie
2:27 $0.99
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6. Legende Creole
4:16 $0.99
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7. Scherzo
5:51 $0.99
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8. Sobo
3:16 $0.99
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9. Meringue Haitienne, La Dangereuse
7:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The development of the Haitian classical music takes its origin all the way back to the independence of Haiti. The Haitian classical music (mizik savant ayisyen) had a distinctive palette based on French models of culture then later African musical concept was added to it. The mizik savant ayisyen was called the music of the elite.

After the revolution in 1804, most white planters were either killed or exiled, so from the remaining people of the island consisting of milat (light-skinned) and nwa (dark-skinned) a Haitian elite was created. In 1807, musical education became part of the curriculum of the greatest schools in the country. Around 1817, the teaching of music appreciation, solfegio, voice and instrumental technique was outlined by the department of public instruction.

In 1830, was born a great man Occilius Jeanty, Sr. Mathematics, music composition, and teaching were his strengths. Among his musical works were some overtures chanson creoles, and Haitian meringues. The meringue was a musical genre that is obviously carrying an African influence, a mixture of Petro and Congo, a set of complex rhythms found in the Vodu culture as part of the Ifa corpus.

Therefore, the meringue possesses its own style expressing the soul of the Haitian people. The musical concept behind the meringue is based on major and minor scales, 5/8 or 2/4 rhythm with an option of been played lento, allegro or prestissimo. The 5/8 principle called also quintelet was taught by Occilius Jeanty, Sr. at L'ecole Centrale de Musique in Port-au-Prince. The Haitian meringue will reach its full development with Occilius Jeanty's son, born in 1860, musical genius by excellence, leaving with us some incredible works such as Les Vautours du 6 Decembre, Un Choeur de Nos Heros, Les Imprecations de Dessalines, La Trompette des Anges, Nos Masques etc...

Occide Jeanty, Jr's greatest influence was found in the musique du palais (court music), especially in his military marches. Occide Jeanty elevated the musique du palais to such an extent that this music was rated first in the Caribbean and fourth in the American continent. Other Haitian composers left some gigantic works, among those but not limited to are Ludovic Lamothe, Louis Astree, Toureau Lechaud, Solon Verret, Justin Elie, Frantz Casseus and others. Haiti is counting about sixty composers who contributed towards the evolution of the mizik savant ayisyen.

Furthermore, we would be ingrate not to mention the deep influence of the Vodu music, taking its roots from the deepest forest of Africa, the motherland, the cradle of all civilizations. Vodu music holds the knowledge of the past, where old rhythms were danced, played and appreciated by remarkable civilizations of Ethiopia, Nigeria, East Africa, the Yorubas, the Igbos (Hebrews), the Ausars (Osiris), the Dan (tribe of Israel) and the Akan people which have given birth to one of the most remarkable dynasty of Egypt led by Akan-Aton.

In this anthology presented by the Cultural Enlightenment Association of Ifé, the past is meeting with the present to shape the future. You will be enjoying the works of Occide Jeanty (Invocation), a meringue and a waltz by Solon Verret, two old chants from the mountains and a Haitian legend by Justin Elie, Scherzo and Sobo are directly taken from the Vodu idiom and a meringue (La Dangereuse) by Ludovic Lamothe.

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Reviews


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Perry Coma of Don Tiki

Way too bad about cheesy synths
Interesting music, but it's truly a pity that we couldn't hear it played by means of traditional, non-electronic instruments. I suppose there was no budget (not to mention any Haitian government-supported music programs) and it was better to realize and make available the pieces on a cheap synth than on nothing at all. Hopefully some acoustic-pianist will improve on the situation in the future. How about this, enthusiast from Juilliard?
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Prof. Jean-hervé Paul

Where were they hiding those great composers from Haiti?
Where were they hiding those great composers from Haiti? Long after their times, thanks to the eminent Haitian music scholar Jean-E. Saint-Eloi, their wonderful works are coming out of old dusty drawers. Although the harmonies are at times comparable to those of a Chopin, a Villa Lobos or a Duke Ellington, the originality of the rythms and the unique exotic colors are just breathtaking. This no doubt adds to the world's heritage of great music. Every one should ecure a copy of the cd and check it out for themselves. Surely they would have to come to the same conclusion.

Jean-Hervé Paul, musician.


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: Ralph Delly (ralph@belimage.com) From New York

The Classical Masters are getting out of Haiti
When Jean E. Saint-Eloi welcomed me to his house in West Palm Beach a year ago to listen to samples of his CD, I was totally surprised of his talent and grandeur. As people should know, Haitian Music was born before Compas Direct, and Haitians Masters came out to prove it to us. It's a genie on disc; a job well done that convinces us of the richness of haitian music. This CD tells us that Haiti is still the powerhouse of great composers, it's being stream-rollered other classicals. The CD scores high because of the quality of music. It's a piece of art that every one should have in their precious collection. After listening to it once, twice and a third time, one will realize that they are undoubtedly the Haitian Masters of Classical music.It's a must to listen to it before it goes out of stock.
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Roody Barthèlemy

More than classical, it is historically monumental !
In quantity, the first surprise of this cd is the revelation that there is a big part of afro-european heritage that is to be written and unveiled through history. The Vodou cachet of the African culture as it is also the core rythm of classical music usually known to be exclusively European and as presented here, in all of the pieces of this CD, elegantly speaks for a lot of unspoken facts and unsung truths of our common history. In quality, this CD simply testifies the voluptuousness of a constantly rebellious yet flexible and universal Culture. The 9 pieces, although well-distinct, complete beautifully one another to transport in an amazing trip. A trip to the final frontiers of a frenzy and intensely lucid creativity that can only be Haitian and Creole, a unique crossroad where 2 different worlds meet between gods and men to give LIFE its new dimension of Eternity.

Ayibobo!

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Jeante@aol.com

It's the classical music of the new millennium
Well I have to tell you that I am a piano major from the Julliard School Of Music, I have purchased the Music Of The Haitian Masters CD and this one the greatest music I ever heard. The CD contains 9 pieces and all of them are beautifull. But my favorite piece is the scherzo by Ludovic Lamothe, everybody talks about that piece at School, I wished I could purchase the scores. If you have any information concerning the scores please let me know by e-mail (jeante@aol.com). The scherzo is a 6/8, fast tempo, it got to be an african dance. If only Mr Saint-eloi could give a master class at Julliard that would be great. Again I want to perform the scherzo for my next recital, please let me know where I can find the scores.

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Giscard Nazon (gnazo001@fiu.edu)

Great Haitian music to discover!
I listened to The Haitian Masters, Vol. I, and I am so glad that Mr. Saint-Eloi put this selection of great works together. It does fill a void when it comes to recordings of our Haitian master's works. I was very excited particularly to discover some new works by Justin Elie, whom I have come to venerate the "Danse de l'Homme des Grottes" from his 'Suite Quisqueya'. Mr Saint-Eloi took a great initiative. The load is heavy, but the dream is beautiful, however difficult the steps to reality may be. This CD holds treasures. I recommend it to everyone interested in discovering Haitian classical music. Some biographical notes on our masters would be greatly apreciated in future releases of this album, though. Good job!
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Michael S Wright: Chair, International Society - African tto Ame

More efforts like this are needed
This CD came as a shock! My initial reaction to the midi-synth performance was one of horror. That lasted 5 seconds before I realised that Saint-Eloi is doing the world a great favour by getting the music publicly accessible. Yes, there was some wonderful music here and I hope that pianists, esembles etc will take on the big task of doing real performances that befit the music. I will be bringing this to the attention of performers. The CD was a bit short and could have done with containing rather more material on it. However, his does mean that I will be seeking out Volume 2.
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