Beirut Chants - Opening Event

Sunday, December 1, 2019

I was still living and working abroad when the Beirut Chants Festival was launched, and was lucky enough to stumble upon one of their concert on a cold December night. Ever since, I have tried to attend as many concerts as possible. This year will be no exception. Especially with the unrest on our streets, music as an art is one way to show unity and to speak one common language, via the expression of art. As the founder of the festival, Ms. Micheline Abi Samra, pointed, art bridges any differences and brings people together. It has always been the motto of this festival to gather people of all backgrounds, beliefs and opinions around the divine beauty of music in the churches of down town Beirut to celebrate Human values in their purest form, a sort of magic. And this year, is even more special as people are claiming their rights as citizens of one nation, the Lebanese one. As the audience got quiet and conductor Toufic Maatouk launched the tribute to Beethoven with the Kyrie of his Mass in C Major, the sad tones overflew the St. Joseph Church that was packed full. The public was then transported with the Gloria before avidly listening to the Credo, the Sanctus and the Benedictus. The official finale of the least performed of Beethoven's works was the Agnus Dei and is a culminating point leaving the crowd aspiring for more. We were not let down as the performers played and sang Adeste Fideles since we already have started the Christmas advent and times. What a grand way to bid us farewell! Because we are definitely coming back for some more music :)

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