The Mardi Graves festival makes the basses snore in Occitania to celebrate its thirtieth anniversary

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For two weeks, the bass instruments (trombone, bassoon, double bass…) are at the party in Occitania. The Mardi Graves festival celebrates its thirty years of existence this year with a very fine musical programme.

France 3 Languedoc-Roussillon / T. Vyncke / L. Florentin / B. Richard / P. Sportiche

Bass in the spotlight
To inaugurate this 30th edition, the organizers have chosen a classical concert, with the Orchester National Montpellier Occitanie. And for once, on the front of the stage, it is the double bass that makes its star. In the hands of Théotime Voisin, the instrument is sublimated. It’s a great pleasure, it’s a truly unique festival, there are no other festivals that can afford to present somewhat bizarre instruments, laughs the virtuoso who usually plays with the Royal Orchestra from Amsterdam.
In the audience, music lovers also appreciate this suspended moment. Whether you are a connoisseur of classical music or not, the deep-sounding concerto leaves no one indifferent. There is a good rhythm, a lot of variations in the different instruments, even if we are not used to classical music, it sends and it’s really nice, rejoices a spectator.
A festival for serious

Trombone, bassoon, double bass… For thirty years, Jean Ané has vibrated to the sound of bass. It was in 1993 that the professional bassist decided to launch the first edition of Mardi Graves. At the time, it was still written in the singular because only the double basses were invited to party.
And then, little by little, the tuba, then all the bass instruments were gradually added to the list. All instruments that play in the bass, whatever their range are welcome in the festival, explains Jean Ané. We put in front of the stage instruments that traditionally are rather behind because they are there to accompany.

Mardi Graves continues with concerts every day until February 14, 2023, of different styles, and in different venues in the region

Festival highlights:
-Monday February 6: Contredanses at 6.30 p.m. – Espace Gibert, Lézignan-Corbières Concert with the Carré de basses, double bass quartet of the Orchester National de Montpellier. Entrance 5€
-Tuesday 7 February: Masterclass and recital by Théotime Voisin at 3 p.m. – Cité des Arts Montpellier 3 p.m.-6 p.m. FREE ENTRANCE
-Wednesday 8 February: Masterclass and recital by Olivier Thiéry at 11 a.m. – Avignon Conservatory 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2 p.m.-4 p.m. FREE ENTRANCE
-Thursday, February 9: Softly the bass at 8 p.m. – Church of Saints-François Montpellier. Entrance on free participation.
– Friday, February 10: Double bass in light at 8:30 p.m. – Le Chai du Terral Saint-Jean de Vedas Concert with the National Orchestra of Montpellier and Théotime Voisin, soloist. Admission: €17 (concessions: €14 / €12 / €7)
-Saturday February 10: Grand Concert Tridécadent – Le Chai du Terral Saint-Jean de Vedas at 8 p.m. Admission: €10
-Tuesday 14 February: Love in a low voice at 8:30 p.m. – Château des évêques Lavérune St Valentin concert with the Trio Euphonie, Brice Soniano, the young double bassists Charles Cavailhac and Mathieu Salas. Free admission, limited seating available.

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