Although he is still very young (29 years old), Jonathan Fournel is already a “pro” in cultural mediation. It is within the framework of the Pocket Concerts that the pianist refined his practice of dialogue, demanding but warm, with listeners who are completely “new” in terms of the classical repertoire.
“I see the introductory workshops and concerts as a story that we all tell together, on stage and in the room,” he explains with a smile. During my training, I mainly focused on notes and technique. From now on, without neglecting them, I work on the imagination. Exchanging with children renews my own sensitive landscapes. In addition, these are precious moments of humanity in a magnificent but quite solitary profession…”
In fact, the first stage of the Aube’sessions of the Just Classik Festival is held in an old 19th century barn, converted into a multipurpose room. On this Tuesday afternoon, around 130 primary school students – among the 4,000 schoolchildren affected this year by the festival – entered. On the program, Beethoven and Schubert, presented by mediator Coline Infante, in duet with Jonathan Fournel. “I’m going to explain to you what ingredients we use to cook a musical work,” the first begins, while the pianist illustrates his words with short evocative extracts. Rhythms, nuances, bass and treble…”
“Trust in the ability of young people”
Joining singing to words, she encourages her audience who ask for nothing better – hardly any recalcitrants, at most a few less attentive children – to give voice or mime an ola following the tempo of a particularly wild variation. “Join action with listening, do not hesitate to talk about complex concepts but in a colorful and positive way, trust in the ability of young people…”: so many tools in the educational box of Coline Infante, herself lyric singer.
The day in Lusigny-sur-Barse will continue with a visit to the Saint-Martin church and its beautiful stained glass windows from the 19th century, a period which was, after the 16th, a second golden age of glass art. Made in regional workshops, shimmering with bright, bold colors, they display an iconography largely devoted to saints. Local such as Loup, former bishop of Troyes, or Mathie, also celebrated in the surrounding area, but also more universal like Peter and Paul or Augustine…
Enhancement of the heritage of Aube
“We have deliberately chosen municipalities in the department with a rich heritage to offer our activities,” underlines violinist Camille Vasseur, co-founder of the Just Classik Festival. As in Lusigny, listed on the “stained glass route”, or in Bayel, with its royal crystal factory founded in 1666. » If the inhabitants receive the musical offering in their town or their village, they also have their own assets to put into the balance, which is well understood by tourist offices wishing to promote the territory.
“We started from Troyes, whose classical musical life is animated by a symphony orchestra, but that’s about it,” recalls violist Manuel Vioque-Judde, the other co-founder of the festival. Then we extended our proposals to the department with, very quickly, the desire to address schools, the public of tomorrow. »
Virtuosity and caress
Alongside the great pages of the chamber repertoire, rarer pieces mark the singularity of this festival. Thus, for his evening recital in Lusigny-sur-Barse, Jonathan Fournel put on the program Variations on a Polish theme by Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937), whose hair-raising virtuosity – we think of Liszt – suddenly freezes in a funereal movement that the pianist peoples with disturbing ghosts and quivering shadows.
What a contrast with the Prelude, Fugue and Variation opus 18 by César Franck (1822-1890), of which “we retain the melodious theme almost without realizing it”, Coline Infante remarked a few hours earlier to her young friends. Dreamy, beguiling, the pianist’s touch caresses its sinuous contours.
Children drag their parents
During the festival, eight Aube’sessions will have introduced treasures from the repertoire to the inhabitants of Romilly-sur-Seine, Ervy-le-Châtel and Les Riceys. “We are so happy when the children from the day’s workshops return in the evening to the concert with their parents,” says Camille Vasseur, who is full of ideas for the next editions of the Just Classik Festival.
From the meeting between music and champagne, regional nectar, to the renewal of a format imagined this year: the “Just Talk Classik”. Actors from local life come to talk about their secret musical garden in the company of artists who realize their sonic dreams live…