CLAIR-OBSCUR: Corsican Polyphony
with Constantinople & A Filetta
Sunday, December 5, 2021 at 7:30PM - Christ Church Cathedral

A filetta with Constantinople by Armand Luciani (3) (1).jpg

Constantinople is partnering with the seminal Corsican polyphonic singing group A Filetta, to create an enchanting sonic tableau where light and shadow meet, through sacred and secular songs from the rich Corsican musical tradition. Polyphony by the learned vocalists of A Filetta, as well as songs and music orchestrated by Kiya Tabassian, will come together in a deeply moving concert.


This is a stirring, gently edgy reminder that Corsica produces some of the most subtle and remarkable vocal music in Europe... A quietly compelling set.

- The Guardian


I. Historia

II. Letterella / Bi tô…

III. U furore / Saram khoshast

IV. Ilahi / Noi no

V. Parvaz / Meditate

VI. U sipolcru / Bad-e Zaman

VII. Minetta / À l’aube d’une forêt

VIII. Rex / Malaek

IX. Lame Pigeon

X. U Lamentu à Ghesù / Folia

XI. E strache ceche


Between sea and mountains, between eastern modes and polyphony — Clair-obscur is born of the desire for deeper dialogue on the part both of the musicians of Constantinople and the singers of A Filetta, the preeminent ensemble of Corsican polyphony. They have created a poetic and musical suite, mixing polyphonies and songs rooted in their traditions and repertoires.

This alliance has roots in two lands, two vital sources of contrasting geographies. On the one hand, the insular beauty of Corsica, between land, sky and sea, austere and powerful, embodied in these polyphonic vocals in turn melancholic and festive; on the other, the refinement of the musical and poetic traditions of Persia, which dictated its magical laws to the East.

The common denominator here is certainly their early and modal form of expression, but even more it is their contemporary language that both ensembles wished to see converge. “To avoid the traps of juxtaposition (…), to go elsewhere by listening to and understanding the Other (…), to create a fresco that can be viewed as a unique work” (Kiya Tabassian): such is the goal of these exploratory artists, who share an unquestionable sense of harmony.

The musical understanding they developed over the years has here given rise to magnificently accompanied sacred and profane songs, revived lamentes and folias, as well as new co-creations. Deep and vibrant, the music seems to arise from the bowels of the earth...


Tickets for the Pacific Baroque Series concerts at the Cathedral can be purchased:



Parking Information

The Cathedral is located on Quadra Street at Rockland Avenue. 

Street parking is available on Quadra Street, Burdett Avenue, and Rockland Avenue, as well as at the south entrance to the Cathedral off Burdett.