Vivaldi Winter in Qatar
In July 2019, Qatar Concert Choir released the first ever classical choral music video to be recorded, filmed, and produced in the whole of the Gulf region.
This follows their release of the audio the week before on Spotify, Apple Music, Anghami, and other major online music platforms. The piece, “Vivaldi Winter in Qatar”, is a movement from 17th century composer Vivaldi’s well-known piece, the “Four Seasons”.
Originally written for string instruments, the Qatar Concert Choir recorded French composer Franck Krawczyk’s choral arrangement of the piece. In this adaptation, human voices replace strings, blowing snow transforms into wind-swept sand, and a master-piece of Italian art finds a new home in a Qatari context.
Giovanni Pasini, the artistic director and conductor of the Qatar Concert Choir conceived the project in 2018 and worked together with a variety of Qatar-based musicians and arts professionals to produce the final musical recording and video. The music video opens with the haunting melody of the Arabic folksong ‘Lamma Bada Yatathanna’ sung by Dani Labaki, a young talent from the Qatar Music Academy. The child’s voice then gradually fades into the sounds of the choral entry. The result is the fusing of two enduring melodies from two very different cultures in a seamless soundscape.
When asked about his inspiration for this project, Pasini explained, “I wanted to create a piece of art that could portray the best of what Qatar has to offer vocally and visually, but that also demonstrates the universality of good art. That it can be lifted into a new context and form, and retain meaning and beauty for the audience.”
The accompanying video was exquisitely designed, shot and edited by Peter Bekker of Bekker Films. Bekker is the go-to expert for music video production in Qatar and is regularly put to work on a wide range of professional music and film projects. For this piece he perfectly captures the singers in settings that highlight some of Qatar’s most iconic landmarks.
The making of this music video and the finished project emphasis the unity and multi-cultural collaboration that are so much a part of the spirit of Qatar. Over the course of two months, forty singers from twenty-eight different countries, including Qatari nationals, worked together to complete the recording and video. Production often required rising well-before the first call to prayer in order to be on location for sunrise shooting. Many more hours were spent at Katara’s state-of-the-art recording studios working with multi-awarded sound engineer Matt Howe. The choir anticipates that this will be just the first of many more Qatar-based choral projects.
In the past the Qatar Concert Choir has collaborated with the Qatari composer Dana Al Fardan and the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. Currently they are the co-sponsors of a bid to host the World Symposium on Choral Music in Qatar in 2023. The World Symposium on Choral music is the largest international choral event of its kind and would bring thousands of singers from all over the world to Doha. Qatar has been shortlisted and the final selection of the host site will be announced by the International Federation of Choral Music in Lisbon at the end of the month.
Qatar Concert Choir wishes to thank the National Tourism Council, Katara Studios, Bekker Films, and the Qatar Music Academy for their support in making this project possible. The single is available on
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/qa/album/four-seasons-winter-in-f-minor-rv-297-allegro-non-molto/1473462982
And the video can be found on Youtube