LANDWEHR Orchestra is a name etched in the history of Switzerland since Napoleon Bonaparte’s reign. Originally known as ‘Corps franc’ it was founded in 1804 for accompanying the military contingents under Napoleon’s Act of Meditation. With the changing times, Landwehr Orchestra too has evolved and now performs only for promoting music. Having traveled and played in more than 28 cities and countries across the world, October 2018 marked their first series of performance in India.
The performance of Landwehr orchestra at Hotel Clarks Amer was done to celebrate the 70 years of Indo-Swiss Friendship treaty and the 70th foundation year of Clarks Group of Hotels. This concert was attended by prominent dignitaries of Jaipur and the President of the State of Freiburg – Georges Godel.
Hotel Clarks Amer is one of the first five-star hotels in Jaipur. This being said the hotel also resonates a strong inclination of its patrons towards arts. So Clarks Amer Hotel regularly hosts and organizes art events, animal welfare summits, and music festivals. The performance by Landwehr orchestra was one of the hotel’s most culturally refined presentations indeed.
The orchestra performance began with four-five festive invigorating music pieces belonging to places near and in Switzerland. These music pieces enabled the orchestra to perform with all of the different musical instruments brought along with the troupe. Some pieces were led by one set of musical instruments while others supported impeccably.
To synchronize Swiss and Indian cultural aspects & to make the concert more engaging there was an Indian influenced music piece specially composed by the orchestra troupe conductor Benedikt Hayoz. The music piece named ‘Impressions of India’ had the melody of the wind orchestra, intertwined with the Indian music tradition & Kathak dance performance by Gauri Priscilla Brulhart.
The dancer herself a Swiss native had learned Kathak during her few years of stay in India. The music piece began with a Qawwali which was the introduction of Gauri on the stage. Further proceeding to her showing some traditional sequences of Kathak with a classical recital. Post which there was a brief solo act of the dancer. She danced a Gat–Nikas depicting the chaal (walk) & peacock symbolizing the beautiful meeting and friendship between Switzerland and India.
The final part of Gauri’s performance had the audience enamored as it was a jugalbandi act with Landwehr Orchestra before finally culminating in the form of a Tihai.
The enchanting music environment within the performance hall further was delighted when worldwide acclaimed soundtracks like ‘Jai Ho’ composed by A.R. Rahman and ‘Aaj ki Raat’ from the movie Slumdog Millionaire were performed by Landwehr Orchestra. The hall was filled with admiration & applause after this bunch of performance.
In the final sequence, Landwehr Orchestra played the legendary March of the Swiss Soldiers to end the concert over a laudatory, happy note.
‘DID YOU KNOW’ about Landwehr Orchestra:
- Formed in 1804, the orchestra has risen like a phoenix several times in different eras & with changing names before finally setting its mark in the whole world with the name Landwehr Orchestra.
- Fribourg is a capital city in western Switzerland. The orchestra hails from this city.
- There are 40% women in the troupe, that’s some good gender equality!
- The members of this group have different mainline professions. Playing as a part of the orchestra is sheer an act of passion for music.
- Landwehr has a music school as well in Fribourg.
- They have played for Pope John Paul II, the musicians of Guardia degli Carabineri & the Pontifical Swiss Guard.
- They were the first international musical corps to participate in the Colombus Day Parade on New York’s Fifth Avenue.