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XX° édition du cycle de concerts des "Chants Sacrés en Méditerranée"

Photos : Sébastien Cugnez, Marc Heller


BARLES (04) le 30/07/11


Awaranda: they sang for Jean-Luc Popelin
In: The Saône-et-Loire Paper

A Cappella Occitan Singing

Polyphonies (airs sang with two or more independent melodic voices), it seems, help create strong bounds between groups of good friends. Marombrina demonstrates this in an obvious way, sealing the friendship of four young women around Occitan singing. Pure and clear, devoid of any ostentation, their CD without being monotonous in the least, has a few gems to offer. A great deal of meticulous research was carried out into various repertoires; some strikingly beautiful songs from the 19th century compilations put together by Damase Arbaud are to be found here, along with a couple of songs from Nice and Piedmont, some songs from the Vésubie Valley, some Christmas Carols from Provence, some more recent creations and even a few reinterpretations originating from the collection of the Sound Atlas of the CMTRA (Centre for Traditional Music in the Rhône-Alpes region)! Lyrics and translation (into French), in the enclosed booklet.

CMTRA Website

‘Bravo' from ‘Trad Mag'

Things are happening in the South-East of France! After the excellent album of Occitan polyphonies by La mal coiffée (see TM 117), here comes another gem, quite different from the previous one, but just as superb. This female quartet, made up of Danielle Franzin, Patricia Jouve, Danièle Collombon and Sylvie Aligro performs over a dozen polyphonic pieces brilliantly, in clear, rich tones. Inside the album, one will find a few nicely reinterpreted classics such as ‘Fanfarneta' (la Pernette), ‘Lo carbonier', or ‘Lo long de la ribiera' and other songs from the Damase Arbaud collection, as well as several quite sophisticated polyphonies, two of which are written by S. Aligro. A wonderful first CD, both generous and colourful; let's wish them a long career and many more albums...

François Saddi
see: http://www.tradmagazine.com/ current issue / chronique disques (CD review)

Interviewed on April 7th 2008 by the radio station ‘Here and Now'
'Provençal Singers'

As many as half of the world's 6,5000 languages are at risk of becoming extinct. But in southern France a singing group is trying to keep one of the dying languages alive. Rene Gutel profiles Marombrina, four women who sing in the Middle Ages tongue known as Provençal.
Listen to the program:
Or on the ‘Here and Now' website:

Thumbs up for the CD ‘Marombrina'

Now I want to talk to those who will never forget for as long as they live the most memorable day when they listened to ‘Cançons dei Festas Provençalas' by the very good band Bachas-Mont-Jòia, or Jean-Marie Carlotti singing alone, at nightfall, in Vence, his ‘Barcatièra de Rosa' for the first time. That was in the 1980s.
Remember what you felt... and the number of times you listened to that record (my wife thought that I had developed an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, as I kept repeating the same gesture to position the needle on the same song of the vinyl record!)?
Beauty isn't sad, it is moving. At the time many were in need of a handkerchief! Personally, I used a whole pack!
Let's journey further back through time, to the 1990s, when Courro de Berra first appeared and released the song ‘Li Santi Mario' (Mistral – Patrice Conte), to name but one. Need another tissue?
But, you might say, why recall such nice memories?

Well, if you want to re-experience the same thing and at the same time something new – with or without a tissue! – listen immediately to the CD ‘Marombrina' by Danielle Franzin, Patricia Jouve, Danièle Collombon and Sylvie Aligro.

The repertoire is made up of both traditional and new songs. They don't forget to thank friends, artists, the I.E.O. – C.R.E.O. (Translator's note: I.E.O. Institute for Occitan studies – C.R.E.O. Regional Centre for the teaching of the Occitan Language) for their help. It is truly a masterpiece owing to the technical quality of the recording in Saint-Sauveur Church, Peillon and to the beauty of the four voices. Each has its own colour and sings its ‘part' alone or in chorus, with sensitivity to the songs' unfolding story.
Lastly, I can't resist the pleasure of transcribing freely the presentation of the CD cover.
‘Marombrina is the conjunction of four voices in perfect harmony, the coming together of four women who share the same taste for “a cappella” singing in Provençal, with personal arrangements conveying in turn strength, softness and a beautiful, sweet, melancholy.
‘Marombrina', or the ever changing reflection of light on water. Music is akin to that playful dance; it enchants time itself like a ‘Marombrina'.

Nice-Matin Grasse - Resson d'aqui - 17 février 2008 - Gilbert Combe


The Entertaiment Arts in Provence – The Alps – The French Riviera

The band Marombrina was created on the initiative of Danielle Franzin, in March 2000. It is the the result of her encounter with three other women, Sylvie Aligro, Danièle Collombon and Patricia Hoareau (née Jouve) who have been singing in the language of their origins for a long time: Provençal, a language tinged with the accents of the Ardèche, the Drôme, the Upper Var and the Nice region.
In Provençal, Marombrina means light playing on a polished surface, reflection of the sun on a mirror with which one plays. This is indeed their intention: play with their well-matched voices, but also reflect the memory of the region through their songs, drawn from Damase Arbaud's repertoire, but also broadened to encompass Catalonia, Piedmont and the Occitan-speaking valleys of Italy.
It is an encounter between women whose bond shows in the pleasure they take in singing together. They are quite simply making magic.

Arcade Website

Between Mountain and Sea

A promotional double CD of twenty traditional music ensembles from the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region (translator's note: this region encompasses Provence, the French Riviera and the Southern Alps), produced by the Traditional Music and Dance Mission of the Arcade.

A choice which puts the emphasis on the current creativity and vitality enjoyed by traditional music, both vocal and instrumental.

A musical reflection of the region's cultural diversity, from the fusion music of Marseille to the Occitan singers of the Upper Provence and the Nice region, from the compositions for tambourine (translator's note: small drum used in Provençal folk music), to the dance music of the Alpine violin players, from the traditions of the Carnival to the ‘new' traditional music...

Sunday the 30th, in Correns: Les Joutes musicales (translator's note: musical jousts or contests)

Another choice moment was MAROMBRINA's concert, where the four voices in harmony, always give you the shivers. But also the discovery of Nena Venetsanou, a Greek singer with a magnificent voice!...

- See page ‘Marombrina'

La Clau. June 2004

‘Marombrina': A Heritage Maintained by Women

They have really touched hearts, these four women carrying out remarkable work for the conservation and promotion of the Occitan musical heritage!

The female voice quartet Marombrina, which was performing at the church of the old village in St-Laurent, triggered a very positive response from the audience. The church was crammed with connoisseurs, noteworthy for a Sunday afternoon. These singers have thus rekindled buried memories, through the depth of their singing. Songs which have crossed centuries, bringing together the many people who share that culture!

They talk about women, but also about joys, sorrows, about the day to day life of the shepherds who often provide the subject matter for these songs. Hearing these songs is akin to turning the pages of a story book, from Piedmont, the Ardèche, also including several Occitan Christmas Carols, wedding songs from which a sound of hurdy-gurdy rises.

History is also present in the shape of a hymn to freedom written by Clauzel following the Commune (translator's note: the Commune of Paris in the 19th century). Beautiful harmonies rise and the band and audience become as one. The spectators don't need any persuading to sing along with the encore. The applause, bringing on a second encore provides ample evidence of the pleasure and the interest generated by Marombrina, who will soon release an album on a subscription basis.

Nice-Matin. Tuesday, March, 9th 2004

Marombrina: Polyphonies of Christmas Carols from the French Occitan Country

In all Christmas carols from Provence, the common people go towards the child Jesus without fear, leaving everything behind them on the call of the angel.

Yesterday, singing a cappella, the band Marombrina offered a selection from this repertoire
Sylvie Aligro, Patricia Jouve-Hoareau, Danièle Collombon blend their voices around Danielle Franzin, awakening and transmitting the musical heritage of the Occitan country.

We had already appreciated them at the Brusc in Septembre. In the Palais des congrès, yesterday, they performed carols from Notre-Dame des Doms, from the Ardèche, from Southern Catalonia, from Nice or from St-Martin Vésubie. The ‘Nouvé Grassenc', closed the performance. Warmly recalled for an encore, the four singers ended their show with the ‘Pastourela'.

Nice-Matin. Monday, December 15th 2003

Alpine Feasts

On Saturday, October 6th last, the museum of the Dauphiné region housed an event organised in partnership with the ‘38e Rugissants' Festival, marking the release of the 13th issue of ‘l'Alpes' dedicated to music and ‘soundscapes' from the Alps...
Inside the baroque chapel, the four sweet ladies making up Marombrina brought a tear to the heart.

l'Alpe n° 14

Carros, ‘The Nights of the Villa': a Good Vintage

‘Our “Nights of the Villa” (“Les Nuits de la Villa”), have become established in the footsteps of Vence's “Nuits du Sud”, with a well chosen musical programme from the Mediterranean world, with Latin melodies, but also largely devoted to the discovery of numerous new talents, like Souad Massi, amid bill toppers such as ‘Trio Esperança'.
The first evening, Marombrina casts a spell on us with its Occitan, Piedmontese, Provençal or Niçois songs. Danielle, Sylvie, Patricia and Danièle enchant us as they talk about love in their ‘a cappella' polyphonies, both rich and subtle...'

Carros infos - September 2001

Carros, ‘The Nights of the Villa': Tradition takes pride of place
‘From 9pm onwards, the four “a cappella' singers of Marombrina held the audience spellbound by means of their Provençal, Niçois and Piedmontese songs, both religious and secular, melancholic or mischievous. Marombrina is a Provençal word which translates as a light playing on a polished surface, or more specifically on water. And this name gives quite a good image of these four voices, so different and yet so complementary. Professional or non-professional, Patricia, Sylvie, Danièle and Danielle have been singing for a very long time and share a common passion for the songs of their region. Feminine rather than feminist, they give voice to women of the past, whose love stories, hopes, tragedies, they sing... The reasons for their cultural choice became clear last Saturday night, during a show carried off with great style. One thing is certain, come September the regional language classes will be in great demand'.
Nice-Matin - Wednesday, July 11th, 2001

Ten years of provincial festival in Cruis

‘... To get to the superb tribute to Damase Arbaud, enveloped in a couple of Niçois and Piedmontese songs full of Mediterranean refinement, inside a packed church.

La Provence - Sunday, June 24th, 2001

April-May-June 2001 in Contes

‘The quartet Marombrina on stage at the Maison pour tous (translator's note: a type of institution which promotes culture though exhibitions and classes and is open to everybody).
On the initiative of the association Espace Art et culture headed by Françoise Barraquier, eighty people gathered in the Maison pour tous in Contes on Saturday; May 26th, to listen to and enjoy the quartet of female voices ‘MAROMBRINA'.
The four melodious voices of Sylvie Aligro, Danièle Collombon, Patricia Hoareau and Danielle Franzin performed Provençal, Niçois and Piedmontese songs ‘a cappella'.
A superb evening, wining over the audience of Contes, who kept applauding and demanding encores'.

La lettre du Paillon - June 2001

24th Occitan Summer School

We should also mention the most important shows such as the performance of the female quartet Marombrina on the first day. They sing ‘a cappella' with voices of exceptional quality.

Revista OCCITANS ! - September 2000

Hope under the Sun

‘It is true to say that this year the summer offered us a few small miracles regarding a culture some would like to see dead...
[...] Lastly, I'll finish with ‘MAROMBRINA', four female voices: Sylvie Aligro, Danièle Collombon, Patricia Hoareau, Danielle Franzin. Four voices, singing women's songs for the most part, which often give you the shivers... Well worth discovering! Something which will fill you with enough zest to last until next summer! Don't miss it, should you get the chance to see them!

PAM. La Clau - September 2000