Musical Delicacies

— Early Music Concert Series —

Christmas in Versailles

French music for Advent and Christmas from the time of the Sun King Louis XIV.

Friday 11 December 2015 19:30 — Mendel’s refectory, Augustinian Abbey (Mendel Museum), Mendlovo náměstí 1a, 603 00 Brno, Czech Republic Wheelchair accessible.
(The entrance is across the street from the tram stops, a narrow gateway in the whitewashed monastery wall, see map.)

Plaisirs de Musique   (on historical instruments) Barocco Sempre Giovane   (on modern instruments)
  • Vít Chudý — violin
  • Markéta Klodová — violin
  • Jakub Čepický — viola
  • Helena Matyášová — baroque cello
  • Tomáš Vybíral — double bass
Jan Čižmář — theorbo, artistic leader

Programme

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 – 1704) Veni creator spiritus
Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 – 1704) Conceptio tua Dei genitrix Virgo
(pour la Conception de la Vierge)
Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 – 1704) Noëls (pour les instruments)   (H. 534/2–4)
Ou s’en vont ces guays bergers — Joseph est bien marié — Or nous dites Marie
Sébastien de Brossard (1655 – 1730)Canticum in honorem S.ae Caecilia   (BN ms. autogr. Vn1 1258, 1704)
André Campra (1660 – 1744) Ecce quam bonum
Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 – 1704) Noëls (pour les instruments)   (H. 534/5–6)
A la venue de Noël — Une jeune pucelle
Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632 – 1687) O dulcissime Domine   (LWV 77/9)
 
Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 – 1704) Noëls pour les instruments   (H. 531/3, H. 534/1)
Vous qui desirez sans fin — Les Bourgeois de Chastre
André Campra (1660 – 1744) O dulcis amor
(pour le Saint Sacrement)
Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 – 1704) Noëls pour les instruments   (H. 531/1–2)
O Createur — Laissez paistre vos bestes
Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632 – 1687) Domine salvum fac regem   (LWV 77/14)
Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 – 1704) In nativitatem DNJC canticum   (H. 414, H. 421)

►►►  Liturgical texts.

About the programme

This festive concert brings the atmosphere of Advent and Christmas in France, in particular at the court of French King Louis XIV, the Sun King. During his reign a brisk building activity took place at Versailles, which also affected the chapel. It has gradually shifted from place to place; its fifth and last version (which in dimensions and decor far surpasses our conception of the word chapel) can be admired today.

For this grand and solemn space, the court composers wrote sacred music for various occasions such as weddings, baptisms and funerals, or festive Masses to celebrate the king’s birthday or state visits.

The most well-known piece performed in the Royal Chapel is Lully’s Te Deum from 1677, one of his “grands motets”. However, the programme for today’s concert for a chamber ensemble includes his “petits motets” as well as other compositions in the genre of French motets, written by composers of the younger generation: André Campra and Sébastien de Brossard. The latter worked in Strasbourg and wrote the cantata in today’s programme, celebrating Saint Cecilia, patroness of musicians, whose feast narrowly precedes the Advent period.

The key composer of today’s program, however, is Marc-Antoine Charpentier, who at the time remained in the shadow of Lully and even now is not as famous as his many-faceted, comprehensive and ingenious œuvre would deserve. In our programme you will hear a tailor-made pastiche of his pastoral oratorio In nativitatem Nostri Domini Jesu Christi canticum based on the version from 1684, but with the intermediate chorus of shepherds from the 1698 version (for fewer parts).

The centre of today’s programme is his orchestral arrangements of carols, which still are popular today and also served as material for what probably is his most famous mass, the Messe de Noël.


Dora Pavlíková

The soprano Dora Pavlíková received her first musical education in the Bambini di Praga children’s choir. After studying singing at the Jan Deyl Conservatory in Prague, she continued her studies at the Conservatory in Pardubice under the guidance of Prof. Daniela Šimůnková-Štěpánová. In 2012 Dora Pavlíková completed her studies at the University of Music in Nuremberg with Prof. Dr. Jan Hammar. She also took vocal classes with renowned singers and teachers such as Brigitte Fassbaender, Margaret Baker-Genovesi, Elisabeth Scholl, Andrej Kucharský, Rudolf Jansen and Rudolf Piernaye. In addition to classical opera and concert repertoire, Dora Pavlíková focuses mainly on the interpretation of Baroque compositions and performs as a soloist with many leading early music ensembles: Ensemble Inégal, Musica Florea, Neue Hofkapelle München and Collegium 1704.

Pavlikova participated already during her studies in many concerts, radio recordings and opera productions. Beyond this, she devoted herself to concert performances, which among other places took her to Austria, Belgium, Japan and France. In spring 2007 Dora Pavlíková sang the title role in Reinhard Keiser’s Baroque opera “Fredegunda” directed by Christoph Hammer in the Prinzregententheater in Munich. It was enthusiastically received, not only by the audience but also by the reviewers; the renowned magazine Opernwelt nominated her “Nachwuchskünstler des Jahres”.

Markéta Cukrová

The mezzo-soprano Markéta Cukrová is one of the most popular Czech singers in the field of early music. She appears with many ensembles that perform music of the Middle Ages (Mala Punica/Italy, Club Mediéval/Belgium) and of the Baroque (Les Muffatti, Collegium Marianum, Collegium Vocale Ghent, Collegium 1704, Musica Florea, Musaicum, Ensemble Inégal), and works together with many prominent musicians (e. g., Philippe Herreweghe, Jakub Hrůša, Jana Semerádová, Václav Luks, Jiří Bělohlávek, Peter von Heyghen, Pedro Memmelsdorf, Sigrid T’Hooft, Andrew Parrott).

Markéta appeared as soloist at many festivals (Musikverein Wien, Prague Spring, Dresden Festspiele, Resonanzen Wien, Miami Tropical Baroque, Laus Polyphoniae, Utrecht Festival Oude Muziek, Biennale Alte Musik Berlin, Festival de la Chaise-Dieu) as well as on more than twenty recordings of early and later music.

Markéta had guest performances at the National Theatres in Košice, Brno and Prague, where she appeared in Claudio Monteverdi’s opera Orfeo (Euridice) under the baton of Roberto Gini, in Georg Friedrich Händel’s opera Rinaldo (Eustazio) under Václav Luks, and in Bohuslav Martinů’s The Miracles of Mary under the direction of Jiří Bělohlávek.

Jean-Sébastien Beauvais

Jean-Sébastien Beauvais started singing as a boy soprano in the Childrens’ Choir of the Cathedral of Monaco. He is a graduate from the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles and holds a Masters in Classical Singing from Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Valerie Guillorit and Claron Mac Fadden, and from the Dutch National Opera Academy, directed by Alexander Oliver.

Singer, organist and conductor, his vocal repertoire extends from Baroque oratorio and opera to Contemporary music. He performs in prestigious venues such as Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Theatre des Champs Elysée (Paris), Toulouse les Orgues (France), Utrecht’s Early Music festival (The Netherlands). He is frequently invited to perform as a guest soloist with international ensembles and orchestras including the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra (Aapo Häkkinen), The Netherlands Bach Society (Jos van Veldhoven), Opera Fuoco (David Stern), Currende (Paul van Nevel), Le Concert Spirituel (Hervé Niquet), le Poême Harmonique (Vincent Dumestre) and Esmera Duo with the Latvian organist Una Cintina specialized in New Music.

He is conductor of the Uranie Chamber Ensemble – La chambre d’Uranie specialized in French and German early music repertoire, and music director of the London-based company Opera in Space.

Plaisirs de Musique

Plaisirs de Musique is an ensemble that specializes in authentic performance of music from older periods on period instruments. Under the artistic direction of Jan Čižmář it interprets music from the 15th to the 19th century. Its members are leading European professional musicians specializing in early music. Projects which the ensemble performs are partly purely musical, but they also include cooperation on realisations of opera, recitals with singers, actors and dancers.

Barocco Sempre Giovane

Barocco sempre giovane (Baroque forever young) is a chamber ensemble composed of young professional musicians. It specializes in the interpretation of works of the High Baroque, but does not evade other stylistic periods. The ensemble was founded in 2014 by Josef Krečmer, who currently is its leader; concertmaster is the violinist Iva Kramperová. The ensemble organises since 2005 its own series of subscription concerts in its hometown Pardubice.

Foto: Jan Čižmář

Jan Čižmář

Jan Čižmář is a versatile performer focusing on historical plucked instruments. He performs regularly in Europe, Asia and the USA with ensembles such as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Capella Cracoviensis, and under conductors such as Frans Brüggen, Christopher Hogwood, Giovanni Antonini, Yannick Nézet–Séguin and Christina Pluhar. He appears also as soloist with of baroque and renaissance repertoire.

After graduation in guitar and musicology in his native Brno he studied at the Royal College of Music in London, where he began playing the lute in the class of Jakob Lindberg. He continued his studies at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague with the teachers Nigel North, Joachim Held, Mike Fentross and Christina Pluhar.

He was the founder and editor of the Czech guitar magazine Kytara and contributes regularly to other musical periodicals. He is also intensely involved with publishing and research activities in the field of early music.

Jan Čižmář taught lute and related instruments at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice in Poland; currently he is teaching at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno and at the Academy of Ancient Music at Masaryk University in Brno. He regularly gives courses and masterclasses in Europe and overseas.


Thank you

The concert takes place with financial support from the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Statutory City of Brno.

Logo of Ministry of Culture Logo Statutárního města Brna