Classical Music: Palatial Pleasures Fit for a (French) King in Vancouver


Vancouver rarely hears all-French broadcasts and almost never hears music from the first half of the 17th century. It changes on May 6

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Early Music Vancouver presents Les Plaisirs du Louvre by Ensemble Correspondances

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When: Friday, May 6, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Chan Center for the Performing Arts, 6265 Crescent Rd.

More info, tickets:

For the first week of May, Early Music Vancouver offers a striking example of time travel through music: a program sampling the myriad musical delights of the Louvre when it was still the royal residence of Paris during the time of Louis XIII. . The music, written by a handful of court composers, is brought to life some four centuries later by the famous French group Ensemble Correspondances.

The legions of Early Music Vancouver supporters may not be particularly aware of the convoluted mix of responsibilities within the organization. Of course, EMV is at the center of the early music scene here in Vancouver and is the administrator of our preeminent early music instrumental ensemble, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra; he also does a great amount of educational outreach.

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EMV is also a producer. For decades, the events she designed and executed have made Vancouver a household name on the world’s early music scene, and her summer festivals and pre-Christmas extravaganzas are highly anticipated highlights of the classical calendar. .

A final aspect of EMV’s responsibilities is to present touring organizations of all sizes and specialties. Even before the pandemic, however, the established order that saw regular, well-subsidized tours of the cream of international artists was showing signs of shifting. The 2020-21 and 2021-22 pandemic seasons have seen disease, border restrictions and lockdowns wreak havoc with visitation. Even in January of this year, some international artists were forced to give up their dates in Vancouver.

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The visit of the Ensemble Correspondances in May is therefore an important event and a wonderful opportunity to hear how early music is made in France by the best ensembles. Founded in Lyon in 2009, the Ensemble Correspondances was formed under the direction of harpsichordist and organist Sébastien Daucé. Its musicians and singers have enhanced the reputation of the ensemble through recordings and performances in the main centers of early music.

For some reason, Vancouver rarely hears all-French broadcasts, and almost never hears music from the first half of the 17th century. This is central to the mission of Ensemble Correspondances, and examples of this rich but still underexplored repertoire will be celebrated live at Chan.

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One project that brought Daucé and his musicians international fame was the 2017 recreation of the Ballet Royal de la Nuit, a dusk-to-dawn entertainment created for the teenager Louis IV. One of the most lavish entertainments ever devised, it was divided into four parts running from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., at which time the king himself appeared triumphantly in the form of the sun god Apollo. The event was studied by researchers, but was never reassembled until Daucé came up with a performable version.

Les Plaisirs du Louvre is a sort of concert suite that mixes a handful of numbers from the show with works created for other earlier court events – from grand performances to more intimate compositions that accompanied the monarch’s midday and evening meals. . Les Plaisirs du Louvre is a mosaic of short works by, on my own, 10 composers then active in Paris.

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While a touring presentation must ignore the lavish sets and costumes – not to mention the extended running time – of the Ballet Royal, Les Plaisiers du Louvre is enticingly alluring entertainment, an opportunity to appreciate the music once the exclusive property royalty and the super elite of the 17th century, right here in 21st century Vancouver.

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