Eugénie Lefebvre Soprano
Clément Debieuvre Haute-contre
Sébastian Monti Tenor
David Witczak Baritone
Les Folies Françoises (conductor Patrick Cöhen-Akenine)
Les Pages et les Chantres du Centre de musique baroque de Versailles
Fabien Armengaud Conductor
Nicolas Bucher Organ
Jean Gilles, born in Tarascon in 1688, and chapel master at Toulouse cathedral from 1697, left an ensemble of exceptionally fine religious works. Acknowledged throughout the kingdom as a leading composer, he died too young, aged only thirty-seven to have a real career. He did, however, leave a unanimously admired masterpiece: his Requiem, performed after his death more than fifteen times at the Concert Spirituel in Paris.
This Mass for the Dead was the most famous French requiem and performed throughout the eighteenth century. The original version, completed in 1705, was played for the funerals of Gilles himself (1705), André Campra (1744), Pancrace Royer (1756), Jean-Philippe Rameau (1764), the King of Poland and Duke of Lorraine Stanisław Leszczyński (1766) and Louis XV. Sources from the early 18th century tell us that its composition was the result of a private funeral commission in Toulouse. Apparently, there was no discussion of money between the composer and his patrons, and when the time came for Gilles to be paid for his work, he argued that in view of the quality of his contribution, the compensation offered was unflattering. So, he refused the payment and took back his Mass for the Dead, saying that, in the circumstances, he preferred it to be used only for his own funeral. And this is exactly what happened: "for this purpose he sealed his score with his will in which he asked the Chapter to have this mass sung for the repose of his soul". For our great pleasure, Fabien Armengaud and his ensemble from the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles perform this masterpiece again...
This programme will be recorded on CD for the Château de Versailles Spectacles label
Co-direction Château de Versailles Spectacles, Centre de musique baroque de Versailles
Coproduction Centre de musique baroque de Versailles, Les Folies Françoises
Scores produced by the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles
Royal ChapelMore info
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PRESTIGE CATEGORY : Excellent seats with complimentary glass of champagne and programme.
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