Founded a decade ago in Lyon by the organist and harpsichordist Sébastien Daucé, this ensemble of specialist vocalists and instrumentalists is passionate about rediscovering musical forms and composers now almost forgotten.
Ensemble Correspondances are simply unrivalled in this repertoire and bring their spine-tingling talents to Brighton Festival for the first time, Sébastien had a chat with us to tell us more…
Firstly, can you introduce us to your show and tell us what it is about?
This concert recreates life in the salons of Louis XIII’s court with vocal music reflecting themes of night, love and poetry. The first gentleman of France, Louis XIII was a great dancer, musician and even composer; music certainly was one of his main interests – probably before politics!
The French court during his reign reflected his desire for a flourishing artistic life in the salons. He surrounded himself with the greatest artists of the time to compose and play music for his evenings. This programme reveals pieces about love, night and mysteries of passion: typical themes for the poetic airs de cour that we could have heard at the end of the winter at the Louvre court, or in the intimacy of the salons to create small and intimate ceremonies whose intensity and passion remained a blazing fire burning through the night…
Why would someone come and see your show?
This concert is a unique opportunity to dive into the musical life of the 17th century and the close circle of musicians around King Louis XIII. The audience will be able to discover what he liked to hear in the privacy of his Chamber; confidential music by Boësset, Moulinié, Couperin for polyphonic voices, delicate lute and languorous gambas.
Where did the idea and inspiration come from?
The music featured in this programme has hardly been explored or played since its creation and it is absolutely full of musical treasures. When we talk about Louis XIII, we usually think of the Louvre and the court, but a lot of the music of this era is very mysterious to us, and that is what I wanted to explore here.
What sort of person is going to love this show?
This concert will be ravished by curious people who would like to hear music they have never been able to experience before, like some kind of ancient poetry magnified by a small-scale ensemble of musicians.
What will surprise people about this show?
I think that people will come to the show without knowing any of the pieces announced in the programme but this music is so powerful and intense that they will definitely leave the concert humming the airs that they have just discovered!
If you're as intrigued as we are to hear this once-in-a-lifetime performance, discover more about Ensemble Correspondances.