Thursday, June 23, 2011

9th annual Festival Montréal Baroque, June 23-26


(Old Montreal, June 23rd – 26th)

The concert menu for the 9th edition of the Montreal baroque Festival is being brewed in a caldron spiced with deadly sin! Sinful composers, criminals, libertines and drunkards, as well as compositions pertaining to deadly sin will be featured in this year’s tasty stew! Take Count Carlo Gesualdo; infamous for the murder of his wife, her lover and his son or Handel and W.F. Bach both two-bottle a meal men. Then there are the libertines, J.B. Lully and J. Rosenmuller! 

Known for original programming, the Montreal Baroque Festival will open on Thursday June 23rd with “SEVEN DEADLY SINS”. A grand Montreal premiere, J-B Lully’s comedie-ballet on the theme of the seven deadly sins, the “Le ballet royal de l’impatience”, starred Louis Quatorze, in the first (and only) performance in 1661. Starring in this, the second performance, will be Montreal’s new ballet company “Les Jardins Chorégraphiques” and the Bande Montreal Baroque. 

Pride will be pushed to its limits on Friday June 24th with the world premiere of J.S. Bach’s “Brandenburg” concertos 7-12! Yes we know Brandenburgs 1-6, but Susie Napper has constructed six new concerti for the Bande Montreal Baroque, having stolen great movements from Bach’s cantatas for this concert entitled “PRIDE AND PREDUDICE”! The late-night concert on June 24th will feature the Ensemble Gesualdo (Amsterdam) in “MADRIGALS OF A MURDERER”, featuring the fabulously and excruciatingly dissonant music of Gesualdo, the serial murderer.

Saturday 25th June will feature Montreal’s Ensemble Arion celebrating its 30th birthday with a concert of Telemann and Handel, “GALA FOR GLUTTONOUS GOURMANDS: ARION'S ANNIVERSARY”. Delicacies will be served between pieces! The controversial forte-pianist, Robert Hill (Switzerland), will follow with “A DRUNKEN MELANCHOLIA” featuring the complete and fabulous Polonaises by W.F. Bach. 

The grand finale of the festival “DEADLY SIN” featuring Ensemble Caprice and Repercussion Theatre is on an unspeakable subject…….If the name of the Shakespeare play were to be mentioned, all hell would break loose! Suffice to say that music by Purcell, Blow and Eccles will accompany three witches casting a sinful spell to end the 2011 Festival in an explosion of surprises!

As well as the main concerts, the Festival will feature many intimate concerts as flavourful as ever, in unusual venues in Old Montreal, as well as free concerts in the Place Jacques-Cartier from 12h -19h on June 24th, 25th and 26th, the Grand Parade on Sunday 26th at 13h and the fabulous late-night Café concerts each evening. Conferences on Sin and the Baroque by an international roster of speakers will be presented by IPLAI during the Festival.

Creative brain-child of Montreal’s viola di gamba virtuoso Susie Napper, Montreal Baroque has been a major contributor to the city’s early music scene. It’s annual festival brings together the best musicians from here and abroad, in an event renowed for both it’s high quality, inventiveness and festive spirit. The Festival was Music Laureate of the Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal (2007) and has received many an opus prize for it’s productions and CDs. It counts over 30 co-productions with the CBC/SRC and ATMA Classic label.

Ticket prices
Grand concerts pass (6 concerts): Adults: 200$; Seniors: 170$; Students: 80$
Intimate concerts pass (10 concerts): Adults: 190$; Seniors: 140$; Students: 90$
Grand concerts : Adults: 35$; Seniors: 30$; Students: 15$
Intimate concerts: Adults: 20$; Seniors: 15$; Students: 10$
For ticket information: 514-845-7171 * 1-866-845-7171  *

Grand concerts

Thursday, June 23rd at 7 pm
Salle de la Commune, Marché Bonsecours
DEADLY SINS-Please buy your tickets at the door
Le Ballet de l'Impatience de Lully, sur un texte de Benserade
Les Jardins Chorégraphiques, dir. Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, la Bande Montréal Baroque, dir. Noam Krieger (Israël-Hollande)
Grand première of this ballet de cour since it was first performed in 1661 starring Louis XIV himself! Each of the deadly sins are portrayed in this, the first complete ballet to be produced in this city by Montreal's new baroque dance company. A feast for the ear and the eye!

Friday, June 24th at 7pm
Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours
New Brandenburg Concertos ? Yes! Discovered here in Montreal by Bruce Haynes!
Bande Montréal Baroque, dir. Eric Milnes
The other Brandenburg concertos have finally been discovered, miraculously hidden for centuries in a Montreal basement! Created from Bach cantata movements, this will be an outrageous concert that breaks all the rules. However, Bach himself would have thought it a very normal activity to steal his own music and transform it into something completely different!

Friday, June 24th at 9 pm
Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours
Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam, Alex Weimann (harpsichord)
Carlo Gesualdo, virtuoso madrigalist whose shocking harmonies still give audiences the shivers, murdered his wife and her lover in a passion of fury! The 6th book of madrigals was published in 1611, 400 years ago. The music, verdant with “word-painting”, is painfully expressive and still sounds outrageously modern to our contemporary ears.

Saturday, June 25th at 7 pm
Salle de la Commune, marché Bonsecours
Haendel & Telemann's Tafelmusik
Montreal’s Ensemble Arion celebrates its 30th birthday with a concert of gourmandizes by Telemann and the well-known glutton, G.F. Handel. On the menu: Concertos and sonatas accompanied by some culinary delicacies to die for!

Saturday, June 25th at 9 pm
Salle de la Commune, marché Bonsecours
Polonaises from Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
Robert Hill, piano-forte (Germany)
The celebrated forte-pianist presents the complete Polonaises by W.F Bach, the drunkard son of the great composer. The essence of “sturm und drang”, these gorgeous polonaises are perfect examples of the expressiveness of the dance that offered a new alternative to the old-fashioned sarabande.

Sunday, June 26th at 7 pm
Salle de la Commune, Marché Bonsecours
Closing Grand Concert
Repercussion Theatre, dir. Paul Hopkins; Musical direction, Matthias Maute; Shakespearian consultant, Paul Yachnin, Head, English Dept, McGill University.
A gory tale of pride, anger, avarice and blood! Set in a cabaret, the audience will be witness to the horrors of a story that is riddled with sin! The Bard's Play and a contemporary morality piece will be the basis for a new musical theatre piece, similar to many 17th century works made famous by such composers as Henry Purcell. Elements of music for Mac... The Scottish Play, have come to light by John Blow and John Eccles. In line with a tradition in which several composers and writers would contribute to any one production, Matthias Maute will add to the existing excerpts and construct a score to illustrate this painful classic. 

Intimate concerts

Wednesday, June 22nd at 8 pm - PRE-FESTIVAL CONCERT
Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours
Music from the reign of Louis XV
Music by Rameau & Mondonville
Ensemble Masques
Bored with court life and his Polish Queen, Maria Leszczynska, Louis XV met the love of his life, the Marquise of Pompadour, at a masqued ball in 1745. She was the King’s mistress until 1750 but remained his confidante despite the eclipse of their love affair. La Pompadour kept control of the King’s private life thereafter, by staging rendez-vous at the Parc-aux-Cerfs, between her ex-lover and various young country whenches with whom the King’s sensual life was fullfilled. La Pompadour’s position therefore remained unchallenged. However, Louis' reputation was severely compromised. The image of a foolish ageing monarch running after young ladies of dubious repute, was a burden that remained with him for ever.

Thursday, June 23rd at 9 pm
Salle de la Commune, Marché Bonsecours
LOVE'S LUST-Please buy your tickets at the door
Works by Rosenmüller
Ensemble Masques
Some of the most exquisite music from the hand of a pedophile who was banished from Germany and fled to Italy.

Friday, June 24th at 10 am
Café À propos
Musical breakfast
Mélisande McNabney, harpsichord
The prodigal daughter of a prodigious Montreal musical family returns from her studies abroad to perform music by the crochety, ill-behaved composer, Antoine Forqueray, known to his contemporaries only as the Devil!

Friday, June 24th at 2 pm
Chapelle Sacré-Coeur, Basilique Notre-Dame
Medieval Concert
Ensemble Mandragore
Each sin has its assigned devil in this concert featuring excerpts from major Medieval works (Carmina Burana, Llibre Vermell de Montserrat, Cantigas de Santa Maria, etc), punctuated by historical anecdotes.

Friday, June 24th at 4 pm
Chapelle Sacré-Coeur, Basilique Notre-Dame
SUPERBIA, Pride Comes Before a Fall
Virtuosité à la flûte à bec
Vivaldi et Matthias Maute
Flûte Alors !
The recorder is the only “baroque” instrument that survived the passage of time unscathed! Not modernized since the 17th century, it works as well for music of that era as for music of today. This concert features Montreal’s talented young ensemble Flûte Alors !

Saturday, June 25th at 10 am
Café À propos
Musical story for kids (in French)
Suzanne DeSerres, author & storyteller, ensemble La Nef
World Première of this children's story about a lazy beaver's various adventures!

Saturday, June 25th at 4 pm
Station de pompage
Works by Trabaci for viola da gamba
Les Voix humaines
Virtuoso divisions for four viols and harp by the murderer’s mate: Count Carlo Gesualdo! These consort pieces show off the brilliance of the performers, giving an idea of how Italian improvisation might have sounded. Les Voix Humaines will take on the challenge of improvising in this unique style during the performance.

Saturday, June 25th at 2 pm
Station de pompage
Hildegard von Bingen
Deus ex Machina
Hildegard von Bingen, Abbess and composer, was only five years old when she started having visions accompanied by the sounds of celestial harmonies. These visions were to inspire her future vocal compositions that describe the devils’ attempts to ensnare celestial beings or the virtues, in his web!

Saturday, June 25th at 11 am
Station de pompage
Hildegard von Bingen
Deus ex Machina
Hildegard von Bingen, Abbess and composer, was only five years old when she started having visions accompanied by the sounds of celestial harmonies. These visions were to inspire her future vocal compositions that describe the devils’ attempts to ensnare celestial beings or the virtues, in his web!

Sunday, June 26th at 7 am (Yes, 7 A.M.!!)
Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours
Lagrime di San Pietro de Lassus
Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, dir. Christopher Jackson
In 1594, the year he died, de Lassus wrote his final masterpiece, the 21 spiritual madrigals for 7 voices that constitute the Lagrime di San Pietro. In great pain, both in body and in spirit, Lassus identified with Peter, after the latter betrayed Christ, and expressed with unparalleled pathos the apostle’s repentance and hope “for the consolation and salvation of his soul.”

Sunday, June 26th at 4 pm
Banque Royale du Canada
Roman de Fauvel
La Rota
Flatterie, Avarice, Vilanie, Vanity, Envie, Lachete spell out the Royal Ass’ name! The winners of the first Montreal Baroque Rising Stars competition return from Europe with the group, Ysis, to present a medieval story of political bedlam in which an ass rules the world. 


Friday, June 24th

12h00 Duo Gossage / Pagé – recorder & harp
13h30 Ensemble Eya – Medieval duo
15h00 Duo Contracello – Cello & bass
16h30 La Sainte Barbe – Songs of Nouvelle-France
18h00 Skarazula – A trio on a voyage in time

Saturday, June 25th

12h00 Duo Gossage / Pagé – recorder & harp
13h30 Ensemble Eya – Medieval duo
15h00 Ensemble DNA – French songs of the Renaissance
16h30 Trio Tobie Miller – Hurdy-gurdy, violin & cello
18h00 Skarazula – A trio on a voyage in time

Sunday, June 26th

12h00 Orchestre Méttropolitian Quatuor - Baroque Groove
13h00 PAUSE FOR THE PARADE - Bring your instrument and join in!
14h00 La Strada – Medieval songs
15h00 Ensemble DNA – French songs of the Renaissance
16h30 La Sainte Barbe – Songs of Nouvelle-France
18h00 Trio Tobie Miller – Hurdy-gurdy, violin & cello

PARADE... followed by a free concert !

Sunday, June 26 th at 13h
Starts at Place Jacques-Cartier
In honour of she who ate the apple !
Come as the sin or devil of your choice, and bring your musical instrument, be it a recorder, a rattle or the pot you use to to make your witche's brew.
Download the PDF of the  music


Come join us each evening, after the last concert, for some good conversation between festival goers and the artists, in a warm atmosphere, with music complements of montreal’s new ensemble La Cour des Miracles, and other young up-and-coming artists.


Thusrday, June 23rd at 16h
Le Ballet de Cour, aperçu social et artistique
François Filialtrault, conseiller artistique du Festival

Friday, June 24th & Saturday, June 25th from 8h30 to 17h
International conference on Arts, Ideas, and the Baroque
Organised by IPLAI (Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas) CONFERENCE
Full schedule available at

Saturday, June 25th at 17h30
Lully’s Le Ballet de l’Impatience from 17th century ms.score to 21st century performance
Noam Krieger, director of the Montreal production of the work


Sunday, June 26th at 10h
Café À propos
Renowed harpsichordist & fortepianist, Robert Hill is Professor of Historical Keyboard Instruments, Performance Practice and Chamber Music at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany since 1990. He studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt at the Amsterdam Conservatory (Soloist Diploma 1974) & received a Ph.D. at Harvard University for his dissertation on the early keyboard music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Winner of the Erwin Bodky Award (1982), a NEA Solo Recitalist Award (1983), and the Noah Greenberg Award (1988), his more recent solo and chamber music recordings have received the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (2001), the Cannes Classical Award (1999) and the Diapason d'Or (2008).  

No comments:

Post a Comment