Baroque music for India

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Festival of France

This is an invitation to a voyage to the court of Versailles. This performance stages two heroic and opposing mythical personalities under the torment of love. The states of mind of the queen Didon (first her confusion and her pain, then her desire for vengeance and finally her renunciation) must be seen in the light of the narrative of Orpheus who leaves for the kingdom of the dead to look for Eurydice and succeeds in charming the inflexible God of the Underworld Pluto. The study of emotion is at the heart of baroque art and this piece enables one to rediscover the dramatic power of contrasts – the inseparable duo of light and darkness conceived like a sort of a tragedy – as Philippe Beaussant puts it. All the composers of this piece contributed to the renewal of French music and performed important functions at the court of Versailles. Lully, creator of the French tragedy was Louis XIV’s favourites and Marin Marais, a recognised gamba player. During the period of the Regency and under the reign of Louis XV, Campra and Clérambault performed diverse roles and became inescapable figures of the musical life of the first half of the 18th century.

Ensemble Amarillis - Annabelle LUIS

Ensemble Amarillis - Annabelle LUIS

Baroque music is a style of Western music tracing back to a period between 1600 to 1750 and forms an important part of the western classical music canon, being widely studied, performed, and listened to. Baroque music is tuneful and very organized; melodies tend to be highly elaborated. Conflict and contrast between sections in a piece and between instruments are common, and the music can be quite dramatic.

Amarillis, is a musical ensemble and currently one of the most original baroque orchestras in Europe. Founded in 1994 and led by its artistic director, Héloïse Gaillard and the harpsichordist Violaine Cochard, Amarillis was soon distinguished by its acoustic exploration, its high instrumental technique and the enthusiastic response of audiences. The Ensemble’s twelve-CD discography has been praised by critics both in France and internationally. The group, counselled by Pierre Hantaï, Christophe Rousset and Christophe Coin, has won several international competitions. According to the requirements of the repertoire, the basic nucleus is joined by musicians of recognised talent. Amarillis works regularly with the finest singers of the younger generation, including Patricia Petibon, Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Chantal Santon, Valérie Gabail, Robert Getchell, Arnaud Marzorati, Emiliano Gonzalez-Toro. Internationally renowned, Amarillis performs frequently in France, England, Holland, Spain, Germany, Latin America, Canada, and Senegal besides being showcased on Radio France Musique, Radio Classique, BBC, Mezzo and Arte.

Amarillis is supported by the French Ministry of Cultur, the DRAC Pays de la Loire, the Country Pays de la Loire and the town of Angers. The Ensemble It belongs to the Fédération des Ensembles Vocaux et Instrumentaux Spécialisés (FEVIS).

The India tour will comprise of the following musicians –

1. Maïlys de Villoutreys / soprano
2. Héloïse Gaillard / Recorder
3. Alice Piérot / Violin
4. Violaine Cochard / Harpsichord
5. Annabelle Luis / Cello

Ensemble Amarillis

Ensemble Amarillis

Amarillis also chooses to devote itself to instrumental chamber music for the pleasure of the encounters and marriages between the tones of wind instruments, strings, and harpsichord or organ.
The ensemble explores the diverse repertoires of European Baroque music. They enjoy playing homage to certain French composers of the Regency period, little known to the wider public, such as Philidor, Hotteterre and Barrière, as much as recording a CD devoted to Vivaldi’s famous concert concertos. The ensemble has won three international First Prizes: in 1995, at the York Early Music Festival, in England; First Prize in the Ensemble Music Competition organized by the French federation FNAPEC in April 1997, and both the First Prize and Audience Prize at the Sinfonia competition chaired by Gustav Leonhardt in September 1997. In 1999, Amarillis received an ADAMI “Classical Revelations” award.

Especially flown from France for the concert is a harpsichord. Rarely seen in India, this musical instrument, probably invented in the late Middle Ages, is played by means of a keyboard and produces sound by plucking a string when a key is pressed. During the late 18th century it gradually disappeared from the musical scene with the rise of the fortepiano. But in the 20th century it made resurgence, used in historically informed performance of older music, in new (contemporary) compositions, and in popular culture. The great bulk of the standard repertoire for the harpsichord was written during its first historical flowering, the Renaissance and Baroque eras.

Discipline: Baroque music
Cities: Jaipur, Mumbai, Bhopal, Kolkata
Dates: From 19 to 26 March

Bhopal: 21 March, 2013 – 19:00
Venue: Ravindra Bhavan
Jaipur: 19 March, 2013 – 19:00
Venue: City Palace
Kolkata: 23 March, 2013 – 18:30
Venue: Victoria Memorial Hall (VMH)
Mumbai: 26 March, 2013 – 19:00
Venue: Experimental Theatre, National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA)
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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...