Azahar
La Tempête, Simon-Pierre Bestion






alpha 261

2016








ALFONSO X el SABIO (1221-1284)
Cantigas de Santa Maria
1. Santa Maria, strella do dia  [2:13]   CSM 100

GUILLAUME de MACHAUT (c. 1300-1377)
Messe de Notre-Dame (1360-1365). Messe à quatre voix
2. Kyrie  [4:54]

IGOR STRAVINSKY (c. 1882-1971)
Messe (1948). Messe pour chœur mixte et double quintette à vents
3. Kyrie  [3:00]
4. Gloria  [3:56]

5. Gloria  [5:51]

6. Credo  [4:12]

7. Sanctus  [4:37]

8. Sanctus  [3:47]
9. Agnus  [3:43]

10. Ite missa est  [2:57]

11. Quenas sas figuras da Virgen partir  [2:06]   CSM 76

MAURICE OHANA (1913-1992)
Cantigas (1954), pour solistes, chœur mixte et orchestre
12. Cantiga de los Reyes Magos  [5:53]

13. Quen na Virgen groriosa  [3:38]   CSM 256

14. Cantiga del Destierro  [7:11]

15. Tod aquel que pola Virgen  [1:50]   CSM 212

16. Cantiga de Vela  [3:50]
17. Cantiga del Azahar  [5:32]

18. Rosa das rosas  [4:00]   CSM 10

19. Cantiga de la Noche Santa  [3:26]

20. Santa Maria, strela do dia  [1:49]   CSM 100

21. Cantiga del Nacimiento  [3:50]










CLAIRE LEFILLIÂTRE — SOPRANO
ANNA REINHOLD — MEZZO-SOPRANO
FRANCISCO MANALICH — TÉNOR
LISANDRO ABADIE — BARYTON-BASSE

LA TEMPÊTE
SIMON-PIERRE BESTION
DIRECTION

· ANNABELLE BAYET, ELLEN GIACONE, ANAËL BEN SOUSSAN, HÉLÈNE RICHER, EVELYN VERGARA,
ALICE KAMENEZKY3 & 4, MARION THOMAS, CÉCILE DUROUSSAUD — SOPRANOS
· CÉLIA STROOM, LAURA MALVAROSA, WILLIAM SHELTON5, EUGÉNIE DE MEY2, 3, 4, 6 & 8,
LAURE ILEF, MATHILDE GATOUILLAT — ALTOS
· RICHARD GOLIAN, SAMUEL ROUFFY, OLIVIER RAULT, JOËL ROESSEL, HUGO TRANCHANT,
RENE RAMOS-PREMIER1, 2, 4 & 7TÉNORS
· EUDES PEYRE, NICOLAS JOSSERAND, FLORENT MARTIN1 & 4, ARTHUR CADY,
JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BRIZARD4 & 5BASSES

· LAURA DUTHUILLÉ, NATHALIE PETIBON — HAUTBOIS & HAUTBOIS D’AMOUR ANCIENS
· CHRISTOPHER PALAMETA — TAILLE DE HAUTBOIS ANCIEN
· BOGDAN SYDORENKO — CLARINETTES
· KRZYSZTOF LEWANDOWSKI, LUCILE TESSIER — BASSONS ANCIENS, CERVELAS, CHALEMIE
· ADRIEN MABIRE, BENOÎT TAINTURIER — CORNETS À BOUQUINS ET CORNETS MUETS
· LAURENT MADEUF, ALEXIS LAHENS — SACQUEBOUTES TÉNORS
· ABEL ROHRBACH — SACQUEBOUTE BASSE
· MICHÈLE CLAUDE, GUY-LOUP BOISNEAU, WILLIAM MÈGE — PERCUSSIONS
· JONAS ATLAN — PIANO

SOLISTE: 1 KYRIE – 2 GLORIA – 3 SANCTUS – 4 ITE MISSA EST (MACHAUT)
5 QUEN NA VIRGEN GRORIOSA – 6 ROSA DAS ROSAS – 7 CANTIGA DEL NACIMIENTO
8 INTONATIONS DU PLAIN-CHANT GRÉGORIEN



RECORDED FROM 6 TO 9 MARCH 2016 AT ÉGLISE NOTRE DAME DU LIBAN (PARIS)
KEN YOSHIDA / RECORDING PRODUCER
FRÉDÉRIC BRIANT / SOUND ENGINEER & MIXING
NICOLAS DAVID / MASTERING

JOHN THORNLEY / ENGLISH TRANSLATION
SILVIA BERUTTI-RONELT / GERMAN TRANSLATION
LISANDRO ABADIE / FRENCH TRANSLATION (CANTIGAS DE SANTA MARIA & MAURICE OHANA’s CANTIGAS)
OR KATZ / COVER DESIGN
VALÉRIE LAGARDE & ALINE LUGAND-GRIS SOURIS / DESIGN & ARTWORK
HUBERT CALDAGUÈS / PHOTOS

CANTIGAS DE MAURICE OHANA © 1975 BY GÉRARD BILLAUDOT ÉDITEUR SA

ALPHA CLASSICS
DIDIER MARTIN / DIRECTOR
LOUISE BUREL / PRODUCTION
AMÉLIE BOCCON-GIBOD / EDITORIAL COORDINATOR

La Tempête est acompagnée , depuis 2013, par la Fondation Orange et depuis 2015 par Mécénat Musical Société Générale.
Elle reçoit également le soutien du ministère de la culture (Drac Nouvele-Aquitaine ), de la région Nouvele-Aquitaine , du département de la Corèze et de la vile de Brive-la-Gailarde.
La Compagnie est en résidence au Colège des Bernardins à Paris. Elle est membre de la fédération des ensembles vocaux et instrumentau x spécialisés (Fevis).

ALPHA 261 ℗: LA TEMPÊTE & ALPHA CLASSICS / OUTHERE MUSIC FRANCE 2016
© ALPHA CLASSICS / OUTHERE MUSIC FRANCE 2016











‘My vocal writing is an attempt to liberate the voice, in the sense of a reunion with its primitive state, as embodied in the music of Africa, flamenco song, and certain kinds of music from Central Europe. […] In my opinion the voice holds the key to everything that is going to be happening in music right now, because it can access all the areas of sound – and it is sound that leads us on to new musical adventures.’

‘King Alfonso the Wise was a warrior, a legislator, a poet and a musician (…) He undertook an enormous amount of work, not only of compilation, but of composition: his works are a kind of hymn, with essentially Marian poetic texts. (…) They are influenced by the troubadors, the trouvères, and Gregorian chant, (…) but there are also some really uncanny coincidental resemblances with composers such as Bartók, I would go still further and say with the melodies of contemporary songwriters such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.’

‘The Cantigas occupy such a crucial position in my work that it is difficult for me to talk about them: they touch so closely on secrets that are buried, or that I don’t wish to divulge.’

Maurice Ohana1


1 Édith Canat de Chizy, François Porcile: Maurice Ohana, Fayard, 2005





‘I LIKE THE IDEA OF DISORIENTATING THE LISTENER
BETWEEN DIFFERENT HISTORICAL PERIODS’

SIMON-PIERRE BESTION


This programme interweaves the polyphony of Machaut with the poetry of the Spanish cantigas and the century of Stravinsky and Ohana. What is the underlying structure of this tangled web?

SIMON-PIERRE BESTION: Medieval music is the original inspiration of this programme. It influenced Stravinsky and Ohana: the former wrote his Mass after discovering that of Machaut; as for Ohana, his Cantigas de Santa Maria make reference to those of Alfonso the Wise, to popular song, and to Spanish processions in honour of the Virgin Mary. I came across the Mass of Machaut in the interpretation by Marcel Pérès, and I was very struck by the inspiration he takes from the performance practice of popular music. I realized that we could reconcile this ancestral vocal tradition with the Spanish manuscript sources. You can take extraordinary liberties with this Mass – it’s so modern, after all – and that’s how we arrived at our interpretation, a bit more ‘beefy’ and rather Mediterranean. Machaut, Stravinsky, Ohana – they all wrote music that can be quite complex, even austere. I felt the necessity of weaving a connective thread between them, right to the core of their music, in order to make it easier to listen to: that is achieved through the simplicity of the melodies, the folk rhythms of the cantigas. They invite us to return to the sources of song. From then on, it’s just a question of knowing how to match the tonalities with the spirit of the cantigas to make a sequence that sounds natural. I like the idea of disorientating the listener between different historical periods, so that he can no longer differentiate the ancient from the modern. The important thing is to return to the essence of the things. The roots, the forces to which this recording leads us – they may remain obscure, but they are valid, and profound.

Did you have it mind to stage an imaginary sacred ou folk ceremony?

S.-P. B
. The programme consists of reinvented liturgy, based on the Catholic rite, but going beyond it. It is a newly conceived ritual that addresses gut feelings, not just an echo of Catholicism.


One scenario was fixed from the beginning. Unlike our previous recording,* which followed a dramatic storyline, this CD is based on the conceptualization of an intensely meditative inner ritual moving towards a complete externalization – as in certain African rituals. In this recording, it corresponds to the movement from Latin to Spanish, and to the progression towards vivid colours and unusual, quasi non-European sonorities.

Does such a programme demand a specific technique from the singers?

S.-P. B
. I wanted to match the soloists to particular colours that give a characteristic tone to their register. I chose singers familiar with early music, powerful, direct voices, using little vibrato, voices that could also sing Stravinsky and Ohana. This unique choice of personnel helps to give further unity to the programme, and to erase the temporal landmarks.

For the orchestra, I relied on instrumentalists close to early music traditions, with an excellent understanding of phrasing, and with musical intelligence – I like that a lot. They are used to working on scores from earlier historical periods, where little is notated and so one has to make one’s own of the music, respectfully, but with inventiveness. We applied the same approach to Stravinsky. As for Ohana, we are entirely in accord with the spirit of freedom with which he allowed interpreters to make their own of his works.

The music of Machaut demands a way of singing that is full-on and open – like the polyphonic singing of Corsica, the Basque country, or Georgia. It’s quite a guttural kind of singing. The chorus has had to work on a different basis to that of its normal lyrical technique. I don’t like voices that are too smooth, hence we have a kind of heterogeneity in the chorus: for me that’s a positive quality, a way of taking on vocal colours, a rich and warm veneer of sound.

For the recording, did you play around with the sound space?

S.-P. B
. The orchestra was arranged in consorts for the early repertoire, and in mixed desks for the Ohana and Stravinsky. The chorus was arranged as a surrounding circle, in a single row, so it was both a single body as well as a chorus of soloists. I like to recreate the experience I had myself as a young singer, of being in the middle of an orchestra and feeling the sound physically. Our whole attitude is determined by that feeling of being immersed – it gives a dimension that is both spellbinding and evanescent. Spatialization is of great importance, of course, and new technology will certainly bring us further possibilities.

Did this programme arise as a natural extension of your Shakespearian CD*?

S.-P. B
. Actually we thought up this concert before the Shakespeare programme, but we gave ourselves the necessary time to research further into the sonic dimension. The choice of instruments in the Machaut reflects the bias towards an interpretation that is more ‘neo-classical’ than historical. The aim is to lead the listener towards ancient sound colours, rather than to historically authentic instruments. I have also taken the liberty of assigning certain passages either to the whole choir, or to the bass voices alone, while adding instruments and percussion, building up a continually renwed sonic progression. With the cantigas, I’ve taken the risk of harmonising some of them in a ‘medieval’ style, but also using richer harmonies to converge with the style of Ohana and his own Cantigas, playing in this way with historical time. It has all been developed with a method rather like that of a painter, in a process of continual enhancement. For the Ohana, I asked Michèle Claude, who mainly plays early and traditional percussion instruments, to combine improvisation with some sections I had rewritten myself. The result is something quite folky and lively.

The more I develop in music, the more I have an urge to take liberties, supported by the knowledge I’ve been able to acquire in the course of my studies. Formal learning is essential, but it can mislead you into adopting many constraints and rules. So how about pushing back the barriers of dogma just a little? That is my way of creating: I love this experimental aspect, with its risk-taking, and the idea of a journey. One has to be daring, ask questions, take a stand and defend it responsibly. For me, that is the whole point of being an artist.

Interview by Claire Boisteau, 23 May 2016

* The Tempest, 2015, Alpha 208






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