Gaël de Kerret
He has scoured European festivals and radio stations for about fifteen years, made a good twenty recordings, from Early music (A Sei Voci and Clemencic Consort) to contemporary compositions (2E2M, TM+, Groupe Vocal de France, Orchestre Philarmonique de Radio-France…) He has sung at the Fenice in Venice, at the Musikverein in Vienna, at the Utrecht festival and the Montpellier festival, or again, any number of times, at Radio-France, at the RCAM or within the Union européenne des Radios with such renowned conductors as Philippe Herreweghe, Jean-Claude Pennetier, Peter Eötvös or Jean-Claude Malgoire. In 1997, he also conducted the Children’s choir of the Paris national Opera for a dozen concerts and a recording. He is the Director of the baroque ensemble Les Cours Européennes, and Artistic Director of the music festival “Valloire baroque”. A passionate pedagogue, he is a Senior professor at the Versailles Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional, where he teaches future professional singers.
The 2016 Season
Gaël de Kerret
Artistic Director of the Festival Valloire baroque
Bach, c’est Tout ! – Bach, All in One !
The title of this year’s festival could hardly escape notice. Bach, c’est Tout ! One may take it at face value, since the programme focuses on Johann-Sebastian Bach, and read it as Bach, nothing but Bach ! On second thoughts, one may understand it as All is in Bach, the phrase encapsulating all of the substance of Bach’s works, the genius, the poise, the efficiency, the symbolism, the beauty, the sense of proportions, the serenity that emanate from them. But then, why the capital T in Bach, c’est Tout!? Here is an obvious reference to the Greek phrase “En to Pan”, One All, which means that the world is ONE: there is no discontinuity between nature, man and God, between the macrocosm and the microcosm. Or, as written on the Emerald Tablet, “That which is below is like that which is above”. Our composer friend who only worked in God’s house and never in an opera house knew well what it is all about, he who secreted so many symbols in his “Saint Matthew’s Passion” – a major work if any. Indeed, Bach’s music is an intangible, aural expression of the Principle of the world, of the ONE who came down to this earth. So unflinching was his conviction that he wrote secular music the same way he wrote sacred music.
The Cosmic harmony blending with the song of the soul who longs to be at one with it will fill the Valloire church, thanks to Nicole Corti, Julien Freymuth, Patrick Ayrton, Romina Lischka and Maude Gratton.
The order of the world will be reflected in Blandine Rannou’s interpretation of the “Goldberg Variations” which speak of proportion and number symbolism.
Café Zimmermann will take us back to the origin of the German orchestra, again thanks to Bach and his Brandenburg concertos.
Finally, the Leipziger Streichquartett will pay homage to Mendelssohn who did so much for Bach, and also to Beethoven, gracing the festival with one of his most extraordinary works, the “Great Fugue op.133”, Beethoven’s homage to Bach, but also a timeless piece. Indeed, Beethoven wrote: “Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend. One must possess the rhythm of the Spirit to conceive of the Essence”.
Bach did not need to put this in words. He put it in music. Bach, All in One!