a nocte temporis

Pyramus and Thisbe

Cantatas by Louis-Nicolas Clérambault

by a nocte temporis and Reinoud Van Mechelen

Wednesday July, 28th, 9 pm – Church of Valloire

Pyramus and Thisbe: legendary ill-fated lovers, from their early childhood to their untimely death.

Unlike their German counterparts, the French cantatas from the early 18th century are secular works, written, as it were, in the narrative format of a “serial”. Composed for one or several voices, a basso continuo part, and often a number of dessus instruments forming the “symphonie“, they may be viewed as miniature chamber operas.

This programme is based on two cantatas for solo voice by Louis-Nicolas Clérambault, now a somewhat forgotten composer, yet a major figure of the Age of Enlightenment, who attempted to reconcile the rival Italian and French styles in both cantata and sonata forms.

Reinoud Van Mechelen


© Senne Van der Ven

A graduate of the Brussels Royal Conservatory in 2012, Reinoud Van Mechelen then trains with Hervé Niquet and William Christie; he makes his debut at such prestigious venues as the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Edinburgh Festival, the Château de Versailles, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican Centre in London, the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts, The Philarmonie and Opéra Comique in Paris…

Invitations by major baroque ensembles soon follow: not only from Les Arts Florissants, but also Le Collegium Vocale, Le Concert Spirituel, Le Concert d’Astrée, Les Talens Lyriques, Pygmalion, Le Poème Harmonique, to name just a few.

During the 2019/20 season, Reinoud Van Mechelen is Purcell’s King Arthur at the Berlin Staatsoper under the direction of René Jacobs, and performs the title-role of Pygmalion at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg. Philippe Herreweghe, director of the Collegium Vocale, entrusts him with the role of the Evangelist in J.S. Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion. He also makes two concert tours to accompany the release of two new albums with his a nocte temporis ensemble.

a nocte temporis

“since the dawn of time…”, a nocte temporis hints at the past, at what changes, but also at what remains unchanged.

Relying on years of soloist performance, Reinoud Van Mechelen founds his ensemble in 2016, eager to present historically informed music and to reach as large an audience as possible.

The first two recordings of a nocte temporis, Erbarme dich – airs by J.S. Bach for tenor and flute (2016) and Clérambault, cantates françaises (2018) were met with great critical acclaim and awarded two CHOCs by Classica, five Diapasons, a Diapason d’Or and a Caecilia Prize for best recording.

Two very different albums were released in 2019: The Dubhlinn Gardens, a cross of 18th-century Irish music, folk and baroque, and Dumesny, haute-contre de Lully, which in its turn received a Diapason d’Or and the prestigious Prix Charles Cros.