La Chapelle Rhénane

Friday July 26th - 5:30 pm / Church of Valloire

Christmas Pastorales by Charpentier

by La Chapelle Rhénane, direction Benoît Haller

In 1684 Marc-Antoine Charpentier composed the Pastorale sur la Naissance de N.S. Jésus-Christ for soloists, choir, flutes, trebles and continuo. This composition is a cross between two genres: on the one hand, that of The Sacred History, which Charpentier himself practised after the model of his spiritual father, the Roman Carissimi, and on the other, that of the secular pastorale, the pagan legacy of the bucolic poets of ancient Greece. Alternating dances and arias give this pastorale an intimate, human, moving tone.

With the gospel of the birth of Jesus as a backdrop, the particularly endearing entourage of the nativity holds centre stage here, rather than the newborn child. Thanks to its soloists, La Chapelle Rhénane offers an interpretation of the score wholly in keeping with the gentle, intimate atmosphere of the work, in a repertoire not quite usual for the ensemble but reminiscent of Schütz’s contemporary works. Another pastorale by Charpentier will complete the programme.

La Chapelle Rhénane

Founded in 2001 by Benoît Haller, La Chapelle Rhénane is an ensemble of solo singers and solo instrumentalists bent on revisiting the major works of the European vocal repertoire.  Much of its success is closely linked to two German Baroque composers, Heinrich Schütz and Johann-Sebastian Bach, but the ensemble is also dedicated to renewing the interpretation of works by Handel, Monteverdi, Charpentier or Purcell, with a view to reveal in them that share of emotion, humanity and modernity likely to appeal to a wide contemporary audience. The ensemble’s outreach projects include  residencies in schools, educational concerts or tours in rural areas.

La Chapelle Rhénane has performed at all the major venues and festivals in France. It has also given concerts in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Poland. In 2009, it travelled to Peru, Colombia and Chile. In 2018, it was invited by the prestigious BachFest in Leipzig to perform Bach’s Matthew Passion at the Thomaskirche, where it was first performed. In 2019, the ensemble continued its international expansion in North America at the prestigious Bourgie Hall in Montreal. In 2022, La Chapelle Rhénane was a guest of the Güldener Herbst – Festival Alter Musik Thüringen for its opening concert.

La Chapelle Rhénane has so far released seven CDs, including four devoted to Heinrich Schütz. All have been acclaimed by the specialist press, garnering numerous awards. Its latest disc, released in 2023, is devoted to the Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ on the Cross, in a new, intimate, version, a collaboration with the Quatuor 1781. 

Programme

Pastorale by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.

Distribution

Hasnaa Bennani, soprano

Hélène Walter, soprano

Salomé Haller, mezzo-soprano

Jean-François Lombard, haute-contre

Benoît Haller, tenor

Pierre-Yves Cras, bass

Guillaume Humbrecht & Gabriel Ferry, violins

Liselotte Emery, cornetto and flutes

Johanne Maître, flutes

Matthias Spaeter, theorbo

Élodie Peudepièce, violone

Sébastien Wonner, organ and harpsichord

La Chapelle Rhénane is supported by the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication – DRAC Grand Est and the City of Strasbourg. The ensemble regularly receives support from the Grand Est region, the Collectivité européenne d’Alsace, Adami, Spedidam and the Centre National de la Musique.