Gaël de Kerret roams Europe for about fifteen years, from one festival or radio station to another, all the while releasing a good twenty recordings of Early music (A Sei Voci, Clemencic Consort) as well as contemporary works (2E2M, TM+, Groupe Vocal de France, Orchestre Philarmonique de Radio-France…). He sings at La Fenice in Venice, at the Musikverein in Vienna, at the Utrecht festival, the Montpellier festival, at Radio-France, at IRCAM, or other prestigious venues, or again within the Union européenne des Radios, with such renowned conductors as Philippe Herreweghe, Jean-Claude Pennetier or Jean-Claude Malgoire. In 1997, he directs the Children’s Choir of the Paris National Opera House for a series of ten concerts and a recording. He is Director of Les Cours Européennes, a Baroque ensemble, and now also, Artistic Director of the Festival Valloire baroque, ever since its creation. A passionate pedagogue, he is Senior Professor and teaches singers on their way to professional careers at the Versailles Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional
The 2018 Season
Gaël de Kerret
Artistic Director of the Festival Valloire baroque
Monteverdi & followers
Monteverdi sensed the sea change and caught the new “baroque” musical winds stirred up by the existential questioning which Copernic ignited with his demonstration that removed man from the centre of the Universe. The Baroque style reflects the ensuing turmoil. Carlo Gesualdo, the last of the polyphonists, as will be evidenced by the Solistes XXI, stretched the genre to whatever extremes could be attained in such tumult. To keep up with his challenging epoch, Monteverdi chose to travel quite another path.
He explored the madrigal, words of the mother tongue set to music so that anyone could recognize themselves in the text sung, a highly expressive style as will be shown by Raquel Andueza or Maria Christina Kiehr, but also by Jérôme Correas and his Paladins, in duets punctuated with fascinating dissonances.
He turned away from madrigal comedy for opera, shaping the recitatives, arias, duets, choruses and libretto into a coherent musical form, as Leonardo García Alarcón and the Cappella Mediterranea will confirm.
Then, he turned away from the music of the spheres, which Palestrina never renounced, to compose church works, together brilliant and contrasted, as are human feelings: Jean Tubéry’s La Fenice will accordingly take us to Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice for the re-creation of a grand, solemn service! Jean-Marc Aymes and his Concerto Soave will also present religious works, and this, as a counterpoint to secular pieces, all on the same day, incidentally showing how close, in fact, the two styles of writing are… a kinship equally noticeable in the works of Monteverdi’s friends, celebrated by our two above-mentioned sopranos!
Was this an outbreak of juvenile rebellion on Monteverdi’s part? Yet, when he resorts to former musical components, it is to amplify, not discard them. Indeed, if the mass offered by La Fenice is true to the Renaissance style, the adjunct pieces are definitely Baroque. This is how, with the necessity for constant renewal in mind, one should view the surprise of our 2018 edition: a contemporary work composed for and created at the festival! In the same way Monteverdi relied on Gregorian chant in his Magnificat for Six Voices, amplifying its range to resonate in unison with his time, Jean-Paul Holstein starts from this very Magnificat to offer us a new one, suitable to our time, through the interpretation of Christophe Grapperon’s Solistes XXI, the process of creation thus never halting. The world has always needed composers to reinvent its beauty through times, and pursue the work of its creator.
Thursday July 26th: Libre-cours lecture by Gaël de Kerret, “Monteverdi and the Madrigal”