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La Fenice
baroque group, France

La Fenice is the name of a group of musicians assembled by cornettist Jean Tubéry, who all share a common passion for the sumptuous baroque era Venetian music, and succeed in revealing its extraordinary vitality.  

La Fenice is very concerned about respecting authentic scoring, especially in the field of vocal music, where instrumentation complements the text through its symbolism. Thus the make-up of the ensemble - whose members are  internationally renowned European soloists who perform regularly with the best early music groups - varies according to the music performed at each concert.

 La Fenice was awarded two first prizes in international competitions. It has since been invited to the most important French music festivals such as Ambronay, la Chaise Dieu, Haut Jura, Limoges, Lourdes, Nantes ( Printemps des arts,  La FolleJournée ), Paris ( festival d'Ile de France, festival d'art sacré, les grands concerts sacrés, in the concert hall of Cité de la musique ), Sablé sur Sarthe, St Michel en Thiérache, Versailles, as well as festivals throughout Europe ( Basel, Bremen, Bruges, Glasgow, Innsbruck, Lisbon, Milan, Oslo, Palermo, Utrecht, Vienna, etc. ) and worldwide (United Sates, Ecuador, Japan...)

The ensemble's recordings for labels such as Ricercar, Opus 111, Naïve, Virgin Classics and K617 regularly receive highest rankings from the music press (Choc from the Monde de la Musique, Diapason d'Or, 10/10 from Répertoire, 5 stars from Goldberg...). Two have received the Charles Cros Academy Grand Prize in 2003.
La Fenice is supported by the French Culture Ministry , the city of  Sens (France), the Burgundy Regional Council, the General Council of the Yonne department, and  the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, an important French public financial services agency.


Jean Tubéry

Tubery

Following  recorder studies at the Toulouse and Amsterdam conservatories, Jean Tubéry, a 17th century Italian music enthusiast, decided to devote himself to the cornetto, one of the most appropriate instruments to give new life to that particular repertoire.

He went on to study the instrument with Bruce Dickey at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland, where he was awarded the performance diploma. He has since performed with different ensembles, such as the Clemencic Consort (René Clemencic), Ensemble Clément Janequin (Dominique Visse), Les Arts Florissants (William Christie), Collegium Vocale de Gand (Philippe Herreweghe), Concerto Vocale (René Jacobs), Hesperion XXI (Jordí Savall), Huelgas Ensemble (Paul van Nevel), Cantus Cölln (Konrad Junghänel), Elyma (Gabriel Garrido), La Petite Bande (Sigiswald Kuijken), Il Giardino Armonico, etc.

He then founded the La Fenice ensemble, with which he has been awarded the first prize at both  Bruges and Malmö international early music competitions, in 1990 and 1992. He has recorded for various labels such as Ricercar, Accent, Erato, Harmonia Mundi, Sony Classical, Virgin, Opus 111, Naïve as well as for national radio and television networks throughout Europe and in Japan.
His recording series for Ricercar : The Heritage of Monteverdi, has been widely acclaimed in the music press and described as a "major event in the world of 17th century music " in the French Répertoire des disques compacts magazine.

Jean Tubéry  teaches cornetto at the "Conservatoire Supérieur-CNR" in Paris, and has also been invited to give master classes in the Lyon and Luxemburg national conservatories, as well as the Centre vocal européeen (European Vocal Centre), the Mannes College in New York, the Connecticut Summer Music School,  the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Oxford University, and the Musikhochschule in Trossingen, Germany.

His vivid interest in vocal music has also lead him to choir conducting, which he studied with Hans Martin Linde and Pierre Cao. He has conducted ensembles such as Jacques Moderne (Tours, France) Arsys (Vézelay, France) Dunedin Consort (Edinburgh, Scotland), Norway Solistenkor (Oslo). He is also permanent conductor for early music for the Namur Chamber Choir (Belgium), with which he performs a wide repertoire ranging from Renaissance music to 18th century French baroque. The choir's  recent recordings of Giovanni Gabrieli and Marc-Antoine Charpentier have been described as a "benchmark in the field".
Concerning stage music, he has also been invited to conduct Cavalieri's Rappresentatione di anima et di corpo at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels.

In 2001, French Culture Minister Catherine Tasca named him Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, the most prestigious decoration for an artist in France.
With La Fenice, Jean Tubéry has been awarded the Charles Cros Academy Grand Prize for his recordings of Mateo Romero's Mass for the Order of the Golden Fleece and Giovanni Gabrieli's Trionfi Sacri.

 

Il Camino de Santiago (St James' road)
The music performed by  St James' pilgrims on their way to Compostela

Pilgrimages used to be the chief source of musical inspiration. They made an impact mostly on the popular religious songs, and equally on the works of learned men.
The Europeans who embarked on St James' road had to cover a long distance to a faraway land. During the long walks and in the evenings the pilgrims whiled away their time and praised their progress in music. Pilgrimages allowed the travellers to enrich themselves by mutual interchange and by meeting the people in the countries they traversed.
For example, the French pilgrims in one of their most popular romances tell about the great attention and lively interest aroused by their songs:

«Men, women and girls
from all over the country followed us,
to listen to the song
sung by the brave French pilgrims


Similarly, the Spanish writer Cervantès in his novel "the Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of  la Mancha" wrote : «I saw six pilgrims with walking sticks who were singing as they begged"; Lopez de Ubeda, the author of "Picara Justina",  refers to those who "wailed as the beggars of Burgundy".
Considering the impact that the Spanish people made on the pilgrims' songs, its significance is clearly seen in the Spanish themes and melodies that have been preserved in many European countries. Unfortunately, apart from some exceptions (such as  Codex Calixtinus in St James' Cathedral of  Compostela copied in 12th century containing several samples of pilgrims' songs), most of the early musical pieces of St James' pilgrims have been lost.


The volume of written evidence grows from the 16th century onwards.
It has been compiled in the collections of songs, mostly French editions. Only few of them are available to us as literary texts and some even have their own music. On the other hand, numerous versions of some songs have been preserved showing the popularity of these songs among the pilgrims, which is proved by the romance «When we left France».


The songs had different themes.
In the first place we should put the lyrical songs dedicated to the Apostle and praising the righteous and asking the favours from Christ for them.
The second group of songs is dedicated to the miracles performed by the Apostle in favour of his worshippers.  Mostly they are stories in the form of romance, repeated in many languages and with different melodies each having several versions.
The third group comprises the songs about pilgrimages proper: they tell about the hardships and dangers of travel, the completed leg of the journey, the feelings of pilgrims during their journey, the  St James'  town, worship of relics etc. And finally we come across scholarly musical compositions created by the masters  mostly belonging to St James' cathedral (12th century composer Guillaume d'Aquitaine, a number of Italian composers of 16th - 17th century including Pietro Cerone, Buono Chiodi/, etc.).
And now by means of music let us follow the journey to Compostela as it used to be in the 17th century - from Strasbourg to the gates of St James' town. 

(Marion Paquier)

Baha muzikas fonds, Hipokrata iela 35-32, LV-1079, Riga, Latvija, talr.: 29208181, e-pasts: bachfestival@inbox.lv