Every year, the Association of the Friends of the Château de Bournazel organises a rich cultural season in order to revive this jewel. The château hosts musical and theatrical events, university symposiums, artists’ residences, all of which highlight the extraordinary diversity of the European Renaissance.
Saturday 9 December, 8 pm
Au marches du palais
Le Poème Harmonique
For more than a millennium, French song has been transmitted from generation to generation. The song, more than a mere recreation of the soul, was the traditional way of orally preserving the history of a country, a region, a family or a king. Transformed and reworked since their origin, these songs, known to all, are often masterpieces of melodic writing, halfway between the popular and the learned. For two centuries, they have become the basis of a repertoire called «nursery rhymes». Having thus crossed the centuries to reach us, they are today a major part of our cultural heritage.
Today, at a time when the hegemony of the audiovisual accelerates the disappearance of the ancient oral cultures, it seems essential to reflect on the nature, the origin and the history of the French popular song, to defend and illustrate the collective memory it represents.
To return to the real sources of these songs, to retrace their history and the way in which they have reached us, to find the original texts on which the tradition is based, to strip the various old singers (from the Bayeux manuscript of the 15th century to the chansonniers of the «city voices» printed in the 17th century): all this contributes to being able to give an authentic version of what is, even today, the most famous repertoire of all French.
Claire Lefilliâtre, Soprano
Serge Goubioud, Tenor
Virgile Ancely, Bass
Pierre Hamon, Flutes, Bagpipes
Lucas Peres, Viole de Gambe
Christophe Tellart, Vieille à roue, Bagpipes
Joël Grare, Percussions
Vincent Dumestre, Citole, Théorbe, Direction
Information and Reservations
Reservations: please click on the button below
Tel: 05 65 80 81 99 or 06 65 54 12 42
Address: Château de Bournazel, Place du Foirail 12390 BOURNAZEL
Previous Concerts of the 2023 Season
Saturday, 25 March, 8 pm
Bright and Early: early Italian and French lute music sixteenth century. Pieces by Spinacino, Dalza and Attaingnant
Hopkinson Smith, Renaissance lute by Joel van Lennep, Boston, 1977
The new program proposed by Hopkinson Smith as part of the concerts at Château de Bournazel explores an almost unprecedented side of the lute repertoire from the Italian and French Renaissance.
The Lute Books of Francesco Spinacino (1507) and Zoan Ambrozio Dalza (1508) are the cornerstones of the history of music. Edited by Petrucci in Venice, they contain not only the first printed music for the lute but also, with the exception of some fragments of tablatures, the very first sources of music for the instrument that have reached us. Both bear witness to the true blossoming of the culture of the lute in Italy at the beginning of the 16th century.
If Spinacino’s pieces are imprinted with elaborate contrapuntal writing, though incomplete and full of errors, those of Dalza are directly inspired by popular dances conducive to improvisation, foreshadowing even what will later become Country Music!
Alternating with these Italian composers, Hopkinson Smith will also play music by the first French tablatures for lute. The two series printed in 1529 and 1530 by Pierre Attaingnant contain preludes, music for dancing (sometimes with obvious Celtic roots), as well as some of the most beautiful songs of his time.
Friday, 23 June, 8 pm
Musicali Melodie the Renaissance in Venice
Anna Piroli, soprano
Hélène Médous, violon
Jean-Pierre Canihac, cornet à bouquin
Daniel Lassalle, sacqueboute
Yasuko Bouvard, orgue
It was towards the end of the Renaissance that Venice established itself as a major destination in Europe: from France, England or Germany, people rush into the lagoon to admire the architectural highlights, the particularly liberal politics and their keen sense of trade, especially with the East.
The quality of the musical performances was not the only argument that could convince a young foreign musician to complete his training in Venice. The city had long been known to occupy first place in Europe in the field of musical printing and instrumental design.
It is customary to state that Venice is one of the most important places of Western civilization. Beyond this observation, the wonder remains of the artistic ingenuity and beauty, to which the Serenissima presides throughout its history. Few cities, even the most famous, can boast of having excelled continuously for so many centuries, both in music and in the visual arts. Venice, «so unique in the world and so strange that it certainly seems to have come out of a dream», as the composer Juan del Encina wrote around 1500, is one of them.
Saturday, 22 July, 8 pm
Two centuries of French song
Le Cabaret Décousu
This performance, directed by Philippe Meyer with musicians, singers and actors Noëmie Zur-letti, Benoit Carré, Guillaume Laloux, Jean-Claude Laudat and Pascal Sangla, celebrates French song.
“One vowel can hide another, and if it is a song that looks like us, it is also, and even more, a song that brings us together. A song we sing or a song we listen to. A hit that does not leave our heads (our forefathers said «une scie») or air that we keep warm, just for us. The song is used to weld the bands together and to march as efficiently as it allows to dream in its corner. The song gives memories to those who don’t have them. It eases our sorrows of love or it shares with us for 3 minutes a torrid passion or inconsolable grief. The song celebrates the homeland, it blows the heads of the rulers, it celebrates the journeys and it invents destinations, it mocks or it moans, it raises the fist or it makes the less weighty feet dance, There is no subject that is foreign to it and it has treated them all. It is this song, our common heritage that we want to celebrate in this cabaret that draws in all genres. I would add that a song is a small play, and it is no coincidence that they are actors with whom I wanted to share the programme of this cabaret décousu.”
– Philippe Meyer
Monday, 7 August, 8 pm
Franz Schubert: Sonatas for the Violin & Piano
Jeanne Mathieu, violin and Alain Roudier, piano
Viennese pianos Boehm (1815) and Graf (1827) from the collection of Alain Roudier
In the collective memory, the name of Franz Schubert is first associated with vocal music with piano accompaniment. During his very short life (he died at the age of 31) he composed about 600 Lieder (in German, songs, or melodies). But this is forgetting that if he practiced piano, he had also learned violin and viola in his childhood. His four sonatas for violin and piano are the work of a young man under the age of twenty, who writes for a circle of his friends. The violin is treated as a support for the melody, almost vocally. The period Viennese pianos that will be played in this program, have great delicacy of sound, allow an ideal performance of this balanced musical dialogue.
After studying at the NHS in Pau and then at the CNR in Lyon, Jeanne Mathieu returned to the Geneva University of Music where she studied the violin under Tedi Papavrami and received a master’s degree in concert in 2013 and a master’s degree in music pedagogy in 2015. Jeanne also trained on the baroque violin at the Centre de Musique Ancienne of the Geneva University of Music under the teaching of Florence Malgoire. She benefited from the advice of Leonardo García Alarcón, Ton Koopman and Barthold Kuijken. Together with this musical training and after preparatory classes at the Lycée Pierre de Fermat in Toulouse, Jeanne graduated in 2009 as an engineer from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon. Currently, she divides her activity between teaching and concert.
Born in Paris in 1955, Alain Roudier studied classics at the École Normale de Musique in Paris. From 1983, he studied with Alain Planès, then from 1985 to 1988, he studied with Menahem Pressler (New York Fine Arts Trio) in Bloomington (USA). Passionate about period keyboard instruments, he has built over the years one of the finest collections of historic pianos, made up of many exceptional pieces.
Tuesday, 8 August, 8 pm
Ludwig van Beethoven : bagatelles et grandes sonates pour piano
Olga Pashchenko, Viennese piano Conrad Graf (1827) from the collection of Alain Roudier
The spectacular program of this concert will remind us, if need be, how Beethoven was an “inventor of sound”, soliciting the piano at a level that no composer before him had imagined. The Bagatels date from 1823-24, casually described by the musician as «little nothings» (kleinigkeiten). They are in fact extremely elaborate and inventive pieces, difficult to perform despite their brevity. Sonatas 29 and 32 highlights the evolution of piano design (whose German name is “Hammerklavier”) since the 1810s. The elegant and delicate instruments of the late eighteenth century have succeeded pianos rich in bass, capable of increasingly marked contrasts. Beethoven, who received in 1817 an English piano of Broadwood brand, finds here a field of unlimited experimentation to create a new type of music, very orchestral in his treatment, but which also renews the great German tradition of counterpoint by giving it a new, truly romantic, dramatic dimension.
Olga Pashchenko was born in Moscow in 1986 and began her musical studies at the age of 6 at the Gnessin School of Music with Tatiana Zelikman, giving her first piano recital in New York at the age of 9. She continued her studies at the Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow by studying the strong and modern piano with Alexei Lubimov, the harpsichord with Olga Martynova and the organ with Alexei Schmitov before finishing her studies at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Richard Egarr in 2014.
In 2017, she was appointed professor at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam and the Royal Council of Ghent.
Olga is one of the most versatile keyboard performers on the international scene today. She is as comfortable on the historical piano as on the harpsichord, organ and contemporary piano.
Wednesday, 9 August, 8 pm
Adonia, Lamentation for the Death of a Young Deity
Darina Ablogina, Luis Martinez Pueyo, Charlotte Schneider, Mara Winter – Renaissance flutes, Miriam Trevisan – vocals, Bor Zuljan – lute and Clara de Asís – percussion
The young Ensemble Phaedrus has for epicentre a consort of traversos, that is to say a quartet of Renaissance flutes, wooden and without keys, from the bass to the top. This almost unique configuration today, but widespread in the 16th century, gives it an unparalleled sound colour.
Adonia, the program presented at Château de Bournazel, is a musical evocation of the myth of Adonis, celebrated in Greece during antiquity, then amplified and taken over in Italy during the Renaissance. Loved by Aphrodite because of his beauty, the young man also arouses the jealousy of the gods and dies, killed by a boar. In memory of this death, at the end of July, the feast of the Adonis celebrates the cycle of death and life, in a mixture of affliction and sensuality.
The concert programme mainly borrows from a manuscript preserved in the library of Modena. It also plays songs and dances, where the academic and the popular rub shoulders closely, from the large editions published in Venice in the sixteenth century.
Saturday 25 November, 8 pm
Fire, according to Les Pensées of Blaise Pascal
Théâtre de l'Incrédule
An unfinished book, forever a work in progress , Les Pensées (Thoughts) draws its strength from its state of incompletion. Les Pensées of Blaise Pascal is alive, as if grasped in its gushing and vitality. The drafts, gathered after the death of their author, only makes stronger the confrontation with nothingness and the great mysteries of existence that are at work in the text and to which himself Blaise Pascal confronts with the reader.
The voice that speaks in Les Pensées is both the voice of an inner reflection – that of Blaise Pascal in the process of developing his work – and also a voice of a narrator – that of Pascal in the process of apologizing for the Christian religion and seeking to provoke great movements of reflection and emotion in the listener. To account for this double character of the voice in Les Pensées, the performance Feu is experienced with headphones. The three performers address the audience through a binaural head, allowing to recreate the illusion of a three-dimensional sound. Thanks to this technology, each spectator receives “thoughts” as if they were addressed to him personally or as if they originated in themselves. The disorder caused by the movements of sound in three dimensions transposes for our time the oratory means used by Blaise Pascal to disturb and convince his reader. The viol (a stringed instrument) with its tone close to the human voice, creates pauses in the density of the texts while opening a meditative space extending the discourse. The musical repertoire is baroque – Jean de Sainte Colombe, Le Sieur du Buisson, Monsieur de Sainte Colombe le fils, Constantin Huygens and others – revisited by composer Pedro Garcia-Velasquez builds sound spaces accompanying the spectator in the creation of their interior theater.
Claire Lefilliâtre, voice & vocals
Benjamin Lazar, voice & direction
Lukas Schneider, viol
Pedro Garcia Velasquez, composition
Rémi Le Taillandier, sound engineer
Camille Mauplot, lighting
Click on the title for the link to YouTube
Crédit photographique : Robin .H. Davies
The Association of the Friends of Château de Bournazel was created in January 2012 with the aim of promoting this exceptional Historic Monument by organising cultural events contributing to the enhancement of the artistic heritage of the Renaissance. The Association, through its actions, aims to encourage the reception of the public but also of researchers specialising in the period. In the same way, the association provides human, material and financial support for the conservation, restoration, protection and accessibility of the Château.
To support the Association and participate in the development of Château de Bournazel, become a member.