A War of words

Devotional songs at the time of the Wars of Religion

At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, between the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, France experienced an intense activity of artistic creation. In the field of devotional music, composers, Catholics and Protestants, are engaged in a kind of speed race, all the more fierce because the Reformation camp had a clear lead in this field: the practice of psalms translated into French attracted many faithful and had no consistent equivalent among Catholics.


The Voyage of Anne de La Barre to the Septentrion

Recital by Lucile Richardot

By reason of her uncommon life and the literature that she inspired, Anne Chabanceau de La Barre (1628-1688) was certainly the most famous singer of the XVIIth century. Born in an illustrious family of musicians (Joseph Chambanceau de La Barre was her brother), she was one of the first women to be part of the musique de la Chambre of King Louis XIV, her fame crossing the border and spreading in Europe as far as distant Scandinavian courts.


Delirium of Lyres

A Quartet of Two

« At that time, there came to Locres two Lydians, very knowledgeable in music, principally the type that moves the heart to tenderness, languor and love. Great friends, they had intelligence and integrity, both playing the lyre so admirably that no one had heard it played better since Orpheus, whether they played together or separately. But what was so marvellous was that they performed so well together that the same instrument in the hands of an excellent master with a very good ear couldn't be better in tune  than their two lyres. »

Madeleine de Scudéry, « La Clélie »



The Anatomy of Melancholy

17th-century English Music

The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton, published in 1623, was a great success in bookstores all during the 17th century and was translated into several languages. This monumental work, serious and outrageous at the same time, meant to delineate the world as if it were a cabinet of curiosities. Burton takes us on a great macroscopic and microscopic voyage, exploring the entire world as he plumbs the depths of the tormented soul of Baroque man, prey to very violent metaphysical tensions. From it, Faenza gives a reading... a musical one.

concert mis en espace

The Burlesque Adventures of Mister Dassoucy

or The Lyre Rediscovered

«Have you read Dassoucy? I ask you this, oh candidates for the poetic baccalaureate! Three centuries have done little for his glory and yet who can deny that his prose is among the most beautiful of this French language of which we are proud? But no one, after all, made me responsible for educating you...»

Louis Aragon, Les Poètes, 1960

concert mis-en-espace

The Carnival, 1675

From the most successful comedy-ballets of Molière, chosen by Lully himself...

On October 17, 1675, Lully had a ballet-mascarade entitled Le Carnaval given at the Court, then at Palais-Royal. Based on texts written by Molière, Benserade and Quinault, it was composed of nine ballets (entrées), each taken from previous highly successful works: Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Les Noces de Village, Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, Le Ballet de Flore, and La Pastorale Comique.


Par mes chants

Marco Horvat’s Song Book: A self-accompanied voice recital

Marco Horvat is one of the rare contemporary performers to have taken up the torch of the traditional lute singer.  In the course of the years, he has developed his own repertory, dipping into French and Italian sources of the 17th century, with a natural predilection for the two masters of this art, Giulio Caccini in Italy and Michel Lambert in France.

Horvat's “Song Book,” offered to us here, is inspired by precious manuscripts compiled by anonymous performers in the 17th century.


The Four Savors of Love

Style Exercises in Four Languages

As in Les Exercices de Style, the famous book by Raymond Queneau, style is everything! Our story – that of the classic love triangle, handled in the vaudeville genre and in the setting of a cabaret where the public is comfortably seated at a table in front of a glass – will be recounted four times in a row, in four different languages: French first, then Spanish, English and Italian. Each time, the characters, their tones, their languages, and their music will conform to the country evoked. Four countries, four cultures; four tastes. We will explore the differences between France (sugary), Spain (salty), England (bitter) and Italy (acidic). Each time, we will serve a small aperitif, its savor evoking a country, giving an occasion to take a gustatory trip in musical Baroque space and time that the audience will appreciate, not only with their eyes and ears, but also with their palates..

Concert mis en espace

The Music Salon

Baroque "a la carte"

Far from the beaten paths of historic recreation, "The Music Salon" was born of the desire to liberate artists and spectators from the purified ritual of the concert where, separated as much by the proscenium as by a series of conventions going back to the 18thand 19thcenturies, we are no longer in a position to share the emotions conveyed by music conceived to be transmitted from one person to another. Faenza invented a concert “a la carte” in the proper sense of the term; with the help of a deck of tarot cards, the public is invited to compose a program that the artists will discover at the same time. 11 cards drawn by chance from a total of 22, the Major Arcana, including “The Lovers,” “The Hanged Man,” “Strength,” “The Fool”...  will transport the audience in a voyage across time and space, from surprise to surprise, in the course of an evening which will truly be unique.


Madrigals and Sonatas by Giovanni Zamboni Romano

Little is known about Giovanni Zamboni (called "the Roman") except that he was recognized in the first half of the 18th century as a virtuoso of plucked- string instruments such as the lute, the mandolin, the theorbo, the mandore and the harpsichord. In Italy, he was one of the last to write for the lute; his twelve sonatas published in Lucca in 1718 compose the final book of pieces printed in tablature for this instrument.


Il Giardino di Giulio Caccini (The Garden of Giulio Caccini)

Italian Monody

« They tell me they have never heard, up until now, music for one voice alone, accompanied by a simple stringed instrument, which has such great power to move the passions of the soul. »
                      Giulio Caccini, Le Nuove Musiche, 1602


The Theater of Devotion or The Opera of the Soul

Devotional music in Rome at the time of the Counter-Reformation

The beginning of the 17th century was evidently a transition period in the history of music. The birth and rise of accompanied monody in Italy and its diffusion in the rest of Europe upset the very foundations of musical writing and opened the way to dramatic music.


Amorosa Fenice (Amorous Phoenix)

The Music of Giulio San Pietro de' Negri

Of all the fascinating, but little-known today, figures who populated the world of Italian song in the early seventeenth century, Giulio Santo Pietro de’ Negri must be one of the most interesting. He seems to have published at least eleven editions of songs or motets between c. 1605 and 1620. It has been clear since the earliest studies of this repertory that the through-composed songs include startlingly original settings, even by the experimental standards of the time.


Concerto Madrigalesco di Ercole Bernabei

A great musician rediscovered

A native of Caprarola, Bernabei had first been a student of Orazio Benevoli, one of the most highly regarded music masters, before entering Saint-Louis des Français in 1653 as an organist, then becoming the chapel master there from 1667 to 1672. In 1672, he was named Chapel Master of the Capella Giulia at the Papal Court. He left his functions at the Vatican at the end of two years to go to the court of the Elector Ferdinando Maria of Bavaria in Munich, where he succeeded Johann Kaspar Kerll and remained until his death in 1687. The Concerto madrigalesco a tre voci diverse, dedicated to Flavio Orsini, the Duke of Bracciano, constitutes one of his most original works.



With the Ecovanavoce ensemble

The Metamorphoses project was conceived when Ecovanavoce, an Italian ensemble, and Faenza met in Rome. Coming from different backgrounds – cross-over music for one, early music for the other - but sharing the same artistic vision and deep affinities, they combined their means and gave birth to a project that breathes new life into the most beautiful pieces of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque repertoires, treating them as "standards" and drawing on the styles and performance practices of contemporary music. In doing that, they propose a different approach to early repertoires, giving this music a second wind, just as traditional music the world over has been reborn in new forms for a long time.

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Translations by Sally Gordon Mark

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