The Journey of Anne de la Barre at the Septentrion

The repertoire of the most famous French singer of the 17th century
Recital by Lucile Richardot

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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.

She was "courted" by the greatest: Christina of Sweden, the Prince and Princess of Orange-Nassau, Beatrice and Charles IV of Lorraine, Elizabeth of Bohemia, Sophie Amalie von Braunschweig and her husband Frederick III of Denmark, Wilhelm VI of Hesse-Kassel...

The beauty of her voice and of her face was sung by the great poets of her time. Before her, the intellectuals "were going back and forth in their minds wondering if their ears were charmed by the beauty of her voice or the eyes by that of her face." She knew and frequented Molière, Lully, Boesset, the Duarte family, Luigi Rossi, Francesco Cavalli, Tristan l'Hermite and above all, Constantijn Huygens, Secretary of the Prince of Orange, a statesman, a central figure in Dutch letters, and a composer:

But, if I am a prophet and dare to say it,
It will emerge in the Septentrion,
Whose triumph it will be to have possession
of your dear presence, and if well I reason,
You will disturb the peace from crown to crown.

This program represents the beautiful part of Anne de La Barre's repertoire, who sang equally as well in French, Italian and Latin.

  • Lucile Richardot: mezzo-soprano
  • Alice Julien-Laferrière: violin
  • Anaëlle Blanc-Verdin: violin
  • Christine Plubeau: bass viol
  • Caroline Lieby: harp
  • Ayumi Nakagawa: harpsichord and organ
  • Marco Horvat: theorbo and lirone

Joseph Chabanceau de la Barre, Pierre Chabanceau de la Barre, Charles Dassoucy, Constantijn Huygens, Michel Lambert, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Luigi Rossi, Alessandro Stradella

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Translations by Sally Gordon Mark

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