For the last three years, thélème has been developing a trilogy built around the French composer Clément Janequin (1485-1558), one of the greatest Renaissance composers of secular and sacred polyphony.
MUTATIONS - LES CHIMERES DE CLEMENT JANEQUIN
All the words and all the shouting of the men and women, the beating of the fighting men and women, the roaring of the weapons, the war songs, the neighing of the horses, enough, all the noise of the battle froze over then. Now that the hard winter is over, all this is thawing out again in the warm, mild weather and is becoming audible”. This and other excerpts from Rabelais’ famous novel cycle Gargantua and Pantagruel provide the associative space for the Ensemble thélème’s latest project. Works from the Renaissance (which reflect the spirit of Pantagruel) or modern ones that refer to this epoch are juxtaposed – often onomatopoeically – with “mutations”. For the ensemble, “the primary aim is to explore the creative process that is characteristic of the Renaissance. Here, models left behind by previous generations – or by antiquity – are imitated and made their own. The result is a musical adventure journey that is a real challenge.
AMOUR ET MARS - CLEMENT JANEQUIN & CLAUDE LE JEUNE
Already in ancient times people played with the proximity of love and war. Thus the goddess of love Venus deceives her husband Vulcanus with the god of war Mars, and the Roman poet Ovid writes in his Amores the winged word: “Militat omnis amans” (Every lover is a soldier in war). These conditions were also reflected musically in modern times, when the masters of the 16th century emphasized sometimes more the warlike, sometimes more the amorous playfulness of love in their works. In its latest CD for COVIELLO, the Ensemble thélème also unfolds a fascinating panorama of musical states of mind of past times.
MOMENT MUSICAL - FRANZ SCHUBERT & CLÉMENT JANEQUIN: AN IMAGINARY FRIENDSHIP
The ensemble thélème shows us surprising parallels between two composers of quite different provenance: The Viennese early-romantic Franz Schubert and the French Renaissance master Clément Janequin. Both composers are known for their songs and chansons. There are also similarities between the careful treatment of the text, the well-thought-out selection of the authors and the refined setting of the texts with detailed accompaniment. Love and contemplatism were often used as topics. Also, both masters seemed to have a chronic shortage of money.