Les Violons du Roy
La Chapelle de Québec
Les Violons du Roy
La Chapelle de Québec
Bernard Labadie, Founding Conductor and Music Director of La Chapelle de Québec
Lydia Teuscher, Soprano
Iestyn Davies, Countertenor
Robin Tritschler, Tenor
Matthew Brook, Bass-Baritone
BACH Mass in B Minor
Event DurationThe program will last approximately two and one-half hours with no intermission. Please note that there will be no late seating.
Pre-Concert TalkPre-concert talk at 7 PM with Thomas Forrest Kelly, Morton B. Knafel Research Professor of Music, Harvard University.
This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for choral music established by S. Donald Sussman in memory of Judith Arron and Robert Shaw.
Public support for Carnegie Hall Live on WQXR is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Les Violons du Roy gratefully acknowledges the support of Gestion Marthe Bourgeois Ltée and Fondation des Violons du Roy in the presentation of this performance.
At a Glance
For many listeners, hearing the music of J. S. Bach amounts to a spiritual or even religious experience. This sentiment holds true as much for Bach’s instrumental music—such as his iconic suites for solo cello and the “Brandenburg” concertos—as for music he composed for worship, including his many church cantatas and works like the St. Matthew Passion. Regardless of the context for which it was composed, today we are more likely to experience a live performance of Bach’s music in the secular concert hall.
The Mass in B Minor is an especially rich work for exploring the complex dimensions of Bach’s music. At once an intensely religious object and a remarkable secular musical experience, it is also one of the last major works Bach completed before his death and represents a culmination of many years of development as a composer. For those new to Bach’s music, it is a stunning introduction to his musical capabilities and religious background. For those more steeped in his work, it offers new layers of meaning upon each hearing, religious or otherwise.
Les Violons du Roy
Chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy takes its name from the renowned string orchestra of the court of the French kings. The group, which has a core membership of 15 players, was brought together in 1984 by founding conductor Bernard Labadie and specializes in the vast repertoire of music for chamber orchestra. Using copies of period bows on modern instruments, the ensemble plays works from the Baroque and Classical periods with an approach that is strongly influenced by current research into performance practice in the 17th and 18th centuries. The orchestra also regularly delves into the repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Les Violons du Roy is at the heart of the music scene in Quebec City and a regular feature on the Montreal cultural calendar. The orchestra is known throughout North America, thanks to the many broadcasts of its concerts and recordings on CBC / Radio-Canada and NPR. The ensemble makes regular visits to New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and has performed dozens of times in Europe at such legendary venues as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Berlin Philharmonie.
Les Violons du Roy’s discography boasts 35 titles, including three Juno Award–winning albums and one Félix Award winner. Twelve recordings have appeared on the Dorian label, and 11 on the ATMA Classique label. The ensemble has also released four albums on Virgin Classics (now Erato / Warner Classics) with soloists Vivica Genaux, Truls Mørk, and Alexandre Tharaud, respectively. It has also made recordings with Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Marc-André Hamelin, Valérie Milot, Anthony Roth Costanzo, and Diane Dufresne.
La Chapelle de Québec
Created in 1985 by Bernard Labadie—its founding conductor and music director—La Chapelle de Québec is one of North America’s premier vocal ensembles. The group is made up of professional singers who are handpicked from all over Canada. This unique chamber choir specializes in the choral/orchestral repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries. The choir performs regularly with its other half, chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy, and as a guest choir with some of the finest orchestras in North America. Its interpretations of the oratorios, requiems, masses, and cantatas of Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Haydn—as well as those of Fauré and Duruflé—are frequently hailed in the Canadian and international press.
La Chapelle de Québec is heard regularly at Palais Montcalm in Quebec City and Maison symphonique in Montreal, as well as at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall with Les Violons du Roy and Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and in Ottawa with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. The choir’s concerts are often broadcast by CBC / Radio-Canada and NPR.
La Chapelle de Québec is also known for its role in Le chemin de Noël, an annual event that brings together music lovers from throughout the Quebec City region every December.
Bernard Labadie is an internationally recognized specialist in 17th-, 18th-, and early–19th-century repertoire, and is the founding conductor of Les Violons du Roy. He was the ensemble’s music director from 1984 to 2014 and remains music director of La Chapelle de Québec, which he founded in 1985. He has toured Europe and the Americas as head of both ensembles, performing at some of the world’s greatest concert halls and festivals, including the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Barbican Centre, Berlin Philharmonie, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and the Salzburg, Bergen, Rheingau, and Schleswig-Holstein festivals. In the spring of 2018, he led Les Violons du Roy on a US tour with violinist Isabelle Faust.
Mr. Labadie is principal conductor of Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York beginning in the 2018–2019 season and conducts the orchestra’s annual concert series at Carnegie Hall. In great demand as a guest conductor, Mr. Labadie makes frequent appearances with major North American and European orchestras. In the 2017–2018 season, his engagements included The Cleveland Orchestra; Minnesota Orchestra; the St. Louis, Baltimore, and Toronto symphony orchestras; the radio orchestras of Frankfurt, Finland, and Berlin; Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Orchestre National de Lyon; and Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. Since the start of his international career in the late 1990s, he has also made appearances with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; orchestras of Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, and Atlanta; New World Symphony; and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.
Mr. Labadie has recorded some 20 albums for Virgin Classics (now Erato / Warner Classics), EMI, Dorian, ATMA, Hyperion, and Naïve, both as a guest conductor and with Les Violons du Roy. Two new CDs recorded, respectively, with the SWR Symphonieorchester and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin were released in 2018.
Lydia Teuscher was born in Freiburg, Germany, and studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim. Highlights of her 2018–2019 season include Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg and Kent Nagano, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and Jonathan Nott, cantatas by Bach with Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Bernard Labadie at Carnegie Hall, and Bach’s Mass in B Minor with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen, and on tour with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie.
Ms. Teuscher has sung Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) at the Salzburg Mozartwoche, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Bolshoi Theatre, Bayerische Staatsoper, and Staatsoper Berlin; Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Glyndebourne Festival, Semperoper Dresden, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, and Hyogo Performing Arts Center in Japan; Héro (Béatrice et Bénédict) at the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival; Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with the Bolshoi Opera; and Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel) at the Glyndebourne Festival, Semperoper Dresden, and Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival.
Ms. Teuscher collaborates regularly with conductors such as René Jacobs, Emmanuelle Haïm, Sir Roger Norrington, Helmuth Rilling, and Markus Stenz. Recent highlights have included Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire with the Ensemble of the Bayerische Staatsoper, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the London Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding, Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Sylvain Cambreling, and Handel’s Messiah with the Orchestre National de Lille and Jan Willem de Vriend.
After graduating with degrees in archaeology and anthropology from St. John’s College, Cambridge, Iestyn Davies studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. His operatic engagements have included Ottone (L’incoronazione di Poppea) at Zürich Opera and the Glyndebourne Festival; Arsace (Partenope) at New York City Opera; Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) at Houston Grand Opera, English National Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera; Apollo (Death in Venice) at English National Opera and his house debut at La Scala; Hamor (Jephtha) at Welsh National Opera and Opéra National de Bordeaux; Niobe, regina di Tebe at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; and Unulfo (Rodelinda) in his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, where he has also appeared as Trinculo in Thomas Adès’s The Tempest.
Mr. Davies’s concert engagements have included performances at the Teatro alla Scala with Gustavo Dudamel; Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Zurich’s Tonhalle with Ton Koopman; and the Barbican Centre, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Lincoln Center, and BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall with orchestras that include the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Concerto Köln, Concerto Copenhagen, Ensemble Matheus, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He recently made his recital debut at Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Davies’s recordings include two versions of Handel’s Messiah: the first with the Choir of New College, Oxford, and Academy of Ancient Music (Naxos), and the second with Polyphony and Britten Sinfonia (Hyperion). His other recordings include Handel’s Chandos Anthems (Hyperion); Handel’s Flavio with the Early Opera Company and Christian Curnyn (Chandos); Bach’s Easter Oratorio with Retrospect Ensemble; his debut solo recording, Wigmore Hall Live: Iestyn Davies, with his own Ensemble Guadagni; cantatas by Porpora with Jonathan Cohen and Arcangelo; an award-winning disc of works for Ensemble Guadagni (Hyperion); and arias by Handel with The King’s Consort (Vivat).
Acclaimed for his lyrical voice, Irish tenor Robin Tritschler has garnered praise from critics and audiences for his performances. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Music and was a BBC New Generation Artist.
Mr. Tritschler has performed with the Welsh National Opera as Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), Narraboth (Salome), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), and Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail). He has also performed with Angers-Nantes Opéra, Stadttheater Klagenfurt, La Monnaie, and Teatro Colón; and in concert with the BBC Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra (Vladimir Jurowski, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Nathalie Stutzmann), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (Kirill Karabits), Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (Edo de Waart); and at the BBC Proms (Sir Mark Elder). He performs regularly in recital at Wigmore Hall and appears in Cologne, Amsterdam, Washington, and at the Aldeburgh and Aix-en-Provence festivals. His Signum recording of World War I songs with Malcolm Martineau is critically acclaimed.
Recent highlights include Schwanengesang in San Diego with Inon Barnatan; appearances with the Bayerischer Rundfunk, Ensemble Pygmalion (Raphaël Pichon), NDR Radiophilharmonie, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; and a debut at the Bregenz Festival in Thomas Larcher’s The Hunting Gun. In 2018–2019, he performs in concert with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (Nicholas McGegan), Orquesta Nacional de España (David Afkham), Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (Nathalie Stutzmann), and Les Violons du Roy (Bernard Labadie), and appears in his own series of recitals at Wigmore Hall. Mr. Tritschler’s future engagements include a return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and his Salzburg Festival debut.
Matthew Brook has appeared as a soloist throughout Europe, Australia, North and South America, and Asia. His operatic roles include Polyphemus (Acis and Galatea), Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Ned Keene (Peter Grimes), Vicar (Albert Herring), Noye (Noye’s Fludde), John Bunyan / Lord Hate-good (The Pilgrim’s Progress), Melchior (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Young Sam in the British premiere of Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, Jupiter (Castor et Pollux), Stárek and Mayor (Jenůfa), Antenor and Calkas (Troilus and Cressida), Zuniga (Carmen) at the Opéra Comique with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Argenio (Imeneo) at the Göttingen International Handel Festival, and Seneca (L’incoronazione di Poppea) at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
Recent and future highlights include Purcell’s The Fairy-Queen and Dido and Aeneas with the Handel and Haydn Society; Bach’s St. John Passion with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Bach’s Magnificat and Brahms’s Triumphlied with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Ariodante with the Staatstheater Stuttgart and on tour with The English Concert; Bach’s Mass in B Minor at the Al Bustan Festival in Beirut and with Les Violons du Roy; Fauré’s Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Mozart’s Requiem with the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw; a tour of Bach’s cantatas with the Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and with Nederlandse Bachvereniging and Early Music Vancouver; a tour of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and with Gli Angeli Genève; Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Tippett’s A Child of Our Time at the Festival de Saint-Denis; and the roles of Herod and Father in Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis.