Evil Penguin presents: Vlaams Radiokoor - Brussels Philharmonic Hervé Niquet - Marion Tassou - François Saint-Yves F. Poulenc: Stabat Mater A. Desenclos: Requiem
Thursday, October 3th
On the final instalment of its Requiem series, Vlaams Radiokoor (Flemish Radio Choir) enters the 20thcentury with funeral music by composers so close to us that we can almost touch them. Following acclaimed recordings of the iconic requiems by Fauré and Brahms, the choir and its conductor Hervé Niquet now serve us stunning versions of Poulenc’s Stabat Mater (1950) and Desenclos’ Requiem (1963), both ultra-Parisian pieces which steer clear of the standard requiem horrors to convey a message of hope. Hervé Niquet is one of the most interesting conductors of our days. His oeuvre spans 400 years of (mostly French) music – from about 1600 to well into the 20th century – and the man is in many ways more “authentic” than the strictest baroque player, albeit without the archaeological fundamentalism. Niquet wants to know what music sounded like in the days it was incepted, but he is even more interested in what it signified. As a consequence, he is interested just as much in the stories and symbols which motored the notes as in the notes themselves. Niquet is chiefly known as the conductor of his own period ensemble Le Concert Spirituel, but in the last decade he has established successful collaborations with two Belgian ensembles which underwent spectacular transformations under his baton, viz. Vlaams Radiokoor and the Brussels Philharmonic: "I love Vlaams Radiokoor for their technical competence and their honesty. Technically, they can sing anything, whether it's Josquin, Romantic or contemporary, whether it's sublime or shit. And they have the artistic integrity to defend everything which comes their way.”
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