Le Moine et le Voyou

Le Moine et le Voyou

15 €

The program for this 5th album of Métaboles brings together the secular and explosive universe of Bernard Cavanna's Mass on a Ordinary Day and works for a cappella choir by Francis Poulenc: Un Soir de Neige on texts by Eluard, the Four Motets for a time of penance and Exultate Deo, motet for solemn feasts.
These works share with Bernard Cavanna's mass a common intensity and humanity. Monk and thug, two adjectives that Francis Poulenc had attributed to himself, and which could just as easily describe the world of Bernard Cavanna...


Bernard Cavanna, Francis Poulenc - Le Moine et le Voyou / teaser

In the press

The choir of Metaboles, admirable in its agility and beauty

Télérama - Sophie Bourdais
Le Moine et le Voyou

Excellent idea to have added half-secular, half-sacred works by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) to the new version of the Messe un jour ordinaire, by Bernard Cavanna (born in 1951). If Claude Rostand saw in Poulenc "a monk and a thug", the first takes precedence over the second here: nothing provocative in Un soir de neige, a poignant war cantata after Paul Éluard, nor in the Quatre Motets pour un temps de pénitence and the motet Exultate Deo. Constant in these pieces, the fear of darkness and death leads in the motets to a vibrant profession of faith. The opposite happens at Cavanna, where a young drug addict's cry for help collides with a liturgical ritual that spirals into madness. Darkly ironic, this explosive Mass demands great virtuosity from the performers. Admirable in beauty and agility, the Métaboles choir first performs a cappella at Poulenc, then disputes at Cavanna, a dizzying game of ping pong with the Multilaterale ensemble, the violin of Noëmi Schindler, the sopranos Isabelle Lagarde and Emilie Rose Bry, and tenor Kiup Lee. As musical director, Léo Warynski is as comfortable in fervor as in chaos.

At the highest level of quality

Classica - Jacques Bonaure
Le Moine et le Voyou

Carried away by the baton of Léo Warynski, the liturgical word confronts the absurd. The Poulenc-Cavanna face to face creates a shock.

By distinguishing two contradictory tendencies in Poulenc, the monk and the thug, Claude Rostand formulated a lasting, if somewhat exaggerated, witticism. Here from Poulenc, we will only have the monk aspect, the thug being played by Bernard Cavanna. The program may seem strange; what is the relationship between Poulenc's polyphonies, secular (Un soir de neige, on poems by Éluard) or sacred (Motets pour un temps de penitence, Exultate Deo) and Mass on an Ordinary Day (1994)? This is because these works were born from a shock. For Poulenc, it is the return to the faith of his fathers, following the death of his friend Pierre-Octave Ferroud (Motets) or that of the painful period which followed the end of the occupation and preceded the end of the war (A snowy evening). In Bernard Cavanna, the confrontation between the ritual discourse, grandiose and haughty typical of the mass, and the humble words of Laurence, a young homeless woman released from prison and suffering from AIDS, whose words were transcribed without filter. The liturgical word, whose trimophalism gets carried away to the point of absurdity, seems in the end to crash against that of Laurence, between sprechgesang, broken declamation and acrobatic vocalization. At the end the sweetness of a brief poem by Nathalie Mécano, composed a few days before her death, brings a pathetic reassurance. Mass on an Ordinary Day is a work of striking originality which creates a terribly effective dramaturgy. The present version differs from the original by the addition of an introductory toccata and the rewriting of numerous details. This first version was recorded in 1998 by the Vocal Ensemble of the Poitou-Charentes region and Art nova, under the direction of Philippe Nahon (MFA-Radio France)

To date, Léo Warynski and Les Métabolise have produced 6 CDs, and worked in very different directions, but always at the highest level of quality, whatever the nature of the music - and there is a long way between the luminous polyphonies of Poulenc and the aggressive sound material of Cavanna. But always the implementation is infinitely precise, the intonations, even on very high notes, always clear. The same goes for the instrumental ensemble Multilaterale, in the Mass where we will hear the moving violin of Noemi Schindler and the marvelous Isa keeps as brilliant as in the previous version, in the “role” of Laurence.

5 diapasons - An ensemble who likes tension lines

Diapason - Benoît Fauchet
Le Moine et le Voyou

“There are monks and thugs in Poulenc”: we know the phrase of the critic Claude Rostand. Is it suitable for his younger brother Bernard Cavanna? Léo Warynski suggests it, which associates the two French composers. The choir is a cappella at Poulenc. Nothing very “rogue” in the chosen pages, the most secular ones reading the time of Un soir de neige on poems by Éluard; in this flaky landscape, you have to get used to a composition which accentuates the syllables and rolls its "r", flourishing especially in the "burning cold" closing the cantata. The Métaboles do not seek to round the corners and flatten the reliefs of the Quatre motet pour un temps de penitence, colorist miniatures that the composer wanted “as realistic and tragic as a painting by Mantegna”. The archaic and chiming jubilation of Exultate Deo suits this ensemble which does not fear bright light and loves lines of tension.

The choir is joined by the instrumental ensemble Multilaterale for a much more expressionist challenge: Cavanna's Mass on an Ordinary Day which dynamites and buries the Latin liturgy under a deluge of decibels (fanfare, bell, organ, accordion... and voices including three soloists ). She confronts the sacred with the poignant banality of the lines of a drug addict woman freshly released from prison. The composer revised his score (created in 1994) by adding an introductory toccata and reshaping its choral lines on the possibilities of a professional group whose reading easily supplants that recorded by Philippe Nahon with vocal ensembles.

Le Moine et le Voyou

Francis Poulenc
Un soir de neige, cantate profane
Quatre Motets pour un temps de pénitence...
Exultate Deo, motet pour les fêtes solennelles

Bernard Cavanna
Messe un jour ordinaire