An exceptional sound experience

La Croix - Emmanuelle Giuliani,
Mysterious Nativity à Vezelay

There are days like this when everything seems to be subject to the generous whim of a good fairy. The weather is admirable, the air light, the music exciting. Thus, this Saturday at the end of August, the third and (already!) penultimate day of the Rencontres musicales de Vézelay which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

An exceptional sound experience
In the evening, in the basilica of Vézelay, different forces (24 a cappella singers), different centuries (from the 19th to the present day), other geographical and religious eras (from the Baltic countries and Russia). At the music stand, Léo Warynski leads his ensemble, Les Métaboles, on a musical voyage dominated by introspection, nuance and the search for those vibrations that emanate from the singers' bodies to blossom throughout the entire stone edifice, from the ground to the highest vaults. This is a sound experience where the basilica itself becomes an immense and luminous musical instrument.

From Tchaikovsky's enveloping and tender Ode to Schnittke's gleaming Sacred Hymns, from Arvo Pärt's hypnotic "Magnificat" to Sviridov's impressive "Mysterious Nativity", the evidence is there: the vocal perfection of Les Métaboles rises to a rarely achieved level and the audience's concentrated listening experience is palpable.
Léo Warynski draws from the singers that which the best painters create from their palette: iridescent transparencies, brilliant textures, dazzling colours, heavenly pastels or luminous blacks... This breathtaking vocal plasticity and the intelligence of the programme engraving this evening of 24 August 2019 in golden letters in the annals of the Rencontres musicales de Vézelay. The public was not mistaken, applauding more than warmly the performers and their conductor.