It was only a few months before his death that Jonathan Harvey completed his final work, The Plain Songs for Peace and Light - thus testifying, despite a constant commitment to the most futuristic technology, to a fidelity to a cappella vocal writing, to which he always returned. Speaking of I love the Lord, written 36 years earlier, he already evokes the deep imprint left on him by listening to the choral liturgy, week after week.
Around Harvey, it is indeed the splendid tradition of English choirs that this concert brings to life. From Winchester to the refectory of the monks of Royaumont, the Gothic walls of the abbeys resound with polyphonic music, sumptuous and magnified by the acoustics. The dialogue of the texts responds to the sound echoes: In The Annunciation, Harvey takes up entirely the first stanza of Palestrina's Stabat Mater, whose text sublimates the pain of the mother of Jesus - thus completing the cycle of the birth and death of Christ as seen by her. To the humility and anguish of the penitent, expressed by the painful dissonances of Byrd's Ave verum, responds the serenity of the believer, which Harvey expresses through the stability of a perfect chord. Harvey’s and Purcell’s symmetrical Remember also calls for the reactivation of the prodigious sound memories that continue to haunt Anglican cathedrals.
Co-production : La Fondation Royaumont (as part of the Métaboles 2019-2021 residency) and La Fondation Bettencourt-Schueller
William Byrd - Ave verum
I love the Lord, pour double chœur a cappella
Plain Songs for Peace and Light, pour chœur a cappella
Come Holy Ghost, pour chœur a cappella
G. P. da Palestrina - Stabat Mater pour double chœur
The Angels pour double chœur a cappella
Henry Purcell - Remember not Lord, our offenses
Jonathan Harvey - Remember, O Lord
Jack Sheen - Fitzgerald pirouette, creation, Fondation Royaumont's command
Les Métaboles (18 singers)
Léo Warynski, direction
In the press...
The Angels is the 4th album of the Métaboles. the program combines Jonathan Harvey, a great contemporary English composer, with other illustrious vocal composers.