The Palazzetto Bru Zane, the Orchester du Concert de la Loge and the Choeur de Chambre de Namur offer a diptych of Mozart’s Requiem and the Mass for the coronation of Napoleon by Paisiello presented in Paris in 1804 two weeks apart
200 years (plus the Covid report) after the Death of Napoleon in 1821, Belgium, the country of its Defeat, sings the Mass de son Sacre (presented at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in 1804, just two weeks before the premiere in the French capital of Requiem of Mozart: recalling that Mozart’s posterity was far from immediate, there was also time to adapt the work to the tastes of the huge French workforce and to Imperial dignity). The conductor of this concert thus explains that the basset horns – which the Parisian orchestras of the time did not have – were replaced by English horns, or that the trombone solo of the Snorkel Mirum is reassigned to the wind desk to reinforce its solemnity.
The great axes of history thus resonate in music, between Paisiello and Mozart (whose Requiem will also be played for the return of Napoleon’s ashes, in 1840 to his tomb at the Invalides) and under the direction of Julien Chauvin. The conductor-violinist takes his ensemble to the altitudes and summits of this music. His very communicative gestures are reflected both in the generosity and the apparent ease rendering these scores with evidence.
the Chamber Choir de Namur offers its great accuracy, with amplitude and rigor. The female voices sound limpid and airy, while the male voices bear witness to a remarkable depth. The casting of the soloists is based on the same coherence of diversity, both in the voices and the involvement of each in the service of the subject.
Soprano Mélissa Petit places her limpid and ample voice in the heights, with a subtle, supple, lively and very clear articulation. Darker, woody and warm, Chantal Santon-Jeffery combines vocal precision with haughty elegance. The powerful voice tightens at times, with breath in the treble but an appropriate amplitude in the bass. Éléonore Pancrazi offers a mezzo with a concentrated, deep, calm and very thoughtful austerity: also dominating her playing with a round, generous and rich voice.
Livelier and with a no less remarkable stage presence, tenor Mathias Vidal places his voice in a very wide but precise space, guttural but ample, round but sometimes sharp. Darker, the baritone Thomas Dolié deploys the mastery of his abyssal voice with accuracy and ease.
BOZAR is thus offering a concert announcing another show scheduled two days later in Brussels, at La Monnaie: the Requiem of Mozart again but staged by Romeo Castellucci (a completely different universe, to follow in a report also on Ôlyrix).