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Ricercar Consort

Langue disponible : anglais
The Ricercar Consort is an ensemble of instrumentalists devoted to repertory largely from the 17th century and is generally considered one of the foremost groups in the genre of Baroque music. Active for more than four decades, it has made dozens of recordings and given countless concerts across the globe. The ensemble's membership varies to accommodate the performance of small and large works. Many of its concerts and recordings involve singers, while others are strictly instrumental. The group's name pertains to a 16th and 17th century genre of instrumental music, typically contrapuntal and often involving the organ. While the repertory has embraced mostly Baroque-era music, the Ricercar Consort has ventured into the Classical period and received special praise for its complete Haydn Baryton Octets. It has recorded for the Ricercar and Mirare labels. The Ricercar Consort was formed in Belgium in 1980 along with the Ricercar label. The director of the ensemble since its founding has been Philippe Pierlot, who is accomplished on the viola da gamba and baryton, the instrument on which he was the soloist in the ensemble's acclaimed Haydn recordings. The other founding members of the group were violinist François Fernandez and organist Bernard Foccroulle. Guest artists regularly appearing with the group include countertenors Henri Ledroit and Carlos Mena and baritone Max van Egmond. Among the consort's most important early albums was its 1983 recording on Ricercar of cantatas and motets by Johann Christoph and Johann Michael Bach. Over the years, the consort made many successful recordings of music by Bach family members, most notably of works by J.S. Bach. In 1985, the Ricercar Consort made its first international tour, giving a series of successful performances of J.S. Bach's Musikalisches Opfer. By the early '90s, the ensemble was in demand across Europe, making notable appearances at the most prestigious early music festivals, including the popular French Festival de Saintes and the Festival des Flandres. By the end of the '90s, the ensemble was taking on larger works: its 1999-2000 season, for example, included performances of Marais' Sémélé and Alessandro Scarlatti's St. John Passion. In 2002, the Ricercar Consort received the prestigious French Diapason d'Or award for De Æternitate with Mena. The consort's 2008 Stabat Mater on Mirare contains works by several composers, including Bertali, Leopold I, and Schmelzer. The Ricercar Consort was invited to perform Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at the 2006 Folles Journées de Nantes Festival. That year, the group performed Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate in Tokyo and gave one of the final performances at the Versaille Opera House before its restoration. The consort has continued to add to its impressive recording catalog in the 2010s and early 2020s. The group returned once more to Bach's Musikalisches Opfer, issuing a recording of the work on Mirare in 2015. In 2021, the Ricercar Consort was heard on the albums Beethoven: Irish Songs and Bach: Soli Deo Gloria.
© Robert Cummings /TiVo
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