“The intention of Music is not only to please the Ear, but express Sentiments, strike the Imagination, affect the Mind, and command the Passions.”
Geminiani, The Art of Playing on the Violin, 1751
Created in 1986 by the recorder player Jean-Marc Andrieu, Les Passions – Orchestre baroque de Montauban is in residence in Montauban. In 2011 it celebrated its 25th year anniversary!
This flexible ensemble specialises in the practice of period instruments. Its artistic approach reconciles two principles: a respect for the musical technique of
The repertory of Les Passions is vast, ranging from intimate chamber music ensembles (Les Petits Plaisirs) to grand oratorios, (Passion selon Saint-Matthieu ou Saint-Jean by J.S. Bach), to dramatic historical performances (An Evening with Riquet) or a mixture of diverse influences (Sound Mirages of the South, Taiwanese music of the 17th and 18th centuries). Its brilliance is as apparent in French Baroque music (from Paris to Versailles – The dynasty of Couperin) as in Italian (Vivaldi fioritura – The Follies of yesterday and today), or German (The Voyage to Lubeck – An evening at the the Chateau de Sans-Souci), or English (Dowland, Purcell)…etc.
The orchestra performs solo or in the company of vocal formations, with or without soloists, directed by the artistic director or by the choral director.
Jean-Marc Andrieu is dedicated to rediscovering the legacy of French music (Toulouse, the Dukes of Aiguillon) and regularly collaborates with the vocal ensembles Les Elements and Sagittarius.
From 2004 to 2011, during its season in Toulouse, the orchestra performed various original interpretations of baroque music and worked with renowned soloists such as S. Kuijken, P. Hantaï, E. Gatti, G. Laurens, I. Poulenard, R. Lislevand…
In 2009 Les Passions was invited to Rome by the French Embassy to close the season ‘Suona francese, festival de musica antica’ ( French Sounds, Festival of Ancient Music) at the Palais Farnèse; in 2010 to The Festival of Music, History and Art in Valence, Spain and in 2011 to the Festival of Baroque Music in Saragosse. The orchestra has also been invited to such festivals as Lessay, Sablé-sur-Sarthe, Pontoise, Lanvellec, Sylvanès, Conques, Eclate de Voix, the International Organ Festival in Toulouse, the Festival des Lumières of L’abbaye-école de Sorèze Strasbourg, the Festival of Ancient Music in Utrecht (the Netherlands), Fes (Morocco) as well as the island of Reunion.
In August 2012, the festival of La Chaise-Dieu invited for the third time Les Passions to perform its triptyque dedicated to composer Jean Gilles. On the program was the Te Deum and the Messe in ré (unedited), created on May 2, 2012 in the Cathedral of Saint Etienne of Toulouse as part of the Encounters of Ancient Music of the Midi-Pyrénées of Odyssud-Blagnac (Rencontres de Musiques Anciennes en Midi-Pyrénées d’Odyssud-Blagnac).
At the end of 2012, Les Passions under the direction of Joël Suhubiette, accompanied the chamber choir Les Elements in a performance of Bach’s Magnificat, for the choir’s 15th anniversary concert in the Halle aux Grains of Toulouse. In February 2013, Les Passions shared the stage of the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse with the Choeur du Capitole interpreting the Motets Versaillais of Rameau and Mondonville.
The recording policy of Les Passions with the record label Ligia (distributed by Harmonia Mudi) involves creating a disc per year, frequently accompanied by noted soloists such as Isabelle Poulenard, Guillemette Laurens, among others. All the recordings thus far, have been critically acclaimed and crowned with success by the public. After Con Voce Festiva by Alesssandro Scarlatti, Vêpres Vénitiennes by Nicola Porpora, Noël Baroque Occitan with the Sacqueboutiers, Beata est Maria, a collection of motets for three men’s voices by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (for the most part unedited) was released in 2011.
In the fall of 2012, the third disc of the major works of Jean Gilles will be released. His thorough research as much musical as historical, and his extensive restitution of forgotten or lost scores has made Jean-Marc Andrieu one of the world’s foremost specialists of Jean Gilles. Concerts and recordings reunite Les Passions, the chamber choir Les Elements (musical director Joël Suhubiette), Anne Magouët, Vincent Lièvre-Picard, Bruno Boterf, Jean-François Novelli as well as Alain Buet. A box edition of the 3 CDs has been released in April 2013.
The orchestra is in residence in Montauban. It is supported by the city of Montauban, Community Agglomeration of Grand Montauban, the city of Toulouse, the General Council of Tarn-et-Garonne, and it is registered with the Region Midi-Pyrenees and the Ministry of Culture and Communication – DRAC of Midi-Pyrenees. It regularly received the support of the SPEDIDAM and the ADAMI for its recordings. It is a member of FEVIS (Specialized Federation of Vocal and Instrumental Ensembles).