The Ensemble Clément Janequin
Created in Paris in 1978, “the Ensemble Clément Janequin” performs sacred and secular vocal music of the Renaissance, from Josquin to Monteverdi. Their inimitable performances of the 16th century French chanson have revealed what is now appreciated to be one of the Golden Ages in the history of French music, their recordings for Harmonia Mundi, Les cris de Paris, Le chant des oiseaux, Fricassée parisienne and La chasse being considered as benchmark interpretations. With tremendous appeal to a broad audience, these works by Janequin, Sermizy, Lassus, Lejeune and numerous others abound in the stylistic contrasts so dear to the Renaissance : the touching lyricism of the chanson amoureuse, the earthy humour of the chanson rustique that draws upon popular farce, the sounds of war, nature and street cries - a unique marriage of popular and high Renaissance culture.
"The Ensemble Clément Janequin" has performed extensively throughout the world, often with the support of Culturesfrance, formerly the AFAA. They have performed in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Cité de la musique in Paris, Carnegie Hall in New York, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the York and Boston Early Music Festivals, the Styrarte Festival in Graz, and in 2007 were “ensemble in residence” in the Laus Polyphoniae in Antwerp, one of the world’s leading early music festivals. The ensemble has also recently toured Spain, Belgium, Canada and the United States, at the Cervantino Festival in Mexico and recently in Brazil at Belo Horizonte and in Rio de Janeiro. It’s a regular visitor to Japan as well as the Innsbruck Early Music Festival. In December 2008, “the Ensemble Clément Janequin” celebrated its 30th aniversary at the Théâtre des Abbesses in Paris.
The Ensemble also performs contemporary music and now proposes programs ranging from Renaissance music to contemporary music, such as L’Ecrit du Cri at the Phénix theatre in Valenciennes on the theme of street cries, a program on the theme of animals performed in the Radio France series or the Philippe Manoury’s Missa Obscura commissioned by the Automne en Normandie Festival. The ensemble also took part in a conference on their eponymous composer, Clément Janequin, with concerts at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and in Janequin’s native town, Châtellerault.
The Ensemble’s recordings of sacred music include Mass & Motets by Claude Le Jeune, Psaumes de la Réforme celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Edit de Nantes in 1598, and the astonishing 12 part mass Et ecce terrae motus by Antoine Brumel, which was "disc of the month" in Gramophone. Their more recent secular music recordings, Canciones y Ensaladas, Une Fête chez Rabelais, Les plaisirs du palais and Autant en emporte le vent (Claude Lejeune) have all won numerous prizes around the world, the Canciones y Ensaladas winning the "Gramophone Award" in 1998. L’Écrit du Cri, a program of pieces inspired by street cries from the Renaissance to the present day, and initiated by the Phénix theatre in Valenciennes, was released in June 2009. In June 2013, “the Ensemble Clément Janequin” records a program of Renaissance ’O’ de l’Avent for the Alpha label.