Spiritual Concerts – Music for the Royal Chapel

Spiritual Concerts – Music for the Royal Chapel
8pm – Saturday February 11
Alix Goolden Hall

Francois Puget The Musicians

Francois Puget The Musicians

After Lully’s iron grip on musical production in Paris and Versailles was released by his untimely death from gangrene (he inadvertently stabbed himself in the foot with the stick he used to beat time), musical life in Paris flourished. Music moved out of the court and the church and one of the first concert series anywhere was established in Paris, the Concert Spirituel. The music of de Lalande and Mondonville, a founder of the French violin school and a great musical innovator, featured prominently. The programs featured a mixture of sacred choral works and virtuosic instrumental pieces, and were performed in the magnificently-decorated Salle des Cent Suisses (Hall of the Hundred Swiss Guards) in the Tuileries Palace.

We think of Johann Sebastian Bach as one of the greatest composers of music for the church, without realizing how much of his cantata and passion movements are in fact based on French dance forms, such as the minuet, bourrée, gavotte and so on. Bach also wrote four noble orchestral suites, collections of pieces in French style, beginning with a grand French overture, followed by a suite of dances.

Jean Gilles

Jean Gilles

Louis XIV oversaw the building of four of the five chapels built at the Versailles Palace. The magnificent chapels were a focal point of daily life at the palace. Lavish music was composed for services in the chapel, where De Lalande was the Maitre de Chapelle. Jean Gilles’ magnificent Messe des Morts (Requiem Mass), was commissioned by a wealthy family, who then refused to pay Gilles for his efforts due to his delay in composing it. A furious Gilles then refused to have it performed until his own funeral; it went on to be one of the most frequently performed Requiems in France, and was played at the services for Rameau and Louis XV, as well as at least fifteen times at the Concert Spirituel. Gilles would most likely have replaced De Lalande as the Maitre de Chapelle had he lived longer than his 37 years.



Michel Richard de Lalande – Overture Les Fontaines de Versailles (1683)
Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville – Sonate en Symphonie, Op.3, No.3 (1742)
Marin Marais – Sonnerie de Ste-Geneviève du Mont-de-Paris (1723)
Johann Sebastian Bach – Ouverture (Suite) in b minor for flute, strings and continuo, BWV 1067 (1717)
Jean Gilles – Messe des Morts (1731)

Soile Stratkauskas – baroque flute
Natalie Mackie – viola da gamba
Pacific Baroque Orchestra (Marc Destrubé – director)
Victoria Children’s Choir (Madeleine Humer – director)

Some Music for Your Enjoyment

Jean Gilles, Requiem: Kyrie.  From Gilles ‘Requiem’. La Chapelle Royale, Philippe Herreweghe.  Harmonia Mundi HMX 2981341





Choral Evensong @ Christ Church Cathedral
4:30pm Sunday, 12 February

“Thank-you for reminding me of the beautiful choral music written by Henry Du Mont”. This was Marc Destrubé’s response to a wonderful recording of Du Mont’s sublime

St Christopher's Singers and Fretwork

St Christopher's Singers and Fretwork: October 2010

compositions for ‘Ladies of Religious Orders’. It was this recording which inspired the theme of this event: “music written by women, for women or about women”, featuring the motets of Henry Du Mont and the music of Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, the latter a most favoured female musician in Louis XIV’s court who was influenced by the new Italian style sweeping through Europe. Arriving in Paris from Liège, Du Mont eventually was attracted to the Court of Versailles. While his name is less well-known to modern musicians, those attending this Service will experience something very special and realise why Du Mont’s music was highly-esteemed in his day and why he is now recognised as the creator of the French baroque motet. The music sung at this Service will be drawn from is published work Cantica Sacra (1652), one of the earliest published works of French choral music.

Each year, this final event of the Festival brings a special feeling to me. As there is no charge to the public, usually the Cathedral is filled with over 600 people, some our faithful Festival audience, but others are those just interested to discover what the Festival and baroque music are all about. It is a moment in time I find when everyone seems to leave their daily lives at the door in order to be captivated by inspirational music. I will never forget last year’s event when the Cathedral was in an enraptured silence as Marc Destrubé, performed one of Biber’s enchanting Mystery Sonatas… a special, electrifying moment which we hope you will be able to experience again this coming February!

Brian Groos, Festival Manager


Henry Du Mont (1610-84) Litaniae Beatae Maria Virginis
Elisabeth Jacquet De la Guerre (1665-1725) Violin Sonata No 2 en Ré Majeur
Henry Du Mont Cantantibus Organis
Henry Du Mont Credidi (Psalm 115)
Henry Du Mont Magnificat
Henry Du Mont Cantate Domino
Henry Du Mont Vulnerasti cor meum
Henry Du Mont Domine Salvum Fac Regem
Elisabeth Jacquet De la Guerre Violin Sonata No 3 en Fa Majeur


St Christopher Singers
Victoria Children’s Choir
Pacific Baroque Orchestra

Some Music for your Enjoyment

Henry Du Mont, Domine salvum. From Henry Du Mont: Pour les Dames Religieuses. Choeur de chambre de Namur/Les Solistes/Bruno Boterf. Ricarcer RIC305.
Order through Sikora’s Classical records.



Victoria Children’s Choir – Biber’s Requiem

Requiem by Heinrich von Biber. Performed by the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Victoria Children’s Choir and St. Christopher’s Singers. Pacific Baroque Festival 2011

Part One (of Five)

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five