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From La Manche to Corsica, ten classical music festivals not to be missed this summer


The lifting of health restrictions allows music lovers to return to the roads of France. Ten suggested destinations for all tastes.

Classical music festivals flourish in the summer.

And since most of them lowered the curtain last year, this 2021 edition takes on a rather special color.

The high masses will be well celebrated, from Un Violon sur le Sable (July 16 - August 4) to La Roque d'Anthéron (July 23 - August 18), via La Chaise-Dieu (August 19 - 29) and Rocamadour (August 15 - 26).

In the Paris region, the Festival Idéal au Potager du Roi de Versailles lasts until August 1 and the Classique au Vert festival runs its full length on the lawns of the Parc Floral until September 8.

Le Figaro

shines the spotlight on ten other exceptional festivals, from the Luberon to the Limousin.

To read also: At the Festival d'Aix 2021, a "Falstaff" on a plate

Yonne - Festival les Sensationnels de Sens, from July 4 to 11

The event was created in Sens last year by the talented cellist Victor Julien-Laferrière, winner of classical music 2018 and, above all, first prize of the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Music Competition in 2017. He invites his friends the pianist, full of sensitivity, Adam Laloum and the violinist Mi-Sa Yang on July 6 around Strauss, Schumann and Stravinsky.

The five planned dates will take place at the municipal theater, all dressed in red, in the ancestral Saint-Savinien basilica in Sens and at the Saint-Maurice church, the former fishing parish overlooking the Yonne.

Aveyron - Sylvanès Abbey Festival, from July 14 to August 29

Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom

in opening.

The Soloists of Byzantine Music will perform these songs of the Byzantine rite, written between the 13th and 19th centuries.

Since 1977, Sylvanès Abbey, a superb testimony to Romanesque architecture, has combined the best of the sacred Western vocal repertoire (


by Mozart and Saint-Saëns,

La Création

d'Haydn) and the great sacred and popular traditions (Corsican polyphony ).

Within this very rich program, let us also note the beautiful

Stabat Mater

by contemporary composer Christophe Gibert.

Manche - Les Heures Musicales de Lessay, from July 20 to August 17

Olivier Mantei, who has just been appointed to the Philharmonie de Paris, gives way to vice-president Christophe Jeanson to preside over the destinies of these Hours.

He will be responsible for continuing to bring the elite of baroque music to the Normandy countryside.

The flourishing Arts of William Christie, faithful to the event, and Les Cris de Paris and Geoffroy Jourdain are expected this summer.

To venture as far as Mozart and Beethoven, Les Talens Lyriques and Insula Orchestra by Laurence Equilbey will play in turn in the 11th century Benedictine abbey, whose Romanesque style and its arched windows offer particularly beautiful acoustics.


1001 Notes in Limousin, from July 24 to August 7

This festival, created in 2005, is aptly named. The classic is available in many forms and seeks to capture the general public. The pope of early music, Jordi Savall will come to perform the soundtrack of

Tous les Matins du Monde

(Marin Marais, Couperin, Lully ...) with his Concert des Nations. Gaël Clavière, who officiates in the kitchens of Matignon, will give a conference on pastry making under Louis XIV. From one piano to another, Lucas Debargue, soloist with a singular performance revealed at the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition, will perform Schumann and Scriabin in the courtyard of the Bishop's Palace in Limoges. We are also curious to know what will give the concert of Mikhail Rudy, Russian pianist whose notoriety is no longer in question, accompanied by his son Sacha,young artist who navigates between pop and rap.

Corsica - Les Nuits du Piano d'Erbalunga Festival, from July 30 to August 8

The main event dedicated to classical music on the island, the Nuits du Piano is celebrating its tenth anniversary.

Five concerts are organized in three different places: the courtyard of the Palace of the Governors of Bastia, a vast open-air theater in the Cap Corse in Erbalunga, the tree-lined esplanade known as Casone in Ajaccio.

Among the artists, we will notably hear the Bulgarian Plamena Mangova endowed with a playing as powerful as clear, Severin von Eckardstein (who was first prize of the Queen Elisabeth Competition).

The young cellist Anastasia Kobekina, to whom all eyes are directed, will be in a duet with Vardan Mamikonian in a César Franck - Schubert program.

Pyrénées-Orientales - Pablo Casals de Prades Festival, from July 30 to August 13

The most beautiful religious buildings in the region continue to serve as the backdrop for concerts but, at more than seventy years old, the classic rendezvous founded by Pablo Casals has had a makeover: master class, new artistic choices, creation of a chamber orchestra. In charge of this project, conductor Pierre Bleuse, seen at the head of the Orchester de la Suisse Romande like that of Strasbourg and Tokyo. He will hold the wand several times during these two weeks. Notably in opening concert with Sol Gabetta in the

Cello Concerto n ° 2

of Saint-Saëns.

Lovers of chamber music can sleep on both ears: the Smoking Joséphine quintet and the Isabelle Faust - Sol Gabetta - Bertrand Chamayou trio are announced.

Anastasia Kobekina will have left Corsica to come and perform under the baton of Vladimir Spivakov.

It is also difficult not to mention the great lady of the piano Elisabeth Leonskaja, who will perform two sonatas by Schubert.

Creuse - Musique à la Source, from August 6 to August 14

Marcel Pérès and his Organum ensemble have kept the memory of medieval music alive for forty years.

In the abbey of Évaux-les-Bains, they will perform the

Mass of Notre-Dame

composed by Guillaume de Machaut in the 14th century.

Thierry Escaich, also known as a composer, will improvise on the organ on Saint-Saëns and Mendelssohn.

Another highlight of these seven concerts, that given by the prodigious mezzo Adèle Charvet.

Nice bouquet of artists for this festival which is blowing its three candles this year.

The evenings are divided between the abbey church of the thermal spa of Évaux-les-Bains and various churches in the region, such as that of Guéret and Rougnat.


Luberon String Quartet Festival from August 14 to 29

The musicians of the Zaïde quartet, active for more than ten years, have taken over the reins of the event created in 1976. They will perform on several occasions, notably performing Ravel and an arrangement of

Mozart's The Magic


They suit, over the fourteen dates, the Marmen, Minetti, Zemlinsky, Prazak or Hermès quartets, full of vigor and refinement.

On the program side, we will hear, for example, the

Quartet n ° 13

called “Rosamunde” by Schubert and the

Quartet N ° 13 in G major

by Dvorak.

The pretty ocher church of Roussillon, the church of Goult or the abbey of Silvacane, facing the foothills of the Luberon, will serve as a backdrop.

Isère - Berlioz Festival, from August 17 to 30

His reputation is well established. The festival, which is held in La Côte Saint-André, the birthplace of the grandiose French composer, invites prestigious ensembles. This summer, John Eliot Gardiner will be surrounded by tenor Cyrille Dubois, mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre and baritone Lionel Lhote in


A Midsummer Night's Dream



Les Nuits d'été

. His former assistant François-Xavier Roth will be with the Orchester Les Siècles, accompanied by Renaud Capuçon and Bertrand Chamayou. The conductor will also conduct Le Cercle de l'Harmonie in

La Symphonie Fantastique


Lélio ou le Retour à la vie

, by Berlioz. By the same composer, John Nelson will give

L'Enfance du Christ

with the Orchester national de Lyon.

Russian maestro Valery Gergiev, accompanied by the phalanx of the Mariinsky Theater, will tackle

La Damnation de Faust


In Paris, the summer of the Paris Chamber Orchestra.

Until September 3.

The musicians sit under the Louis XIII-style facade facing the long French-style gardens. The Hôtel de Sully, near the Place des Vosges, has been hosting the training since 2015. Seat prices are low. On the program this year of these six dates, the sons of Bach, Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel (with the harpsichordist Maude Gratton) and the second concerto of Beethoven by the artistic director of the orchestra Lars Vogt. Note that, still in Sully, the Orchester de Chambre de Paris invites young musicians from conservatories during the “Open scene” festival. In August, there will be three concerts in another prestigious venue, the 17th century Gobelins enclosure. Hervé Niquet will thus come with the Choir of the Spiritual Concert to interpret Saint-Saëns and Gounod.

Source: lefigaro

All life articles on 2021-07-05

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