27 October 2017

Organist, harpsichordist and musicologist Sébastien Daucé specialises in the music of the French Baroque. He formed Ensemble Correspondances, one of France’s leading early music groups, whilst still a student at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon, where he studied harpsichord and basso continuo.

Building on the success of some of his recent artistic projects with Correspondances, Sébastien Daucé wants to put a spotlight on some of the lesser known pieces that are the real treasures of the Grand Siècle in next year’s festival. The programme is yet to be announced, but here are some insights he wanted to share about what to expect from the festival in 2018.

We know you are busy putting together next year’s programme, but what can you tell us now about LFBM 2018?

Expect to discover many musicians and pay tribute to the great ancient masters. I want the audience to trust me on this journey of French baroque music. Some of the artists and composers are very well-known, some are not so much.

Every concert in the programme is something special to me. There are two projects with Correspondances that are very different from what you might imagine of French baroque, so I’m looking forward to the reactions!

It is great to have Ensemble Correspondances with us for the festival. How will LFBM be different to other festivals you have played at?

It’s a pleasure for these talented artists to share so many days with the audience. We’re so used to playing one night here, the day after in another place: it will be such an experience! I really hope people will come to many concerts and will get to know the artists… You will discover a family.

Tell us more about a specific project you will present in the festival in 2018.
We will present a very special repertoire written by Charpentier, who spent 5 years in Rome and invented the French oratorio: he’s the only one to write the ‘Histoires Sacrées’ (Sacred Stories). The scores are magnificent: all written in his hand.

To this day, we still don’t know whether they were staged at all during Charpentier’s life time, whether in church or theatre. Theatre in a sacred setting is not obvious, but it works very well! You hear the music in a very different and powerful way… All these stories are still deeply moving today and the theatre helps us to understand many things and make it very contemporary to us.

It’s an atypical project and we are delighted to bring it to the festival in 2018. I’m sure it will be very interesting for many people.

“Expect to discover many musicians, and pay tribute to the great ancient masters…”

What other projects are Ensemble Correspondances working towards at the moment?

After the festival, Ensemble Correspondances will release a new album of English repertoire. This is something completely different for us. I’ve discovered that English 17th-century musicians were very interested in the French manner and many French musicians were engaged at the English court. I have discovered many composers and a lot of fantastic music by Dowland to Purcell… I really hope that lovers of English baroque music will indulge us! It will make next May in London a very exciting moment for me!

Tickets go on general sale Monday 5 February 2018 

Priority booking opens on Monday 29 January 2018 for LFBM Friends and St John’s Smith Square’s Friends and Patrons.