Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
une appropriation exigeante, virtuose et passionnée
Inspired by the intimate conviction of their founder, flautist and pioneering researcher François Lazarevitch, Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien have been evolving since 2006 as free spirits on the paths of the Baroque, matching up oral and written sources. Their shared affi- nities with traditional repertoires and musicians enriched their earliest projects and echœd a whole scholarly archipelago of early and Baroque music – the same inventive feeling for colours, the same energy springing from danced movement, the same pœtic sensibility. Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien awaken slumbering musical collections – but not solely – in an approach both erudite and intuitive, rooted in folk practices and filtered through a de- manding, virtuosic and passionate appropriation.
Everything in this alchemy is unique and identifies the ensemble even more than the refe- rence to the brotherhood of violinist-dancers that gave it its name: the relief and elegance of the lines, the flexibility of the swaying phrasings, the richness of a rare early instrumenta- rium in which flutes and bagpipes stand out, the inner fire electrifying even the best-known works of Bach or Vivaldi, the naturalness of expression, which makes every interpretation so familiar yet so new.
In the course of concerts in France, tours in Europe and America, and thirteen recordings on the Alpha Classics label, Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien have reinforced a strong presence on the French and international scenes, unanimously praised by the public and specialised press alike.
Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien are in residence at the Festival de Lanvellec et du Trégor.
Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien are supported by the le Ministère de la Culture – DRAC de Normandie and the Région Normandie.
La Caisse des Dépôts is the main sponsor of Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien.
Le naturel de l’expression, qui rend si familière et pourtant si neuve chaque interprétation
Direction, flutes and musette
Although his primary instrument is the flute, from the outset, François Lazarevitch has concentrated his apprenticeships, re- search and musical practices on the diversity of sources, oral and written, which he deems necessary for recreating the early and Baroque repertoires today. Backed, since 2006, by the com- panionship of his Musiciens de Saint-Julien, to whom he passes on his craving for going ever further in comprehension, his taste for the discovery of forgotten repertoires and experimental cu- riosity about all cultures, he takes a singular new look at a whole chapter of our musical history. The driving force? Rhythm, this impulse born of dance and which calls more on what is felt than on what is written on paper and which must imbue all music with flexibility and in awareness. This is why his recording of Bach’s Flute Sonatas (Alpha Classics, 2014, ‘Choc’ Classica) sur- prises and charms with the eloquence, invention and refinement of his art of phrasing and ornamentation.
It must be said that while François Lazarevitch tackles early music and the flute with pio- neers such as Antoine Geoffroy-Dechaume, Barthold Kuijken and Pierre Séchet, he also ap- proaches Indian music, has a passion for the Irish flute, and practices music of oral tradition with those who still perpetuate it locally. These fruitful encounters and explorations open up his own path, uncharted and demanding, which he travels, adding strings to his bow: today, he divides his time between the flute and the musette with equal virtuosity, the pas- toral timbre having become emblematic of Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien. Artistic director of the ensemble, he conducts it on the French and international music scenes, recording innovative programmes for Alpha Classics, which are regularly acclaimed. He also enriches his experience through collaborations with Les Arts Florissants, Le Concert d’Astrée, Les Talens Lyriques, dancers and choreographers, stage directors and composers of today. An impassioned instrument collector and researcher, he publishes scores of unearthed reper- toires. Finally, he teaches Baroque flute and musette at the Versailles Conservatory, eager to pass on what drives him: ‘the freedom of breath in the service of listening, understanding and energy’.
Viola da gamba
Rebec, oboe, bow fiddle
Clarsach (Irish harp)
Viola de gamba
Marie van Rhijn