Raphaële Kennedy & Da Pacem

All soloists, the musicians of DA PACEM master early music repertoire played on period instruments and contemporary creation using modern instruments, or instruments based on new technologies, with the same ease.
From late Renaissance to the baroque era, their historical requirement is built around thematic projects. They imagine a dramaturgy specific to each concert,  in a wide variety of timbres and atmospheres. The italian styled organ, especially built for them by the organ builder Quentin Blumenroeder, takes part in a rich, unified continuo group to support the voice.
The soprano Raphaële Kennedy and the composer Pierre-Adrien Charpy, founders of the ensemble in 1998, also imposed it as a laboratory of contemporary musical research and dialogue with popular and erudit music belonging to oral traditions.
Neither interbreeding, nor mixing, nor cross-over, their approach favors real encounter and confrontation, with rigour and sensitivity.

Raphaële Kennedy, Vincent Bouchot, Anne Magouët, Isabelle Deproit, Geoffroy Buffière | voices
Virginie Descharmes, Stéphanie Paulet | violin
Marine Sablonnière | recorders
Sylvie Moquet, Marianne Muller | viols
Julien Lucchi | sackbutts
Claire Antonini, André Henrich | theorbo, archilute
Yannick Varlet, Jean-Luc Ho | harpsichord
Pierre-Adrien Charpy | organ
Camilla Hoitenga | flutes
Serge Bertocchi | saxophones
Marylise Florid | guitar
Thomas Keck | electric guitar
Valérie Dulac | cello
Anaïs Gaudemard | harp
Jean-Jacques Bédikian, Anne Etienvre | piano


  • Le doux parfum des temps à venir | creation 2019

Raphaële Kennedy | voice
Camilla Hoitenga | flute
Serge Bertocchi | saxophone
Valérie Dulac | cello
Jean-Jacques Bédikian | piano

Le doux parfum des temps à venir explores the meanders of memory and imagination through the confidences of a mother – in the evening of her life – to her daughter. This story in the feminine, written by a man, questions the multifaceted faces of truth, as elusive and rich as a perfume. Through the encounter between sounds and words, the show stages this transmission of a tireless quest for self-fulfillment, like numerous reflections of a fugitive reality. 

Based on the magnificent poem by Haitian poet Lyonel Trouillot, Le doux parfum des temps à venir is sort of a non-staged opera or a nocturnal cantata written for a singing voice (soprano) with its spoken mirror […]. Two main musical ideas are developped : the use of specific instrumental gestures (multiphonics, saturations, prepared instruments…) that evoke perfume through musical texture, and the use of polyryhtmic patterns that evoke the traditional carribean music. The third musical caracteristic of the piece is the attention to the vocal part. Different themes run through the text : relationship between mother and daughter, death, transmission, truth, violence… but two of the most important ones are violence against women and capacity of resiliency.
Pierre-Adrien Charpy

In Raphaële Kennedy’s voice, there is something that carries and takes down at the same time. Something hollow or ancestral. Something that carries sound to its highest dwelling. I mean, the feeling of the body is that of a carrying or a raising.
Régis Lefort, poète, 2019

  • Tenebrae factae sunt
    Music by Tomás Luis de Victoria

Raphaële Kennedy, Anne Magouët, Isabelle Deproit, Vincent Bouchot, Geoffroy Buffière | voices
Pierre-Adrien Charpy | organ

The pieces of Tomás Luis de Victoria’s Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae were inserted into a complex and very long set of services. Rather than a liturgical reenactment or a re-contextualization, we propose the quintessence of this musical repertoire, with the nine Tenebrae Lessons and the eighteen Responsories of Holy Week, for a total of twenty seven pieces unanimously regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of sacred music.

  • Au secours ma raison

Raphaële Kennedy | voice
Sylvie Moquet | viol
Claire Antonini | theorbo
Yannick Varlet | harpsichord

Happiness, to love and be loved : this is the quest of the one who does everything he can to sigh, to please, to have the advantage, to win the heart with some victorious appeal, to love tenderly, to cherish, sometimes in ardour, sometimes in sweetness, always in constancy. In these second half of Eighteenth-century airs sérieux, brunetes or petits airs tendres and chansons pour danser, feelings rush : anger, shame, pity, sorrow and trouble echo torment, disorder, confusion. While grievances fill the air in extreme sadness and slowness, the active forces exceed reason that we call for help.


  • Henry Purcell – faces of women

Raphaële Kennedy | voice
Sylvie Moquet | viol
Marc Wolff | theorbo
Yannick Varlet | harpsichord
Pierre-Adrien Charpy | organ

The women who feature in the poetry of Purcell’s songs are all so many contrasted images. We can find in Orpheus Britannicus and Harmonia sacra – whose extracts are the object of this program – the absent beloved woman, the scornful or cruel one, the eternally in love one, the later to become Queen, the goddess, the Virgin. With his incomparable genius Purcell pays homage to all of these images of women, all equally captivating.

Henry Purcell
The sparrow and the gentle dove (live)

Raphaële Kennedy shows great skill and profound affinity with this style of music. […] She brings the full depth of feeling to these different atmospheres. It is poetry itself, she distils grace and makes us dream.
L’impartial, Denise de Ceuninck, 2005

We were charmed by the perfect match between the soprano and Purcell’s music. The musicians delighted soul and imagination, while the soloist hovered above them in an almost way. It was a unique, magical moment. 
La liberté, TD., 2005

The soprano gave her many-sided, flexible voice to all these women […]. She evolves in clear arabesques, lives and modulates her texts with perfect diction.
La Provence, G.L., 2007

In addition to displaying the beauty and natural elasticity of a well-placed voice, this young woman, […] brings a beautiful consistency to each of these works, achieving a rich and brilliant palette of feelings. Her task is rendered all the more easy by a solid continuo quartet who glorify Purcell’s scores. 
La Marseillaise, Michel Egéa, 2007

It is a voice with contrasting inflexions, alternately sensual, cheerful, celestial, moving, which is well served by the instrumentalists. 
Marseille l’hebdo, M.-J.L., 2007

  • Amorous disarray
    Italian music of the 17th century

Raphaële Kennedy | voice
Sylvie Moquet | viol
Marc Wolff | theorbo
Yannick Varlet | harpsichord
Pierre-Adrien Charpy | organ

At the turning point between the 16th and 17th centuries, the notion of music in the image of the harmony of the spheres was progressively abandoned in favour of a musical art which was a vector of the expression of the passions of the human soul. Of all these passions, by far the greatest centre of concern to the poets was love; and as it would not have been seemly to boast of a happy love, amorous disarray was deconstructed in all its forms.

Claudio Monteverdi
Si dolce è’l tormento (live)

  • A musical alchemy : Dietrich Buxtehude

Raphaële Kennedy | voice
Virginie Descharmes, Stéphanie Paulet | violon
Sylvie Moquet | viol
Marc Wolff | theorbo
Yannick Varlet | harpsichord
Pierre-Adrien Charpy | organ

Who can resist the pleasure of exploring the universe of this wonderful composer? He was a true middleman between different musical styles and periods, who achieved a staggering synthesis of the polyphonic, numerical and rhetorical traditions of his predecessors with a very personal poetry, by building musical structures of hitherto unknown richness, all embellished with great tenderness, taking care to make his music accessible to everyone, from the specialist to the layman. It is not surprising that Bach took him as his model!

Dietrich Buxtehude
O dulcis Jesu (extract from CD Une alchimie musicale)

A perfect musical alchemy. […] The performers have not saved their many talents. Raphaële Kennedy’s diaphanous and aerial timbre knows how to be embodied in vibrating accents. […] This soprano has a deep sense of declamation that works marvelously in this music that is constantly based on the text.
Utmisol, Hubert Stoecklin, 2011

[…] soprano Raphaële Kennedy makes herself an exact accomplice of Buxtehude’s piety. […] [She] knows how to stimulate the power of words from within, in both Latin and German motets. She adds virtuosity to fair expressiveness, not being a conqueror sure of her effects but being anxious to touch rather than to please. Thus appears the more ardent portrait of this outstanding creator […].
Classica, Roger Tellard, 2011

Buxtehude transmuted. […] In these pieces, Raphaële Kennedy’s timbre and phrasing work wonders : her sometimes ethereal voice and her singing without making effects have just what they take to give a human character to sacred complaints, with a final Klag-lied, a bemoaning in other words, that she unrolls with emotion like a painful litany that would never end.
Musikzen, Gérard Pangon, 2011

Serving great opus to discover, [instrumentalists] create a subtle, intimate and poetic universe, to support and interact with the beautiful, sweet, aerial and perfectly mastered timbre of the soprano. 
Zibeline, Frédéric Isoletta, 2011

  • O beata Virgo
    Italian marian music of the 17th century

Raphaële Kennedy | voice
André Henrich | theorbo
Yannick Varlet | harpsichord
Pierre-Adrien Charpy | organ

“Who is she who shines like the dawn when it appears? … Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, she brings abundant joy to earth, heaven and seas alike.”

Tarquinio Merula
Canzonetta spirituale sopra alla nanna (extract from two-CD set Sillages)

  • Extase, fastes et pénitence
    French sacred music of the 17th– 18th centuries

Raphaële Kennedy, Anne Magouët | voices
Sylvie Moquet | viol
Marc Wolff | archlute
Yannick Varlet | harpsichord
Pierre-Adrien Charpy | organ

At the height of the baroque period, Versailles represented the high point of French classical art and culture. Under the influence of the Counter-Reformation, the Jesuits and Madame de Maintenon sacred art reigned supreme. If in this “Grand siècle” penitence was still one of the foundations of catholicism, two other characteristics emerged in religious practice : splendour – the exaltation of the power of God, of his ministers or of the monarch of divine right – and ecstasy – the expression of the sensual mysticism of Saint Theresa of Avila or of Saint John of the Cross. This choice of petits motets shows off the richness of this trinity of religious expression.

Daniel Danielis
Adore te mea salus (live extract)

“The audience experienced an exceptional musical event. Ecstasy, splendour and penitence […] were magnificently projected into the hall. Raphaële Kennedy’s clear, pure voice blends with that of Anne Magouët, full and powerful, both imbued with the same sensuality. Their diction is rapid and fluent but fully rounded. And sometimes time seems to stand still, to make room for a unique spirituality, as for example in the distant, echoed replies in the motet by Danielis.”
L’Eclaireur du Gâtinais et du Centre, B. M.-R., 2010

“The audience is taken on a spiritual journey […]. Listening to this concert is to experience the radiance of the cult of the beautiful, the nature of the sacred, the humility of the human condition, bowing before the divine, all sublimated by the excellence of these artists. The wonderful tessitura of the voices made the audience tremble with emotion, shaken but also filled with enthusiasm and wonder.”
Le Dauphiné Libéré, Christine Barbier, 2010

  • Élégance et insolence à la cour de Charles IX
    Music by Guillaume Costeley, Guillaume Boni, Anthoine de Bertrand, Claude Lejeune

Raphaële Kennedy, Vincent Bouchot | voices
Marine Sablonnière | flutes
Sylvie Moquet | viol
Julien Lucchi | sackbut
Pierre-Adrien Charpy | organ

Certain great men have been the very incarnation of the Renaissance ideal of humanist civilization. Some French kings who were very sympathetic to this movement, successively gave their approval to certain writers and musicians among other great minds; this is the case with Charles IX, who was an educated  and literate prince. In a preface addressed to him, for the greatest happiness of the musicians Ronsard wrote : « Celui, Sire, lequel oyant un doux accord d’instruments ou la douceur de la voix naturelle ne s’en réjouit point, ne s’en émeut point et de tête en pieds n’en tressaut point, comme doucement ravi, et si ne sais comment dérobé de soi : c’est signe qu’il a l’âme tortue, vicieuse et dépravée ».

A repertoire of great variety flows in the ear, from the beautiful melody Je suis déshéritée, interpreted with infinite suavity by Raphaële Kennedy to the strange chromatic or metered songs by Claude Lejeune, who was avant-garde for his time. […] We can enjoy the texts of Pierre de Ronsard […]. A whole refined world that rubs shoulders with the grivois… and some totally nimble texts in a Rabelaisian style! Vincent Bouchot puts them in mouth and sings with great pleasure to play opposite his soprano partner… who is just as truculent as he is! 
Zibeline, Jacques Freschel, 2015

  • Ulysse au féminin
    French cantatas of the 18th century

Raphaële Kennedy | voice
Stéphanie Paulet | violin
Marine Sablonnière | flute
Marianne Muller | viol
Yannick Varlet | harpsichord

Ulysse au féminin est une histoire d’eau. Musicale, poétique, symbolique […]. Et par eau, on entend moins les miroirs que les marées, les rochers et les tempêtes, la fureur des éléments dans le cadre retenu d’un concert à la française. Alternant cantates et pièces instrumentales […], le programme y associe des évocations parlées, constituant, par-dessus la succession des pièces de concert, un vaste opéra de chambre inédit avec récitatifs qui conterait les travaux et les jours d’un Ulysse au féminin – c’est-à-dire précisément des femmes qui font et défont Ulysse au long de son Odyssée, rendant au héros sa part féminine et justifiant le genre grammatical de son aventure. Elles sont nombreuses, […] – amoureuses, tempétueuses, dangereuses, fidèles ou nourricières, elles en disent autant sinon plus que la sueur et le cuir sur l’étoffe du héros.
Didier Lamare

Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre
Le Sommeil d’Ulisse (extrait live)

On voudrait, pour cerner au plus juste la voix de Raphaële Kennedy dans ce programme, oser le mot liquidité – s’il n’avait pris cette affreuse valeur marchande. Un soprano satiné, ductile, parfois moiré comme les linges qu’on apporte au héros de retour dans sa patrie, une voix perse comme les yeux d’Athéna […]. On voudrait savoir dire ce qu’on a entendu de ces histoires d’eau, de marées et de tempêtes. L’étale dans l’unisson parfait du violon et de la flûte, l’une se glissant dans le sillage de l’autre, inventant un joyau sonore rare dont les attaques et la tenue ne sont ni celles de l’archet, ni celle du souffle – mais quelque chose d’autre qui a peut-être à voir avec l’esprit de la voix. Le ressac ample ou turbulent de la basse continue, complicité virtuose de la viole et du clavecin, dessinant sans cesse, d’un geste à chaque fois éphémère, de nouveaux chemins où poser le chant.
Demi-cadratin.fr, Didier Lamare, 2016

  • Leçons de ténèbres de Nicolas Bernier

Raphaële Kennedy | voice
Sylvie Moquet | viol
Pierre-Adrien Charpy | organ

Nicolas Bernier is incontestably one of the most remarkable figures in French music at the beginning of the 18th century. His Tenebrae Lessons hold a special place in his output : apart from the fact that none of them were published, they are the expression of a typically french art from the pen of a deliberately italianist composer.

Nicolas Bernier
1ère leçon de Ténèbres du premier jour (extract from CD Leçons de Ténèbres du premier jour)

The performance of the Leçons deserves nothing but the highest of praise : Raphaële Kennedy’s voice is solid, supple, attentive to the least inflexion of the musical text, and in perfect complicity with the continuo. Her timbre is at once clear, homogenous and warm.
Répertoire, Michel Lamalle, 1998

Raphaële Kennedy’s sweet, clear voice is full of grace and delicacy. […] Everything contributes to an atmosphere of ecstasy […].
Classica, Stéphan Perreau, 1998

Le caractère pieux révélé par la soprano Raphaële Kennedy est prodigieux de simplicité : sans artifice, elle communique, dans une totale abstraction d’elle-même, la souffrance, la tristesse et le doute par des « lamentations musicales » qui touchent au cœur et font mouche. […] Une exaltation qui enivre et ravit […].
Crescendo, Noël Godts, 1998

Raphaële Kennedy [se] montre d’un naturel et d’une précision sans faille […].
Diapason, Jean-luc Macia, 1998

  • À nos ancêtres, à nos enfants
    Rencontre du compositeur Pierre-Adrien Charpy et du balafoniste traditionnel burkinabé Moussa Héma

Raphaële Kennedy | voix
Moussa Héma | balafon, n’goni, voix
Sylvie Moquet | viole
Yannick Varlet | clavecin
Pierre-Adrien Charpy | orgue

Je voulais que cette rencontre avec le balafoniste burkinabé Moussa Héma atteigne une forme de joie et de jubilation à partir des profondeurs parfois troubles des êtres et de l’Histoire. Pouvions-nous ouvrir les traditions, les époques et les styles les uns aux autres, avec énergie et santé, sans compromettre leur identité? Cette pièce est pour moi une rencontre avec l’autre, tout autant qu’avec soi-même, au plus intime.
Pierre-Adrien Charpy

Cette très longue pièce n’en est pas une, non plus qu’elle n’est une composition à part entière: c’est une rencontre entre musiciens. […] Entre la voix initiatique de Raphaële Kennedy, les instruments chromatiques de l’ensemble Da Pacem […] et ceux, pentatoniques, de Moussa Héma: le n’goni « des hommes jeunes », le balafon en bois de vène, son chant en langue dioula qui honore le plus vivace des cultes africains, la référence aux ancêtres, la promesse aux enfants. C’est une symphonie baroque et fantasque […]. C’est un concert  – au sens étymologique. […] une oeuvre de respect mutuel, une affaire d’accueil et de don.
Didier Lamare

Pierre-Adrien Charpy / Moussa Héma
Danse (extrait coffret 2 CD Sillages)

La matière sonore du balafon est pleine de rires et de fantômes, le souffle de l’orgue et le grain du clavecin font pleuvoir sur la danse de la fertilité, la viole chante la racine profonde et les rapides du fleuve. Selon notre degré de confiance en l’avenir, la voix de soprano plane dans un coucher de soleil sur des ruines rouges ou comme la lumière blanche de l’oiseau qui s’envole de l’arbre. Entre l’Europe et l’Afrique d’hier à aujourd’hui, À nos ancêtres, à nos enfants est un concert de transmission, une musique à hauteur de frères humains.
Didier Lamare, 2017

Respect ému aux anciens et hommage tendre aux enfants, le concert avait un titre qui était programme. Tourné vers le passé et regardant l’avenir, il faisait d’une musique ancienne et d’une musique nouvelle, les deux intemporelles, secondées d’une musique traditionnelle africaine, une magnifique harmonie en acte, actuelle, un beau présent, un superbe cadeau.
Classiquenews.com, Benito Pelegrín, 2011

  • Motets à une et deux voix d’André Campra

Raphaële Kennedy, Claire Lefilliâtre | voix
Virginie Descharmes | violon
Pierre-Adrien Charpy | orgue

Fédérateur des styles français et italien jusque dans ses plus petits motets, André Campra est l’homme des vocalises jubilatoires, des harmonies subtiles, d’une orchestration colorée et des mélodies raffinées. Dans son Apologie de la musique française, Laugier résumait parfaitement en 1754, l’âme de cette figure marquante du XVIIIème siècle français : Lalande est un artiste qu’on estime davantage, Campra est un séducteur qu’on aime infiniment.
Stéphan Perreau 

André Campra
Salve Regina (extrait CD Motets à une et deux voix)

Les deux jeunes solistes […] rivalisent de grâce et d’inspiration : pureté d’émission, beauté des vocalises, intensité et justesse expressives […].
Le Monde de la Musique, Philippe Venturini, 2000

[…] les interprètes […] ont su faire montre de « goût » – et du meilleur…
Télérama, Xavier Lacavalerie, 2000

Raphaële Kennedy s’adjoint les talents de Claire Lefilliâtre pour créer un véritable tourbillon émotionnel.
Classica, Coralie Welcomme, 2000

Both singers have beautiful voices […]. Raphaële Kennedy’s tone is […] perfect, and her subtle use of vibrato adds a bit of spice to the music, without getting in its way.
Classical Music Web, Kirk McElhearn


Pierre-Adrien Charpy
À nos ancêtres, à nos enfants dans coffret 2 CD Sillages
Raphaële Kennedy | Moussa Héma | Sylvie Moquet | Yannick Varlet | Pierre-Adrien Charpy

Dietrich Buxtehude
Une alchimie musicale
Raphaële Kennedy | Virginie Descharmes | Stéphanie Paulet | Sylvie Moquet | Marc Wolff | Yannick Varlet | Pierre-Adrien Charpy
K 617

André Campra
Motets à une et deux voix
Raphaële Kennedy | Claire Lefilliâtre | Virginie Descharmes | Pierre-Adrien Charpy

Nicolas Bernier
Leçons de Ténèbres du premier jour
Raphaële Kennedy | Emmanuel Jacques | Pierre-Adrien Charpy | Hélène Decarpignies | Edwige Parat | Karine Sérafin

Crédits photos:
Da Pacem©Isabelle Françaix
Pierre-Adrien Charpy et Raphaële Kennedy©Isabelle Françaix
Le doux parfum des temps à venir©Isabelle Françaix
Au secours ma raison©Isabelle Françaix
Raphaële Kennedy et Anne Magouët©Alain Anselm
Raphaële Kennedy in Ulysse au féminin©Isabelle Françaix
À nos ancêtres, à nos enfants©Isabelle Françaix