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.

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


NEW PROGRAMMES


  • 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

Your music is harsh, violent and sensual. It is neither easy nor comfortable to put in music violence, lie and shame. The many « Je t’ai menti » said so beautifully by Raphaële will ring for a long time. […] This work is essential because it evokes the founding act by which children are born and come into the world. Your music says all this very well. In this tension and this danger you have created so well, it is so sweet to have reassurances and hope in the coming moments. […] Thank you to the artists, writers, musicians, who make the voices of the little, the suffering, the battered by life heard, and who give them a fair place without misery or charity, delivering justice to their beauty.
Cécile Santarelli, 2019

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, poet, 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.


PROGRAMMES EN DIFFUSION


  • 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 2-CD box set Sillages)


  • Ecstasy, splendour and penitence
    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


  • Elegance and insolence at the Court of 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


  • Ulysses in the feminine
    French cantatas of the 18th century

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

Ulysses in the feminine is a musical, poetic and symbolic water story […]. By water, I mean less water mirrors than tide, rocks and storm, rage of the Elements in the context of a controlled french Baroque music concert. Alternating cantatas and instrumental pieces […], the program combines spoken evocations that form a wide new chamber opera over the concert pieces, with recitatives that tell works and days of Ulysses in the feminine – that is to say precisely women who build and destroy Ulysses during his Odyssey, giving his feminine part to the hero and justifying the grammatical gender of his adventure. They are many, […] – in love, tempestuous, dangerous, faithful or nurturing ones, they say as much or more than sweat and leather on hero material.
Didier Lamare


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

To define as clearly as possible Raphaële Kennedy’s voice in this program, we would like to use the word liquid – if it had not taken the awful meaning of market value. A satin soprano voice, high in ductility, sometimes moire like the clothes we bring to the hero back to his homeland, a blue voice such as Athena’s eyes […]. We would like to know how to say what we heard about these water stories, these tides and storms. The spreading in the perfect violin and flute unison, one sliding in the wake of the other, inventing a rare sound jewel whose attacks and holding are neither those of the bow nor that of the breath – but perhaps something else to do with the voice spirit. The large and turbulent surf of the basso continuo, virtuoso complicity of the viol and harpsichord, drawing with fleeting gesture each time new paths to set voice on.
Demi-cadratin.fr, Didier Lamare, 2016


  • Leçons de ténèbres by Nicolas Bernier

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

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

The devotional character revealed by soprano Raphaële Kennedy is prodigious in its simplicity : without artifice and with total disregard of herself, she communicates suffering, sadness and doubt with these “musical lamentations” which touch the heart and truly reach the mark. […] An exaltation that intoxicates and delights […].
Crescendo, Noël Godts, 1998

Raphaële Kennedy shows herself to be completely at home in this music, and faultless in her precision […].
Diapason, Jean-luc Macia, 1998


  • To our ancestors, to our children
    Collaboration between Pierre-Adrien Charpy and Moussa Héma, a traditional balafonist from Burkina-Faso

Raphaële Kennedy | voice
Moussa Héma | balafon, n’goni, voice
Sylvie Moquet | viol
Yannick Varlet | harpsichord
Pierre-Adrien Charpy | organ

I wanted this meeting with balafonist from Burkina Faso Moussa Héma to reach a form of joy and jubilation, from sometimes troubled depths of beings and History. Could we be able to open up traditions, eras and styles, with energy and health, without compromise their identity? For me, this piece is an encounter with the other as well as with the most intimate part of oneself.
Pierre-Adrien Charpy

This very long piece is not actually a piece, no more than it is a fully written composition : it is a meeting between musicians. […] Between the initiatory voice of Raphaële Kennedy, the chromatic instruments of the ensemble Da Pacem […] and Moussa Héma’s pentatonic instruments : the “young man’s” n’goni, the balafon made of African bar-wood, his singing in the Dyula language which honours the most enduring of the African cults, expressing reverence for the ancestors and promise to the children. It is a weird baroque symphony […]. It is a concert – in the etymological sense. […] a work of mutual respect; it’s all about welcoming and giving.
Didier Lamare

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

The sound of the balafon is full of laughter and phantoms, the wind of the organ and the grain of the harpsichord make rain fall on the fertility dance, the viol sings the deep roots of the tree and the rapids of the river. According to how much faith we have in the future the soprano voice hovers in a sunset over red ruins or like the white light of the bird flying away from the tree. Between the Europe and Africa of yesterday and today, À nos ancêtres, à nos enfants is a concert of transmission, a music aspiring to human brotherhood.
Didier Lamare, 2017

Emotional respect to the elders and tender honour to children, the concert had a title that was program. Looking to the past and thinking about the future, with an ancient music and a new one, both timeless and seconded by a traditional african music, it made a wonderful and current act of harmony, a great present, an amazing gift.
Classiquenews.com, Benito Pelegrín, 2011


  • Motets for one and two voices by André Campra

Raphaële Kennedy, Claire Lefilliâtre | voices
Virginie Descharmes | violin
Pierre-Adrien Charpy | organ

Campra combined the French and Italian styles, even in his petits motets. He was a man of joyful vocalises, subtle harmonies, colourful orchestration and refined melodies. In his Apologie de la musique française of 1754, Laugier wrote : “Lalande is an artist who is held in higher esteem, Campra is a composer of great charm who is loved exceedingly.”
Stéphan Perreau 

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

The two young soloists […] compete with each other in grace and inspiration : the purity of vocal emission, the beauty of the vocalises, the expressive intensity and precision […].
Le Monde de la Musique, Philippe Venturini, 2000

[…] the performers […] present this music with perfect taste
Télérama, Xavier Lacavalerie, 2000

Raphaële Kennedy joins up with the talents of Claire Lefilliâtre to create a real emotional whirlwind.
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


DISCOGRAPHY


Pierre-Adrien Charpy
À nos ancêtres, à nos enfants in 2-CD box set Sillages
Raphaële Kennedy | Moussa Héma | Sylvie Moquet | Yannick Varlet | Pierre-Adrien Charpy
Cypres

Buy the box-set (Cypres records)

Order by mail to the producer (Da Pacem)

 


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

Order by mail to the producer (Da Pacem)


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

Order by mail


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

Order by mail


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