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  • WDCH
  • Feb. 14, 2006
  • Masters of French Baroque Music Rameau, Gluck, and Rebel Featured in Program

    TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2006, AT 8 PM

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association continues its 2005/2006 Baroque Variations Series with a performance on Tuesday, February 14, at 8 p.m. by Les Violons du Roy. Conducted by artistic director Bernard Labadie, the ensemble performs works by French baroque composers Rameau and Rebel, and is joined by mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená in operatic arias by Rameau and Gluck.

    The concert begins with a Suite from Rameau's Dardanus and continues with Kožená singing arias of Alceste from Gluck's Alceste "Où suis-je? O malheureuse Alceste !...Non ce n'est point un sacrifice" and ( "Ah, malgré moi, mon faible cœur…O Ciel, quel supplice, quelle douleur!") After more instrumental music from Dardanus, the concert continues with more Gluck arias sung by Kožená: "Ah, si la liberté me doit être ravie" portraying Armide from Armide, and "Dieux puissants que j'atteste…Ma fille, je la vois… Jupiter, lance la foudre," an aria of Clymnestre from Iphigénie en Aulide.

    After intermission, Kožená sings Rameau's portrayal of damsels in distress: an aria of Telaire from Castor et Pollux ("Tristes apprêts"), of Venus from Dardanus ("C'en est trop… Trouble cruel… Quand l'aquilon fougueux") and of Phèdre from Hyppolite et Aricie ("Cruelle mère des amours"). Chaos ensues as the ensemble features Rebel's symphony in seven sections, Les Élémens (The Elements). The concert concludes with more of Rameau's arias.

    Baroque Variations continues with pianist Richard Goode in an all-Bach program on April 5, and concludes with performances by members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic on May 26 and May 28 featuring Bach's complete Brandenburg Concertos with conductor Giovanni Antonini.

    The chamber orchestra LES VIOLONS DU ROY borrows its name from the renowned string orchestra of the court of the French kings. The group, which has a core membership of fifteen players, was brought together in 1984 by artistic director Bernard Labadie and specializes in the vast repertoire of music for chamber orchestra, performed in the stylistic manner most appropriate to each era. Although the ensemble plays on modern instruments, its approach to the works of the Baroque and Classical periods has been strongly influenced by current understanding of performance practice in the 17th and early 18th centuries; in this repertoire Les Violons du Roy uses Baroque bows and bowing technique. The orchestra has been widely acclaimed for the exceptional energy, brilliance, and vitality of its performances. Since 1988, the group has made over a hundred concert appearances in France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, England, Norway, Austria, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Spain, and the United States. Tours of the United States and Europe are already scheduled until 2007, including their return at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and at the Rheingau and Schleswig-Holstein Festivals. From 1992 to 2003, Les Violons du Roy made twelve CD recordings with the Dorian label. Seven of them have been nominated for JUNO awards, and two (Handel's Apollo e Dafne and Mozart's Requiem) won the JUNO award for Best Classical Album, Choral or Vocal Performance. Their latest CD, J.S. Bach Psaume 51 and Cantata 82, was released in October 2004 on the ATMA label. Future recordings are planned with Virgin Classics. Les Violons du Roy gratefully acknowledges the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada, Bureau de la Capitale-Nationale, and Fondation des Violons du Roy in the presentation of this concert.

    BERNARD LABADIE was born in Québec City and completed most of his musical training there. He has become a remarkable ambassador for his native province through the work of two groups, the chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy and the chamber choir La Chapelle de Québec, which he founded respectively in 1984 and 1985. He conducts them in regular concert seasons in Québec City and Montréal, and on tour throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe in venues such as the Barbican Centre in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Lincoln Center in New York, and Massey Hall in Toronto, as well at the Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein, and Rheingau festivals. In May 2003, Labadie left L'Opéra de Québec, where he had been Artistic Director since July 1994, to take up a new position at L'Opéra de Montréal, where he was appointed in April 2002. As a guest conductor, Labadie has conducted all the major symphony orchestras in Canada, and his career in the United States has developed considerably since his debut appearance with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1999. He has been a guest conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and with the San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Detroit, and Saint Louis symphony orchestras, as well as the New World Symphony in Miami, the Saint Paul and Los Angeles chamber orchestras, the Oregon Bach Festival orchestra and the orchestra at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York. As a recognized specialist in Baroque and Classical music, Labadie has also conducted early music groups such as the Philharmonia Baroque (San Francisco), the Handel and Haydn Society (Boston), the New York Collegium, and Music of the Baroque Chicago.

    MAGDALENA KOŽENÁ was born in Brno, studied at the Brno Conservatoire, and continued her studies with Eva Blahová at the College of Performing Arts of Bratislava, graduating in 1995. She was awarded several major prizes in both the Czech Republic and internationally (culminating in the 6th International Mozart Competition in Salzburg in 1995). In 1996/97 she was a member of the Vienna Volksoper and in 1998 she sang "Paride" in Gluck's Paride ed Elena in her debut at the Drottningholm Festival. Kožená's recordings include works by Bach and Handel with Marc Minkowski for DG/Archiv, and her first solo recital disc with pianist Graham Johnson (Gramophone Solo Vocal Award, 2001) for Deutsche Grammophon, with whom she has signed an exclusive contract. Her most recent discs include arias by Mozart, Gluck, and Myslivecek, a collection of French arias, a recital disc with Malcolm Martineau, and an acclaimed disc of cantatas by members of the Bach family. She was the 2004 Gramophone Awards Artist of the Year. Kožená is already established as a major concert and recital artist. Her recitals have taken her to London, Brussels, Paris, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Munich, Prague, Tokyo, Yokohama, and Sapporo. Last season she appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall, in San Francisco, and in London, Brussels, Lisbon, Vienna, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Prague.

    Her operatic engagements have included several notable debuts: at the Châtelet in Paris with John Eliot Gardiner, at the Vienna Festival with Minkowski, at the Edinburgh Festival, at the Leipzig Opera, at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, at the Netherlands Opera, and at the Salzburg Festival with Nikolaus Harnoncourt. She has also appeared at the Glyndebourne Festivals, the Bavarian State Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera. In 2003 she was awarded the title of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music - Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association's involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children's programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.


    TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2006, at 8 PM

    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    Baroque Variations


    BERNARD LABADIE, conductor

    MAGDALENA KOŽENÁ, mezzo-soprano

    RAMEAU Suite from Dardanus

    GLUCK Arias from Alceste, Armide, and Iphigénie en Aulide

    REBEL Les Élémens (The Elements)

    RAMEAU Arias from Dardanus, Hippolyte et Aricie, and Castor et Pollux

    Tickets ($15-$82) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($15) will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Recital, and Baroque Variations performances beginning at noon on the Tuesday of the second week prior to the concert. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Sabrina Skacan, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034