When publishing his Dix Pseaumes de David in Paris in 1564, Claude Le Jeune was still a young musician in his thirties: we know his work from this time solely through a few chansons included in two collective anthologies. This first personal volume clearly identifies him as a Huguenot composer. The four-part texture with frequent homorhythmic passages and the free alternation of long and short syllables clearly belong to the world of protestant psalmody. Yet, in numerous passages, the richness of the rhythmic palette and the abundance of polyphony originate from within this framework: the rhythmic values are chosen to illustrate both words and ideas. And as much could be said of the use of rising and falling intervals, of the melodic shapes, and of the polyphony itself. Careful listening will allow the auditor to discover the ever-present figuration with which they are adorned. Although a youthful work, the depth and sincerity of construction of the Dix Pseaumes de David are as touching as the greatness of their creator’s vision is impressive. Their employment of modes and rhythm clearly announce certain essential features that would become the hallmark of his mature masterpieces.
LUDUS MODALIS is a professional ensemble of five to twelve singers formed around the tenor Bruno Boterf. The group focuses principally on polyphonic Renaissance and early-Baroque repertoire, with incursions into contemporary music. Apart from the absence of a conductor in the standard sense, the ensemble's specificity and its "sound blend" are the fruits of thorough-going attention to the parameters of a capella polyphony: the development of an intonation aimed towards achieving a clarity of natural intervals; the attention paid to the text on the basis of the declamation and historical pronunciation; and the richness of the sonority achieved through the use of a variety of vocal timbres and colours, as well as a subtle mix of female, male, and even children's voices. Ludus Modalis has been invited to perform during regular concert seasons and important festivals throughout Europe and Canada.
Nathalie Marec, Annie Dufresne, sopranos
Jean-Christophe Clair, alto
Bruno Boterf, Vincent Bouchot, tenors
François Fauché, Jean-Michel Durang, basses
Yannick Varlet, organ and harpsichord
After his university musicological studies, BRUNO BOTERF chose to concentrate on singing, rapidly establishing himself alongside the leading musical directors of the Bach cantatas, Handel oratorios, the sacred works of Monteverdi, Cavalli, Mozart and Rossini. At the same time, he familiarised himself with the mysteries of medieval music, working with Anne-Marie Deschamps and Marcel Pérès, as well as performing contemporary music with the Groupe Vocal de France. He has participated in several premières with the ensembles 2e2m and Itineraire, notably for Radio France. He has also appeared on stage in numerous opera productions under musical directors such as Jean-Claude Malgoire, William Christie, Marc Minkowski, and Hervé Niquet, among others. Passionate about Renaissance and early Baroque music, Bruno Boterf has immersed himself in seicento repertoire, working with ensembles such as Akadêmia, Les
Witches, William Byrd and La Fenice, and as part of the duo A doi tenori (with Gilles Ragon). Within French repertoire, he pays particular attention to his favourite: the Air de Cour from the late 16th century. Holder of a Certificat d'Aptitude in early music, Bruno Boterf has taught at the Tours Conservatorium, helping establish a class in interpretation of Renaissance vocal music. He regularly contributes as a teacher in early-music singing at the Conservatoires Supérieurs of Paris, Lyon and Liège, and to master-classes dedicated to Renaissance polyphony. This pedagogical experience, together with twenty years' devotion to the projects of Ensemble Clément Janequin (until 2007), led him to form the ensemble Ludus Modalis. He has made numerous recordings for Harmonia-Mundi, Alpha, Ricercar, l'Empreinte digitale, Erato, CBS, and Auvidis, as well as more recently with Ludus Modalis for Ramée.