What is Musique Cordiale?
Musique Cordiale is an international classical music Festival and Academy, which fosters participation, education and musical excellence. Over coming years, the team which founded and run Musique Cordiale, plan to burnish its growing standing as a respected and valued part of the musical life of Europe. In its first 10 years, a dedicated group of music lovers from all over Europe has worked to build the festival’s reputation for quality and accessibility. In 2010 it was recognized by one eminent music critic as one of the top ten classical music festivals in Europe and it makes a significant contribution both to the cultural life of the Pays de Fayence, in the Var where it takes place, and to the musical opportrunities of established musicians and of emerging talent from all over Europe.
Musique Cordiale is based in Seillans and the Pays de Fayence and takes place over two weeks in early August in towns and villages in Provence in the foothills of the Alps in southeastern France. Its audience and reputation has grown steadily. It now attracts professional musicians, music students and good amateur choral singers from 10 European countries.
Over two weeks they rehearse and give over 20 performances of Choral and Orchestral works, chamber music, Opera and Jazz in a variety of acoustic churches, medieval chapels, halls and theatres – and out of doors in squares and courtyards. It is an unusual collaboration of young and old, amateurs and professionals musicians which allows young players and amateur singers to rehearse and perform with leading professionals from major European orchestras and conservatoires. Among other works, they have, since 2005, performed the Bach Mass in B minor (twice), Mozart’s C minor Mass, the Mozart Requiem, Duruflé Requiem, Bach Magnificat, Haydn Te Deum, Haydn Nelson Mass, Handel Dixit Dominus, Dvorak Stabat Mater and Fauré Requiem. Operas staged are Purcell ‘Dido & Aeneas’, Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte, Bizet La Boheme and Rossini Barber of Seville. Numerous a cappella works have included the Frank Martin Mass for double choir. A wide selection of challenging orchestral and chamber works have been executed to demanding international standards in addition to recitals, quartets and solo song. Jazz, modern song and World Music have also attracted audiences to hear a variety of impressive perfomers and ensembles.
Musique Cordiale has increasingly become a launch pad and showcase for young musicians, singers, opera directors and conductors. Alumni of the festival have gone on to prominent musical careers and many now sing or play with some of the greatest orchestras, opera companies, ensembles and conductors in the world. Musique Cordiale has become a truly European festival with different nationalities keen to participate. It nurtures a pan-European Entente Cordiale not only among the musicians but for people from the Var who enjoy and recognize the value of such an event to their communities, helping to attract a growing group of discerning tourists who appreciate the scenic, gastronomic and cultural attributes of the region. Many are agreeably surprised that the sunny summer ambience of the south of France and its lovely medieval churches and venues mix so uniquely with a critical emphasis on musical quality and the sheer number and variety of eciting concerts on offer.