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Jérémie Rhorer, the rebellious heir of William Christie

This article comes from Figaro Magazine.

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Jérémie Rhorer, the rebellious heir of William Christie

This article comes from Figaro Magazine

“An exacerbated taste for truth”: this is how we can describe the work of Jérémie Rhorer, because this conductor strives, for each work he conducts, to be as faithful as possible to the vision of the composer, to “respect its original intentions”. Such a requirement plunges him into numerous and meticulous research, and logically obliges his ensemble, Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, to play on period instruments. Moreover, he loathes stagings which “distort a work” and just as much singers who “arrange certain passages in their own way to show off. In a work, you have to go beyond your own vocal concerns.”

It will therefore come as no surprise that in the quiet but relentless world of classical music, his strong character earns him more than just friends. Capable of both impressive ardor and the most subtle nuances at his desk, he is in life what we call a “loud mouth”. He often says very loudly what others whisper.

Thus on Pierre Boulez, “who put contemporary French music under his yoke”. So again on the dispute which opposed, in his time, Verdi and, later, the German composers including Schoenberg, concerning the height of the pitch. The Italians advocated a warmer 432 Hz bass pitch, while the Germans wanted it at 442 Hz, a cooler, brighter sound. “It was the Germans who won,” he regrets, rolling his eyes. He just as strongly demonstrated his enthusiasm and support for Simon Rattle, the director of the London Symphony Orchestra, when he wrote a column in the English press deploring the absence of a cultural leader in our Western societies. Or to Sylvain Tesson, whose conference-show “Face au Cosmos” he recently applauded in Paris at the Théâtre de Poche Montparnasse.

Despite his angelic looks and his youthful locks, Jérémie Rhorer cannot stand diktats. He left William Christie, whose assistant he was, while maintaining a fluid relationship with him. This shows that, despite his determination, he knows how to round corners when necessary.

His passion for music launched him and his orchestra Le Cercle de l’Harmonie on a race around the world. When he is not with his ensemble, he is a guest conductor. We saw him in an incredible Offenbach in Zurich where he was able to express all his ardor. He received a standing ovation at the Teatro Real in Madrid, with Poulenc's Voix humaine, for which he respected all the restraint that this work demands - an exceptional show with Rossy de Palma as an interlude between the French composer and Schoenberg. Here he is in turn closing the Easter Festival in Aix-en-Provence, and at the Philharmonie de Paris * with Beethoven's Missa Solemnis.

A first for his orchestra confronted with a religious work, and accompanied by a choir remarkable in more than one way. This training is semi-professional, and sponsored by the automobile manufacturer Audi in Ingolstadt, Germany.

This is how Jérémie the nomad goes, from one city to another, from one work to another. Without ever letting yourself be locked into a genre or a recipe. We understand, he likes to go to the source of things. “Art is today the only space of freedom, so let’s preserve it! Let us not alienate ourselves from the forces of political powers. Simply, let’s respect the composers.”

* Easter Festival in Aix-en-Provence on April 6 (Festivalpaques.com), at the Philharmonie de Paris on April 23 (Philharmoniedeparis.fr).

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