Marcel Pérès Returns for Machaut: Messe de Nostre Dame
Following his Cappella Romana début in 2012 leading powerful chants from Santiago de Compostela, international early music star Marcel Pérès from Paris directs the earliest known Mass setting by a single composer, Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377), with chants for Candlemas.
Widely considered an iconoclast in the early music movement, Medieval Latin chant specialist Marcel Pérès has developed a robust and vibrant, expressive and energetic style of singing plainchant, challenging audiences and fellow scholars and performers to reconsider how to approach ancient repertories from throughout the Christian world.
After studying organ and composition at the Nice Conservatory, Pérès pursued his musical education in Great Britain and Canada. Upon his return to Europe in 1979, he began to specialize in medieval music and in 1982, he founded Ensemble Organum for the purpose of undertaking a methodical exploration of medieval liturgical repertoires.
In 1984 he founded a research centre at the Royaumont Foundation for the performance of medieval music: the CERIMM (Centre Européen pour la Recherche sur l’Interprétation des Musiques Médiévales – European Medieval Music Research and Performance Centre) where he was director until 1999.
Under his direction, Ensemble Organum has released numerous highly acclaimed recordings. Their awards include: Diapason d’or, Classical Awards, Choc de l’année of the Monde de la Musique, and New York Times’ Essential Records of the 20th Century. Pérès is also the composer of over thirty works.
In 2001, at the former Abbey of Moissac, Pérès created the CIRMA (Centre Itinérant de Recherche sur les Musiques Anciennes – Itinerant Centre for Early Music Research), designed to examine historical movement and experiential knowledge from past centuries in order to develop a mutually informative approach between living traditions and musical archaeology.
In 1990, Monsieur Pérès was awarded the Leonardo da Vinci Prize by the French Secretary of State. In 1996, he received the distinction of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) from the French Ministry of Culture, and in 2013 the distinction of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters (Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres). He is godfather of the “Marcel” bell, which was built in 2012 and consecrated on February 2, 2013 for the 850th anniversary celebration of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.