Musical splendours and celebrations in Baroque Europe:

Rameau, Bach,Telemann and Haendel

Arsys Bourgogne Choir and the Harmonie Universelle Ensemble, (Artistic director : Florian Deuter), Conductor:  Pierre Cao

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750), Cantate BWV 78 (22 mn), Jesu, der Du meine Seele

Jean Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764), Grand Motet In convertendo (25 mn)

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767), Psalm Deus Judicium Tuum (20 mn)

Georg Friedrich HAENDEL (1685-1759), Psalm Dixit dominus (20 mn)

France, Germany, Italy, England....Four countries and four composers which are rarely united, here with their famous musical celebrations, amongst the most imposing of the entire repertoire. These works will help us to relive, during a concert, a musical Europe that knows no borders, catholic and protestant, that of the splendid chapels and the courts of the powerful and the elegant.

A little background…

This programme puts face to face France, particularly Burgundy, Germany, and England (or Italy) in the beginning of the 18th century. The greatest masters at the height of this baroque period are reflected one in the other: Jean-Philippe Rameau, Georg Philipp Telemann, Johann-Sebastian Bach and Georg Friedrich Haendel. The Cantata Jesu, der Du meine Seele by J.S. Bach (1724): a magnificent choral cantata whose subject is the celebration and the entreating of the Lord. This cantata was played between the reading of the scriptures and the sermon. The genius of Bach is found in these pages which he so wrote for each Sunday. The Grand Motet in convertendo by J.P.Rameau: composed on Psalm 125, one of the most beautiful texts of the Old Testament. Composed in 1713 and 1715, rearranged by Rameau in 1751, the rich and varied nomenclature of the choir and the orchestra, contribute in making this grand motet a work of great beauty which was rarely equaled in the Europe of the Age of Enlightenment. The Psalm Deus Judicium tuum by GP Telemann was composed during Telemann’s stay in Paris and given in concert for the first time at the Tuileries palace in 1738. Telemann established his reputation in the French society through this first religious work which was “much appreciated” The Dixit dominus by G.F Handel (1707): this motet calls mainly for the choir. It is strongly expressive in style and prefigures the great choral pageants to come.


Arsys Bourgogne

The professional choir Arsys Bourgogne first appeared on the musical scene in October 1999 under the aegis of the Burgundy Region and the French Ministry of Culture. The original project of the choir and its conductor Pierre Cao is to enhance its public's appreciation of five centuries of vocal music. A choir today recognized as belonging to the few best choirs in Europe.

A unique, pure and homogeneous sound, honed with patience and humanity by the Luxembourgborn conductor Pierre Cao, whose regard for the text in vocal music is acknowledged by musicians everywhere.
Arsys Bourgogne's forces vary from four to 32 singers. The extreme professionalism which Arsys Bourgogne demands of its members enables the group to perform Baroque or Classical, Romantic or contemporary music. Both the ensemble and its individual members attach great importance to vocal timbre.

The recognition of the biggest concert halls in Europe
Arsys Bourgogne performs both in France and elsewhere in Europe : Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Cité de la Musique in Paris, Arsenal in Metz, Auditorium in Dijon, Tonhalle in Zürich, Concertgebouw Brugge, Teatro Real in Madrid, Auditori in Girona, Philharmonie in Luxembourg…

Depending on the repertoire to be performed, Arsys Bourgogne finds itself working with a variery of instrumental ensembles such as Concerto Köln, Sevilla Baroque Orchestra, Luxemburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Stavanger Symphonic Orchestra (Norway), Limoges Baroque Ensemble, la Fenice, les Basses Réunies, l'Arpeggiata, Il Fondamento, Zefiro or les Folies Françoises.

A discography dynamics enlightening a rarely played repertoire

Pierre Menaults’ Vespers for Père La Chaise, Bach motets, the Vespers for the Viennese Imperial Chapel in the Reign of Charles IV, and Music for Salzburg Cathedral, devoted to Heinrich Ignaz von Biber, have found particular favour with the music critics (marked 5 in Goldberg, 10 in Répertoire or 5 Diapason). The Vespers for Saint Mary Magdalena (2006-Universal/Accord) bring the medieval Gregorian song of the Prag Schola Gregoriana and the contemporary vespers ordered to 6 French young composers together : T. Escaich, N. Bacri, G. Connesson, P-A. Charpy, P. Fénelon and R. Campo. Last, The Paroles de vents (sept. 2007-Ambronay Editions) make us (re) discover Michael Haydn and the Bohemian Georg Druschetzky, with 2 masses for choirs and wind instruments.

Teaching activities ...
Arsys Bourgogne also plays an active part in discussion groups and seminars. Pierre Cao himself regularly gives teaching sessions and specialised training for both amateur and professional conductors from all over Europe.


Arsys Bourgogne is a member of FEVIS (the French Federation of Specialised Vocal and Instrumental Ensembles).

Arsys is subsidised by the Burgundy Regional Council and the Ministry of Culture and Communication (DRAC Bourgogne), with support from the Yonne General Council.


«The choral sound is incredibly homogeneous and clear… perfectly accurate intonation, attention to line, diction and dynamics. Above all a respect for the text… which enhances the sense and life of the music. Bach’s monumental structures are thus made architecturally clearer, more immediate and emotionally deeper.» Le Monde





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