State/Province where ensemble is based:
Name of performers in the ensemble and the instruments they play:
Debra Nagy, baroque oboe; Scott Metcalfe, baroque violin; Emily Walhout, viola da gamba; Lisa Goode Crawford, harpsichord; Lucas Harris, theorbo & guitar (regular guest)
Paragraph about the ensemble:
Les Délices is quickly establishing its reputation for polished, expressive, and dynamic performances of masterpieces and little-known works from the French Baroque. Founded by baroque oboist Debra Nagy, Les Délices is comprised of some of the nation’s top early music specialists, each with notable careers as soloists, chamber musicians, and teachers. Their performances at authentic, low-French chamber pitch allows them to explore the rich tapestry of tone colors available in this repertoire, and their name conveys their approach to the music of this era: a delight, a fine delicacy, sumptuous, and exciting. Audience members have called Les Délices' performances “exquisite,” “superb,” and “breathtakingly gorgeous,” while the Cleveland Plain Dealer has called their concerts "a beguiling experience."
Educational/Outreach add-ons available:
Member of Les Délices are available to teach masterclasses in baroque performance practice for chamber ensembles or individual performers of wind, string, or keyboard instruments. Programs that include guest performers may also be able to offer seminars in baroque dance for musicians.
Titles of touring programs for 2012-13:
The Tastes Reunited Just as the flashy, virtuosic music of Italian composers such as Vivaldi and Corelli remains wildly popular with today’s audiences, imported Italian music met with much excitement in 1690s France. Music lovers at that time had to be careful, however, since their taste for either French or Italian music was practically a political statement! Italian trio sonatas featuring violins were contraband at the French royal court; noble patrons who supported the fashionable Italian music were essentially disobeying the famously absolutist King Louis XIV. Admired instead in the musical salons of connoisseurs outside the orbit of Versailles, these Italian sonatas’ rhythmic vitality, harmonic clarity, and brilliant instrumental writing inspired a new generation of French composers eager to try their hand at writing in the Italian style. Les Délices captures the essence of this French-Italian fusion with this program derived from their debut CD of the same name, featuring early trio sonatas by Couperin and Clérambault, oboe suites by Louis-Antoine Dornel and François Chauvon (a student of François Couperin), solos for baroque guitar by Francesco Corbetta, and more. (5 musicians: oboe, violin, gamba, guitar/theorbo, harpsichord) In the Apartments of the King Louis XIV maintained a large retinue of musicians at Versailles, the best of whom performed daily concerts for him in his private chambers. Viola da gamba virtuoso Marain Marais, the king's harpsichordist Jean-Henry D'Anglebert, and wind player Anne Danican Philidor contribute works to this varied program, which is rounded out with intimate vocal airs, selections from François Couperin's Concerts Royaux, and trios & for the King's Chamber by Jean-Baptiste Lully. (4 musicians: oboe, violin, gamba, harpsichord; optional theorbo) Myths & Allegories Take a wild ride with this colorful and dramatic program portraying such powerful mythological characters as Medea, Orpheus, and Pan and Syrinx. Inventive cantatas by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Michel Pignolet de Montéclair, and Nicholas Bernier take center stage in this program, which is rounded out by trios and evocative instrumental character pieces including Marin Marais' La Labrynthe and Jean-Philippe Rameau's Les Cyclopes. (7 musicians: soprano, flute, oboe, violin, gamba, theorbo, harpsichord) The French Hautbois The French oboe was developed in the 1660s by two families of woodwind makers and players at the court of Louis XIV, the Hotteterres and Philidors. Inspired by the great French vocal composers (such as Michel Lambert and Bénigne de Bacilly), they sought to develop an instrument whose sweet, flexible, and singing tone would make it virtually indispensible. This program highlights the late-seventeenth century French Hautbois with suites by François Couperin, Pierre Danican Philidor, and François Chauvon, and arrangements of airs sérieux by Michel Lambert and Joseph Chabanceau de la Barre. (3 musicians: oboe, gamba, harpsichord; optional theorbo Note: This program can be expanded to 4-6 players with the addition of 1-2 oboes and/or bassoon)
Group Photo (JPEG):
Ensemble's touring schedule for the past three years:
Discography of the ensemble: