As a little addendum to my recent posts about Versailles (“Like a few centuries ago 1” and “Like a few centuries ago 2”) I would like to report about two concerts that I recently attended at the Royal Chapel.
One was with the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists, directed by Sir John Elliot Gardiner. We listened to Bach’s Easter and Ascension oratorios.
Another day I attended a concert, “Magnificat Jubilate”, with La Capella Real de Catalunya and Le Concert des Nations, directed by Jordi Savall and we could listen to works by Lully, Bach, Händel, Vivaldi.
If you like this kind of music (which I do)… this is certainly the perfect place to listen to it, performed by these outstanding artists.
A few words about the Royal Chapel: It was finished only in 1710, when Louis XIV had only five years to live. The architect, as for other large parts of the Versailles castle, was Jules Hardouin-Mansart, after his death in 1708 finished by his brother-in-law. (Hardouin-Mansart was also the architect of the Invalides Royal Chapel, Place Vendôme, Place des Victoires, the Saint-Roch church…). The Chapel was then used daily for the king’s mass and until the Revolution also for Royal religious ceremonies of all kinds – baptisms, weddings (e.g. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette) … . You can imagine François Couperin playing on the Cliquot organ…
The Jordi Savall concert was broadcast on the French / German TV channel “Arte” and is today available on YouTube.
To give you a taste of the Sir John Elliot Gardiner concert, here you can listen to another Bach oratorio, the Christmas one.