A Historical Musical Journey: 1600-1820

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Charity Spotlight: This post was provided by Rafik Matta, Founder and Artistic Director of the Ensemble Telemann, as part of our ongoing charity spotlight series.

Ensemble TelemannThe mission of Ensemble Telemann is to contribute to the appreciation of the arts by the public by offering high-quality performances of instrumental and vocal musical works mainly from the classical and baroque period.

It’s been more than 350 years since the birth of the musical genre known as “baroque music,” which was immediately followed by “classical” music. If you’ve never experienced this unique musical universe filled with counterpoint, rhythmic pace and singing, you’ll welcome the opportunity with the Telemann Ensemble… a golden opportunity indeed!

My greatest satisfactions come from meeting young musicians after a concert who tell us how delighted they were to discover a particular work (often played for the first time in Montreal or North America), or to hear from people who found a new freshness to a familiarity in work presented by our ensemble. People are often pleasantly surprised to see how many young people are involved in the Telemann Ensemble as musicians or singers – in fact, that’s a large part of what makes us so unique. We encourage young musicians to start their careers with us, and it’s an integral part of our mission.

One such young person is Marie-Noel Daigneault. She says of her experience:

“I began singing with the Telemann Ensemble in 2002. One of my most memorable experiences was the presentation of G.F. Handel’s famous oratorio, Messiah, in 2010. This oratorio is the piece of music that is played most in the world, but the Telemann Ensemble managed to make the evening an unforgettable concert. Unusual for a piece of music of this size, we performed with only fourteen choristers and four soloists. This intimacy and closeness gave an exceptional colour tone to the music. True to its tradition, the Ensemble continues to innovate by combining different musical styles – such as a little bit Bach played in counterpoint with some Miles Davis.”

Despite the unparalleled success of the Telemann Ensemble, our biggest challenge is the survival of our group as a charity. Despite the financial and logistical obstacles we face, we are determined to continue our mission to share the magic of our musical universe. It is well known: music is essential to humans’ well-being and we want to use it to improve lives.

Our founder had two hopes for our ensemble. The first is that we continue to provide musical enlightenment through our concerts in Montreal, across the province, and even throughout the country.  The other is to fulfill our social mission to use music to improve the lives of others. We reserve free tickets for our concerts for ill children, their families and caregivers, which allows them to discover and enjoy the musical world of Bach, Handel, Telemann, Mozart and others musical giants. Our concerts are expensive to stage, and in offering these tickets, we cannot always ensure that we’ll make a profit. But it’s essential to us to use our music to help these children and their families heal.

We hope our music will lift your spirit too. Happy listening!

*This post was originally written in French by one of our Quebec charity partners. We have translated the spirit of the post into English.

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