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When Breton and Baroque music meet It has been almost ten years now since Yann-Fañch Kemener and Aldo Ripoche first paved the way for what was to become an original and fruitful artistic course. In their albums, stage shows and concerts around the world, they have progressively revealed the bridges between two a priori unrelated heritages. Nurtured on the collation of their artistic personalities over years of working together, their close collaboration has led them to this specific project, which presents the unsettling similarities between the traditions of vocal accompaniment in 17th and 18th century French music and in Breton music – the tradition inherited by Yann-Fañch Kemener.
It is essential to stress the close links between these legacies in the structuring of music itself, with styles that can be defined as narrative, dance and sacred. The declamatory sung style of the French recitatives, as was used in secular cantatas and operas, can be compared to the gwerz. Composers arranged their dances in ‘suites’, just as Breton musicians organise the progression of their dance pieces. As for the religious function of music, it is universally shared. The strength of these connections leads to reconsidering the now-radical gap between erudite and secular music, and to de-compartmentalize these artificial, anachronistic divisions, to the benefit of such music usages as are so befittingly illustrated on this album.