Violons du Roy play with Bach and Telemann

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Photo: Shirley Nadeau

The Violons du Roy, bassoonist Mathieu Lussier, director and harpsichordist Jonathan Cohen and recorder player Vincent Lauzer, receive a warm round of applause from the audience at the Palais Montcalm.

The Palais Montcalm stage was a musical playground last Thursday evening as Les Violons du Roy, directed by Jonathan Cohen, welcomed Vincent Lauzer (recorder) and Mathieu Lussier (bassoon), to join with them for a concert of delightful baroque pieces by Bach and Telemann.

This was the first concert of the chamber orchestra’s 2017-2018 season directed by their new musical director, Jonathan Cohen, who is also a harpsichordist. He directed the ensemble with one hand and played while seated at the small keyboard instrument.

The concert opened with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. After a brief pause, the musicians returned, accompanied by soloist Vincent Lauzer as they played Telemann’s suite for recorder (flûte à bec in French), strings and continuo.

After intermission, the ensemble was again joined by Lauzer and Violons du Roy’s bassoonist Mathieu Lussier for another Telemann suite. The interaction between the two soloists and the Violons du Roy was like watching a musical tennis match as the melody was tossed around from one instrument to the other.

A graduate of McGill University, Lauzer is the artistic director of the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival in northeastern New Brunswick and the winner of several prizes in national and international competitions. A versatile performer, he also plays with La Bande Montréal Baroque, Les Idées Heureuses, Arion, La Follia Austin Baroque, and La Cigale. He teaches at the CAMMAC music camp, for the Montreal Recorder Society, for the Toronto Early Music Players Organization and at Université de Montréal’s École des jeunes.

Bassoonist Mathieu Lussier is also the associate conductor of the Violons du Roy and was the artistic director of the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival from 2008 to 2014. He has conducted over 100 concerts in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., and has worked with talented artists like Marc-André Hamelin, Alexandre Tharaud, Jeremy Denk, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Philippe Jarrousky, Anthony Marwood, and Karina Gauvin. He specializes in the baroque and classical repertoires and explores lesser-known works of 19th century France.

The final piece presented that evening was Bach’s Suite for orchestra No. 1. It must have been a very demanding and tiring concert for the violin and viola players as they remained standing for the entire concert. Only the cellists, lute player and bass player, plus the conductor at the harpsichord were seated during the evening.

The audience showed their appreciation of the magnificent performance with a round of warm applause.
For details of upcoming concerts, visit