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Founded fifty years ago and directed by Joël Suhubiette for the last twenty years, the Ensemble Jacques Moderne - composed of a vocal and instrumental ensemble and enriched by musicological research - performs two centuries of ancient European music, from Renaissance polyphony to Baroque vocal music.


Sound immersion in collaboration with audio-naturalist Boris Jollivet
Ensemble Jacques Moderne
11 singers
Joël Suhubiette, conductor
Boris Jollivet, audio-naturalist
Published 09/02/2024

From Le Puy-en-Velay to Nantes, via Orléans, Blois and Tours, we present a musical portrait of the Loire river during the Renaissance. This is subjective representation, for which we have chosen several great musical figures such as Ockeghem and Janequin. Built around the history of the cathedrals, convents and castles situated along the river, and around the lives of the men and women who lived on its banks (including Louis XII, Anne of Brittany, François I, Leonardo da Vinci, and Pierre de Ronsard) our history of the Loire celebrates musicians and poets with songs, odes, and polyphonies from some of the great French masters.

This program was conceived as a “Mass” dedicated to the Loire with, as Introïtus, a polyphony from the first musical center in Le Puy-en-Velay, close to the source of the river, followed by a Kyrie by Tours’ cantor Johannes Ockeghem. It then meanders downstream with motets, psalms and songs that celebrate nature, birds, and vineyards. Sanctus and Benedictus from the Mass “La bataille” [The battle] by Janequin obviously evoke the sounds and horrors of war; and reference is made to mourning as well, with music composed by Fevin and Mouton for Anne of Brittany’s funeral. This journey along the Loire ends at the seashore, with the Agnus Dei “Je suis en la mer” [I am in the sea] by Guillaume Faugues.

This program is available in two versions: with choir only, or with choir and interludes of nature sounds recorded by audio-naturalist Boris Jollivet. When asking him to imagine this partnership, I had thought about adding, as interludes to the musical pieces, sounds recorded on the banks of the Loire. Rushing water, thunder & rain, plants & flowers rustling in the breeze, animal noises, and birdsong are part of an acoustic universe that we all know but hardly take the time to listen to. These sounds add an additional poetic layer on top of the abstract beauty of the music.

Joël Suhubiette, artistic director & conductor


Developed in collaboration with the abbaye de noirlac


press REVIEW

"A mastered, novel, and soothing artistic offer, delivering a necessary message of harmony between humans and nature."

La République du Centre

"The Ensemble Jacques Moderne delivered a true symphony, blending nature with human works, thanks to the magnificent voices of the choir, conducted by Joël Suhubiette, and the sound creation of audio-naturalist Boris Jollivet."

Le Berry Républicain

Option to organize educational activities related to this program, more information here.

Contact : administration@jacquesmoderne.com

Listen to the album Au Long de la Loire, portrait musicale du fleuve :



Manuscrit du Puy – XIIe-XVIe siècles
INTROÏTUS Exultantes in partu virginis 
Jean de Ockeghem (vers 1420-1497)
KYRIE de la Missa Fors seulement 
Intemerata Dei Mater 
Jean Mouton (1459-1522)
GLORIA de la Missa « Quem dicunt homines » 
Clément Janequin (1485-1558)
Quand contremont verras 
Herbes et fleurs 
Bel aubépin verdissant 
Le rossignol 
Fabrice Caietain (1540-1578)
La terre va les eaux boivant 
Pierre Certon (1515-1572)
Vignon, vignette
Clément Janequin (1485-1558)
Etans assis aux rives aquatiques 
SANCTUS de la Missa super « La bataille » 
Jean Mouton (1459-1522)
Nesciens mater virgo virum 
Antoine de Févin (1470-1512)
INTROÏTUS de la Missa « Pro fidelibus defunctis » 
Jean Mouton (1459-1522)
Quis dabit oculis nostris 
Dedans la mer 
Guillaume Faugues (1442-1475)
AGNUS DEI de la Missa « Je suis en la mer »