Bach. Messe in h-moll
Running time:
1 part – 50 minutes, 2 part – 60 minutes

The programme is subject to change

26 November 2019 Tuesday 19.00 Grand Hall
19.00 Grand Hall

Bach. Messe in h-moll

Vox Luminis (Belgium)
The famous Messe in B-minor – or "The Great Catholic Mass", as it was called in the Romantic era – has never been performed in its entirety during Bach's lifetime. The first performance of the Messe took place in 1835, and now it is next to impossible to imagine a concert bill in any country without this genial music monument. The timing of the Messe is beyond catholic church service, and it is not a usual music for a church service. This music can be something like a conversation with God. And each one has his/her own words to say.

This time the masterpiece will be performed by Vox Luminis, a Belgian vocal ensemble led by Lionel Meunier. Vox Luminis was established 15 years ago; today, the ensemble uses its sparkling traits to enhance the world of early music! The push was made in 2004 by Lionel Meunier – bass and founding base of Vox Luminis. The objective is to gain access to the Light through the Voice. Every year, the ensemble releases on average two discs and offers its audience more than 60 concerts on Belgian, European and international stages.

They define themselves as a group of soloists with a variable combination (with a base from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague) and of a continuo, additional instrumentalists or a full orchestra, depending on the repertoire. The repertoire is essentially Italian, English and German and spans the 16th through the 18th centuries. Since its creation, the ensemble has been noted for its cohesion and it charms with the personality of every timbre and the homogeneity of the voices. Today, Vox Luminis can count thirteen recordings to its name, it has won many awards including the prestigious Gramophone Recording of the Year2012, for Musicalische Exequien by Heinrich Schütz. As for Bach’s Messe in h-moll, their rendition of the oevre in Utrecht in 2017 was stunning, and it impressed even early music connoisseurs.

Lionel Meunier is a worldwide known musician and singer. He founded Vox Luminisin 2004. He is the ensemble’s conductor and artistic director. Harbouring a passion for music since a very young age, Meunier started his musical education in his home town of Clamecy (France) with theory, recorder and trumpet. Lionel then continued his studies at IMEP (Institut Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie) in Namur where he earned a degree with great distinction for the recorder. His teachers included Tatiana Babut du Marès and Hugo Reyne and he attended masterclasses given by Jean Tubéry.

He then decided to focus on vocal studies at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague (the Netherlands). At the same time, he began a career as a concert performer and quickly established his reputation as a soloist and joined prestigious ensembles like Collegium Vocale of Gent (Ph. Herreweghe), Chœur Mondial des Jeunes, Arsys Bourgogne (P. Cao), Amsterdam Baroque Choir (T. Koopmann), Chœur de Chambre de Namur, Favoriti de la Fenice (J. Tubéry), Solistes du Chœur de Chambre de Namur, Cappella Pratensis (S. Bull) and soloists of the Nederlandse Bach Vereniging (J. Van Veldhoven).

Over the past two years, many European ensembles have asked Lionel Meunier to act as coach, conductor or artistic director. In 2018, he was asked to take charge of a multi-annual mission at the Théâtre National de Bretagne in Rennes; there he follows the young developing players called Promotion X.

He is also a jury member for many international festivals and contests and he regularly gives conferences on the repertoires from the baroque era and from the end of the Renaissance.
In 2013, Lionel Meunier was awarded the title of Namurois de l’Année (Namur Citizen of the Year) for culture.