Les Passions de l’Ame
Bern’s resident early music ensemble directed by violinist Meret Lüthi, has been seeking to create fresh sounds since 2008. Lively interpretations on historical instruments are the trademark of this international orchestra that “brings fresh air to the occasionally stuffy classical music business” (Berner Zeitung 2010).
Highlights over the last six years have been the Celebrations of Europes Cultural Capital Riga (2014), the Bach Academy Brugge (2013), the Berlin Early Music Days (2012), a concert with soprano Simone Kermes at the Rheinfall Festival Schaffhausen (2012), and another with soprano Carolyn Sampson at the opening concert of the Bern Music Festival (2011). In 2011 Les Passions de l’Ame also contributed to the historic Belgian early music festival “MAfestival Brugge”, and to the “Bach en Combrailles” festival in France.
The musicians of Les Passions de l’Ame are internationally renowned specialists in early music and work as soloists, chamber and orchestral musicians with ensembles such as the Freiburger Barockorchester and the Belgian Baroque Orchestra Ghent B’Rock. They also teach at the Antwerp Conservatoire and the Hochschule der Künste Bern. This “top class baroque ensemble” (Schaffhauser Nachrichten 2012) aims to arouse curiosity for both known and unknown 17th- and 18th-century repertoire with its snappy and witty programs, such as “Passion Attacks”, “The Seven Deadly Sins”, or “Delirio Amoroso» in its successful concert series in Bern, “Alte Musik? – Ganz neu!” (Ancient music? – Completely new!).
The name of the orchestra refers to an essay written by René Descartes in 1649, in which the philosopher speaks of the passion which mediates between body and soul. The ensemble perceives music as having precisely this mediative role, and aims to transmit “les passions” with immediacy in concert.
Les Passions de l’Ame’s concerts are regularly broadcast on Swiss radio SRF 2 Kultur. The ensemble’s first CD, cSPICY”, was released by SONY Music Switzerland and was immediately awarded the Diapason d’Or. Encouraged by enthusiastic reviews, the orchestra released its second CD, “Bewitched”, in September 2014, featuring the bewitching soprano Robin Johannsen.