A cappella choral works from the 16th and 20th centuries – Choeur des XVI – André Ducret
Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA: Missa da Beata Virgine: Sanctus – Claudin de SERMISY: Languir me fais – Claude Le JEUNE: Qu’est devenu ce bel œil – Clément JANEQUIN: Au vert bois – Le chant des oyseaux – Henri BAERISWYL: Qu’il est doux le jeu d’aimer – Egil HOVLAND: How long, o Lord – Ferenc FARKAS: Lupus fecit – Cantus nocturnus – Optatio – Canticum
Choeur des XVI – André Ducret, Conductor
Chœur des XVI, Fribourg
In 1970, under the impetus of their current conductor, André Ducret, a few choristers from Fribourg embarked on a search for a high level of vocal and musical quality. Originally consisting of 16 members, the number of choristers has now exceeded thirty. The boundaries of the 16th century have also been widely expanded. While the singers particularly enjoy performing repertoire from the Renaissance, both in concerts and among friends around a coffee table, the programs presented by this choir generally explore the frontiers of Western music history. The choristers are committed to occasionally interpreting Gregorian chants, but they also embrace contemporary music, which undoubtedly pushes the technical limits of this amateur ensemble.
The impressive roster of the Chœur des XVI includes prestigious names such as Montreux, Tours, and Arezzo. These successes do not prevent the choir from sharing the treasures of folk music in the same locations, both in Fribourg and in the French-speaking region of Switzerland. In 1981, the choir participated in the 12th Zimrya in Israel, which led to an invitation for a concert tour in the same country in 1983.
Born in Fribourg in 1945, André Ducret enters the world of music through the backstage. The practice of a brass instrument and solo singing during his classical studies at the University ignites the spark of music within him. As a chorister and soloist in the Chanson de Fribourg during the years 1965-1970, under the direction of Pierre Kaelin, André Ducret feels the passion for choral conducting emerging within him. In 1968, he founds the Petit Chœur de Sainte-Thérèse, a group of children primarily dedicated to liturgical animation, which he directs until 1980. It is in 1970 that he establishes the Chœur des XVI, an ensemble of adults that he leads to several international distinctions. André Ducret’s participation in the activities of the Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne from 1971, under the direction of Michel Corboz, invigorates his ideal of high musical quality.
In 1974, after studying at the Conservatoire de Fribourg, he obtains a degree in music education with the highest honors, “summa cum laude”. From then on, he expands his activities and dedicates himself to choral composition. This leads him to win the Golden Star 1980, a composition competition organized by the Télévision Suisse Romande. Many choir conductors benefit from his experience and skills during the choral conducting courses he teaches in Fribourg and other regions of Switzerland. His qualities as an animator have led him to be called upon as a workshop conductor in international choral encounters, notably in Israel at the 13th Zimrya in 1983. Beyond being a teacher, singer, and composer, it is the personality of the choir conductor that shines through in contact with André Ducret.