AVE MARIS STELLA. Sacred music by Marc-Antoine Charpentier


Saturday 12 August at 7 p.m. Kretinga Franciscan church


I Gemelli (France)

Musical director Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, tenor (France/Switzerland)

Artistic director Mathilde Etienne (France)

Anders Dahlin (tenor), Nicolas Brooymans (bass), Violaine Cochard (organ)


Although Marc-Antoine Charpentier is considered one of France's greatest composers of the late 17th century, little is known about his production of liturgical music. His three-voice motets, works full of interiority and fervor, are small lyrical masterpieces, as if it was an intimate parenthesis in the music of the Grand Siècle. The composer's creative genius is revealed in the refinement and mastery of male vocal writing, testimony to the performer's savoir-faire: the haute-contre part was sung by Charpentier himself. The cult of the Virgin, privileged after the Council of Trent, finds in these motets the expression of devotion, effusion and the greatest tenderness.





Marc-Antoine Charpentier


Motet a voix seule sans orgue


Salve regina des jésuites


H360: Motet pour la vierge à 2 voix Felix namque es


H84: Litanie a la vierge à 3 voix


Prelude by Jean-Henri d’Anglebert


H36: Salut pour la veille des O = O salutaris hostia


H37: O sapientia


H38: O Adonai


H39: O radix Jesses


H42: O Rex Gentium


H43: O Emmanuel Rex


H548: Passecaille de la sonate à 8


H328: Supplication pro defunti ad beata Virginem


H73: Magnificat







Founded in 2018 by Emiliano Gonzalez Toro and Mathilde Étienne, the ensemble I Gemelli specializes in 17th century vocal music. Its vocation is to defend the major pieces of this period as well as lesser-known or even unpublished scores.


Unlike a leadership coming from the orchestra pit or the continuo, the ensemble follows a conductor-singer in a declamatory research, adapting to the rhetoric of the text. The guest artists of the ensemble are both leading figures on the international scene and talents from the new generation of singers and instrumentalists.


The ensemble has performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Opéra de Versailles, Capitole de Toulouse, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Arsenal de Metz, and Angers-Nantes Opéra. He has been invited to the festivals of Ambronay, Sablé, Pontoise, Freiburg, Regensburg, La Moutte, Krakow, Vilnius, Royan, Carouge, Onex, Kretinga, Quimper, to the Concerts d'Automne Tours as well as the Grands Concerts de Lyon.


In 2019, the ensemble I Gemelli made a remarkable début on the international baroque scene with an acclaimed first disc (Cozzolani's Vespro, rewarded by a Choc Classica, Toccata's CD of the month and Diapason d'or 2019) followed by Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. The ensemble continued to build momentum with the release of Soleil noir (Diapason d'Or 2021, Diamant Opéra Magazine, Opera News' Critics Choice, ffff Télérama…) and of L’Orfeo (5 Diapasons, Diamant Opéra Magazine, Figaro's Disc of the Year…). In 2022-2023 I Gemelli continued with the trilogy of Monteverdi’s operas (“Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria”, “L’Incoronazione di Poppea”).


In 2022, the label Gemelli Factory was created in order to carry the ambitious projects of the ensemble and its artists. The first disc released by Gemelli Factory, A Room of Mirrors, immediately impressed the public and the critics by getting a Gramophone Editor's Choice, a Diapason d'or, a Diamant Opéra magazine, a Clé resmusica, a Clic Classique News, Operanews Critic's Choice, and a Coup de cœur Forumopéra.