La Rose des Vents, Montreal’s newest early music group, was founded by historical trombonist Catherine Motuz and cornettist Matthew Jennejohn. The ensemble has been playing together in various guises since 2009, when it combined with Les Voix Baroques to perform at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival. The name La Rose des Vents – “The Compass Rose” – reflects the spirit of exploration in early music.
In formations from the Renaissance city wind band to the lavish sacred ensemble of the Baroque, La Rose des Vents seeks to promote musical dialogues, story-telling, bringing expressive devices to the foreground of performance. Our concerts have an emphasis on improvisation, exploring early ideas about expression while giving players the freedom to play with ideas, a freedom inherent to chamber music.
The sackbut and cornetto were both renowned in their day for their ability to imitate the human voice, both in their malleable timbres and in their ability to use different articulations in order to imitate speech. Many of our activities will therefore involve collaborations with vocal groups. On October 1st, 2011 we gave a concert as guests of the acclaimed Montreal choir VivaVoce with repertoire from an original Reniassance wind band, and later that year combined with the Ottawa Bach Choir for a concert of German and Italian Christmas music.