and the Word became Song
documentary - 56 - betacam digital - 1999
directed by Sandrine Willems
Philippe Herreweghe is first and foremost the choir-master who put back all the freshness and purity into Baroque choral music. He is also the orchestra leader who constantly seeks out new material, from the Romantic to the Contemporary repertoires. But above all he is the man who, thanks to his incredible energy, kindles a sacred flame whose rays transfix not only the general public but his performers as well.
This film portrait thus attempts to capture all these facets via interviews, concerts, and above all rehearsals which lead us from the Bach Cantatas to Beethovens 9th Symphony.
Philippe Herreweghe was born in Ghent (Belgium) in 1947 in a middle-class family. He simultaneously studied medicine and music. In 1969 he set up the Collegium Vocale in Ghent, and created with them a much talked-about Passion according to St. John. Gustav Leonhardt, who appreciated his work, and Nikolaus Harnoncourt invited Herreweghe and the Collegium to collaborate on the complete recordings of the Bach cantatas.
In Paris, Philippe Herreweghe met Philippe Beaussant, which led him to set up the vocal and instrumental ensemble La Chapelle Royale (1977).
In 1991, when the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées was founded, he became its artistic director.
Today, Philippe Herreweghe also conducts orchestras in Berlin and Vienna, and has taken over the direction of Flanders Philarmonic Orchestra.
The Collegium Vocale, The Chapelle Royale, The Orchestre des
Champs-Elysées, The Jeune Orchestre Atlantique, Rias Kammerchor
Stephan Maciejewski, artistic adviser at the Chapelle Royale
Renaud Machart, musical critic
Gustav Leonhardt, harpsichordist and conductor
Sigiswald Kuijken, violonist and conductor
Paul van Nevel, choirmaster and conductor
Paul Van Den Berghe, singer in the Collegium Vocale
Philippe Beaussant, Founder of the Institute of Ancient Music and Danse
Harm Jan Schwitters, cellist player in the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées
Musical excerpts directed by Philippe Herreweghe
Johann Sebastien Bach
cantata BWV 9 - BWV 42 - BWV 19
Ludwig von Beethoven
Symphony n° 9
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony n° 35 K.385 Haffner
Symphonia concertante for violin, alto and orchestra KV 364
Other musical excerpts :
piece for viola, Schumans Symphony n°4
final chorus of the Matthew Passion, directed by Mengelberg
image : Ella van den Hove
sound : Eric Chabot
editing : Monique Rysselinck
sound editing and mixing : Jean-Jacques Quinet
executive producer : Benoît Peeters
redaction Arte : Jean Wittersheim
associate producers :
Arte Belgium : Carine Bratzlavsky
RTBF Brussels : Benoît Jacques de Dixmude
RTBF direction of co-productions : Ives Swennen
RTBF production manager : Roch Bosquee
Canvas : Regine Clauwaert
a Les Piérides, RTBF, Arte-Belgium, Canvas co-production
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