Flautist, oboist and conductor, Hugo Reyne is also the Music Director and Founder of La Simphonie du Marais. He recently gave permission for The Funeral March for the Procession for the King, composed by André Danican Philidor at the beginning of the 18th century and which he recently discovered, to accompany visitors through the exhibition called The King is Dead.
He answers questions from the Palace of Versailles.
1. Where does your passion for Baroque music come from?
I started with the recorder when I was about 7, then quickly began playing the oboe, two instruments very typical of the Baroque period. At a young age I therefore discovered major Baroque composers like Handel, Vivaldi and many others. My passion also comes from the teachers I had, including Frans Brüggen, who died in 2014. He was a Baroque music great, as well as being very tall! This Dutch flautist and conductor contributed a lot to this unique repertoire, and was also a great influence on me; I have followed in his footsteps. All musicians look for a master at some point, and then try to leave the beaten track. That was how I became particularly interested in French music.
2. Do you prefer playing or conducting ?
Playing allows me direct contact with the notes themselves. Conducting is a different relationship with the music: you don’t produce the sound when you’re conducting. I would say that it depends a lot on the repertoire played. What is for sure is that it is a really valuable experience to be able to do both in my life, just like teaching as well as researching in music. Plurality is always a strength.
3. So how did you discover the Funeral March of the Procession for the King, written when Louis XIV died ?
Over a period of several months I did lots of research into French music at the Opera, the French National Library and Versailles. I also bought all the catalogues of France and Navarre [Laughter]. I was looking for a repertoire of outdoor music and I discovered this march while compiling manuscripts from the studio of André Danican Philidor. This French composer and musician, born in Versailles in 1652, had offered to transcribe the music from Louis XIV’s period and that of the kings before him to keep a record of it. The Funeral March for the Procession for the King was played by the oboists of the Mousquetaires: soldier-musicians, if you like. I think it was André Philidor who composed the march, or someone in his family since his sons were all musicians. The march is very surprising because it contains ornaments that are not generally used for funeral marches, which are ordinarily very plain. This is what makes it such an exciting piece of music.
Funeral March for the Procession for the King, André Philidor the elder (c.1652-1730) - Discovered by Hugo Reyne and recorded by Simphonie du Marais - Hugo Reyne
Lully : Atys - La Simphonie du Marais - Hugo Reyne
Choc Classica and 5/5 Diapason - Music Label to la Chabotterie