by Jarrett Hoffman
Les Délices has added a new twist to their acclaimed Baroque-jazz fusion program. Previously known as “Songs Without Words” — in the form of both a live concert and a beautiful album from 2018 — it’s now called “Torchsongs Transformed,” and adds soprano Hélène Brunet to the core of Debra Nagy (Baroque oboe), Mélisande Corriveau (viola da gamba and pardessus de viole), and Eric Milnes (harpsichord).
Here the ensemble explores the relationship between 17th-century French love songs (airs de cour) and 20th-century torchsongs and jazz standards arranged for and improvised by the ensemble. It’s all laid out in the arc of an affair, viewed through the lens of each passing season, as songs like Gershwin’s Summertime and Johnny Mercer’s Autumn Leaves are interleaved with music by Michel Lambert, Jean-Baptiste Lully, and Sebastian Le Camus. See the full program and read Debra Nagy’s notes here.
Performances take place Friday, March 6 at 7:30 pm at Holy Trinity Lutheran in Akron, Saturday, March 7 at 7:30 pm at Lakewood Congregational, and Sunday, March 8 at 4:00 pm at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights. Tickets are available online.