The Ensemble

Les Meslanges musical ensemble created by Thomas Van Essen brings together solo singers and musicians who are passionate about the musical diversity of early music.

               The essential motivation in their musical approach is the desire to place the music within its historical context, hence the links they establish with the arts and texts of the period. Various formulae have been adopted : « story-telling concerts » with live reading of texts and literary compositions to emphasize their connection with the music, and use of set or props to lead the audience to the music.

               Since 2004, Les Meslanges collaborates with organists such as François Ménissier and Jean-Luc Ho to set up programs alternating organ works and drone plainchant pieces with serpent.

               Les Meslanges regularly performs in Normandy : Rouen, Caen, « Septembre Musical de l’Orne », « L’Eure poétique et Musicale » festivals… They have also been invited to various festivals such as « Sinfonia » festival in the Périgord, the « Festival Baroque de Pontoise », « Les riches heures de la Réole », the « Festival de musique ancienne de Ribeauvillé », « Valloire Baroque » festival, « Musiques à la Chabotterie », and to Edinburgh – Scotland.

                With programs such as « Pour les Festes Solennelles » concocted with the organist Jean-Luc Ho on the 350th anniversary of François Couperin’s birth, and « Les Messes Retrouvées » by Jehan Titelouze (1563 – 1633), Les Meslanges has also been invited to perform in various festivals : St Michel-en-Thiérache », « Musique sacrée à Notre Dame de Paris », « Les amis de l’Orgue » in Charolles, the Lanvelec and Tregor festivals,  la Chaise-Dieu, at the « Académie Bach », Oude Muziek in Utrecht – Netherlands.

                 In June 2022, the ensemble was also invited to Germany for the « Tag Resenburg Festival » with its new program « Messe and Te Deum » for Louis XIII, a program which was also performed in Rouen for the event « Les Journées Solstice »

                 Among the ensemble  discography, « Pour une cathédrale… » – an album on French music  in the first half of the 17th century released on the PSALMUS record label – has been acclaimed by the press ; with a « Coup de Cœur » from France Musique – a French radio station : « 5 Diapasons » from the magazine of the same name : « An enlightening and splendid achievement… Van Essen and his music troup bring out the musicality of the words, where both their sound and meanings are magnified » ; « Classica magazine » granted the ensemble a 4 stars award : « A ballet of the spirit and the senses ».

                  Les Meslanges ensemble recorded 2 albums for the PARATY record label : Jehan Titelouze’s « Les Messes Retrouvées », and some of François Ménissier’s organ pieces. Among the awards they were given,  they received a « Diapason découverte » award in April 2019, a 5 stars award from Diapason in 2021, the « Clef d’or » award by ResMusica, a 5 stars award by Classica magazine ; a 3F award from Télérama magazine and finally a « Diapason d’or » for François Couperin’s organ pieces played by Jean-luc Ho for Harmonia Mundi.

                  « Why « Meslanges » ? Because Thomas van Essen willingly associates voices and instruments. Those clear and well projected voices bring life to Titelouze’s  polyphonic art with a great dynamic flexibility… A rejoicing of the spirit and an enchantment of the senses await you » – Denis Morrier – Diapason magazine

Les Meslanges is supported by the French Ministry of Culture, the Regional Arts Council of Normandy, the Normandy Regional Government and the Rouen City Council. The ensemble is a member of FEVIS – the Federation of Specialised Vocal and Instrumental Ensembles.