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Twenty-five years ago, Jerome Lejeune started a label that has become one of the pillars of the early music movement. Amongst other memories, Ricercar has had the privilege of welcoming Philippe Herreweghe’s two vocal ensembles, the Collegium Vocale and the Chapelle Royale, their first record being devoted to music of Palestrina.

Over time, the identity of Ricercar has asserted itself more and more strongly in the domain of early music. No fewer than 250 recordings have been made, exploring themes such as German baroque music, the organ works of J.S. Bach and his German predecessors, Franco-Flemish polyphonic music, Monteverdi’s sources of inspiration and his influence, the discovery of early instruments, and medieval secular monody.

An interest in the vast musical heritage of Belgium and the old Lowlands has also been an important element in the label’s editorial policy, and has enabled Ricercar to promote a repertory of very high quality by recalling the importance of composers born in these regions: Lassus, Du Mont, Grétry, Franck, to mention only the most famous. And the label's roster of wonderful Belgian performers prove that the ground is still fertile: with La Fenice and Jean Tubéry, Millenarium, La Pastorella and Frédéric de Roos, the Namur Chamber Choir, Les Agrémens and Guy Van Waas, Continens Paradisi, Bernard Foccroulle, Sophie Karthäuser and many others, the label’s future is brighter than ever!

Further Reading: Ricercar

Presto Music Classical Podcast, Episode 37: Brahms In The Time Machine – Ein Deutsches Barockrequiem with Lionel Meunier

Founder and director of early music ensemble Vox Luminis talks about his hunt for Baroque-era precursors to Brahms's Ein Deutsches Requiem.

Recording of the Week, Vox Luminis explore cantatas by the Bach family

David listens to the Belgian ensemble's latest album, tracing the evolution of the cantata through the older branches of the Bach family tree.

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