Miserere, le moment fraternité

Miserere, le moment fraternité



A contemporary liturgy about a central theme of all traditions in past and present: the wish for spiritual growth. Le moment fraternité is set up like a liturgy, combining elements of different religions. It is the story of the very fragile global ‘brotherhood’, exploring the central theme all traditions in past and present have in common: the search for becoming a better human being.

We travel through time and space: from the healing prayer of Hildegard von Bingen and the oldest written score of psalm 130 to a contemporary Tibetan ritual in Thierry Pécou’s Chö. Arvo Pärt’s meditative hymn Fratres is connecting past and present in yet a different way, with its elements of early music and orthodox tradition. Via a Glagolitic Croatian version of Jeremiah’s Lamentations we end up with the contemporary view of Thierry Pécou on the Miserere. Although respecting the Latin text of the psalm, his perspective is more dramatic: the cry for mercy and the desire to transform into something good does not necessarily need to be strictly religious anymore in our current society. A moment of sharing in a world focussing on differences.


For me, as someone who considers myself far removed from Christian spirituality and closer to the concept of Immanence than to any form of Transcendence, it was obvious to me that I would not compose a Miserere comparable to Alesandro Scarlatti’s Lamentazioni. It was also my wish to theatricalise the subject matter, following pagan rituals which appear to have been retained in the monastic Tenebrae services up to Renaissance times. In the series of sequences in which silence plays a prominent role, a path leads to strange rites in which the listeners are invited to stamp their feet on the ground, creating waves of thundering sound, or accompany the chanting of texts. Three sopranos take on an instrumental role, deploying a broad range of vocal sounds from aspirations to screams.

Thierry Pécou




Medieval chants

Hildegard von Bingen, chant from Cantatorium of St. Gall, Glagolitic chant

Arvo Pärt

Fratres for cello and piano

Thierry Pécou

Chö, un rituel tibétain for bass clarinet and piano, alto flute, cello and percussions

Thierry Pécou

Miserere for three sopranos and instruments

Number of people


Dania El Zein soprano
Marina Ruiz soprano
Sarah Breton soprano
Katarina Livljanic mezzo-soprano (Medieval chants)

Ensemble Variances

Anne Cartel alto flute
Carjez Gerretsen bass clarinet
Cecilia Bercovitch violin 1
Masha Lankowsky violin 2
Andrii Malakhov viola
David Louwerse cello
Irini Aravidou percussions
Thierry Pécou piano and direction


Co-production Festival arabesques, Lux Aeterna Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Ensemble Variances. With the support of ODIA Normandie

The Ensemble Variances receive support from Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication - Drac Normandie, Région Normandie, Spedidam, Sacem, Ville de Rouen, Odia Normandie, Onda. The Ensemble Variances is member of Fevis, Futurs Composés, Bureau Export and Profedim. It is member of Groupement d'Employeurs Solstice, supported by Région Normandie. Caisse des Dépôts, main sponsor of Ensemble Variances.