The cicada develops slowly, secretly, over a period of years before presenting itself in style with a song which everyone can hear and appreciate. In the well-known fable, the ants belittled the cicada for doing nothing but share its music. Perhaps they forgot how the cicada’s song lightened their labour and allowed them to dream, to rejoice, to love and also to weep…
Formed in 2006 in Montréal, the early music ensemble La Cigale takes its name from this most musical insect and hopes in turn to share its music with anyone who would like to listen.
La Cigale specializes in music of the Renaissance and Baroque eras on period instruments. The group creates programmes that juxtapose formal and traditional styles, explore the links between literature and music, and bring to light little known masterpieces. The musicians of La Cigale have been praised for the warmth of their performances and for the complicity they share with each other and their audiences.
In 2013, the ensemble released a first CD, Tiorba Obbligata, with an unusual programme of early Italian works featuring the theorbo as an obbligato instrument. Several pieces on the CD were world premiere recordings and La Cigale is one of the rare groups to make this repertoire their own. Tiorba Obbligata was nominated in Québec for a “Prix Opus” in the category of Disc of the Year—medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical music.
The ensemble is often featured in concert series and festivals and pursues a wide variety of musical activities. Ensemble La Cigale has been featured at the Montreal Baroque Festival, at an exhibition opening at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, and for festivities at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. In their quest to share their musical passion, the group has performed outdoors on Rigaud Mountain (International Walking Day), in a gallery of modern art and in a Montréal beauty salon. Musicians from the group have also had the pleasure of introducing music lovers to Baroque music (La Grande Bibliothèque du Québec, in a concert-conference) and have performed for conferences of the Cercle interuniversitaire d’étude sur la République des Lettres (CIERL, Université Laval) devoted to interdisciplinary research bringing together literature, iconography and music. As well, La Cigale has collaborated for several seasons with the Projet Choral choir. For the 2014 season, the ensemble is producing a series of three programmes of music traversing the ages from Spanish Baroque chaconnes to songs by the Rolling Stones.