Près de votre oreille
In 2017, Robin Pharo officially created the ensemble Près de votre oreille on the occasion of the Festival of Early Music in Timisoara, Romania, around a program devoted to the work for two viols by Marin Marais and Descent of Orpheus to the Underworld by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.
Près de votre oreille - Close to your ear - is a concept that is particularly close to his heart. By its strangeness and its poetry, it has imposed itself as the singular identity of a young ensemble which wishes to share the curiosity of unusual antique jewellery. Following an original passion, the ensemble strives to create projects related to the history of the viola da gamba, which allows its artistic director to share both his love of the solo repertoire and that of chamber music.
The ensemble has performed in prestigious places in France such as the Saintes festival, Les Musicales de Normandie, Embaroquemment Immédiat festival, the Rencontres Musicales de Vézelay, Sablé festival, Misummer festival, Lille Opera house, Rencontres Musicales de Vézelay, Sablé festival, La Scala Paris, Athénée Théâtre Louis-Jouvet and Grévin Museum theater in Paris (Philippe Maillard Production), Rencontres Musicales du Trégor, Rencontres Musicales de Bel-Air or the Baroque festival in Tarentaise, and abroad, the Nasz Telemann festival in Poland, La Folia in Switzerland, the Max festival and Rencontres Musicales du Hainaut in Belgium. In 2024, ensemble Près de votre oreille will perform at Ambronay festival, Lanvellec festival and abroad at Warsaw Philharmonic in Poland, at La Valette baroque festival in Malta and in Canada, at salle Bourgie in Montreal, at Early Music in Vancouver and at Isabel Bader Center in Kingston.
In coproduction with the Cultural Center of the Entente Cordiale, he recorded at the Elizabethan theater of the Château d'Hardelot the CD Come Sorrow (Paraty, 2018). This project marks an important stage in the history of the ensemble, which wishes more than ever to deepen its interest in English music, from which it draws today part of its identity and an inexhaustible source of beauty.
In 2020, Près de votre oreille created the program Blessed Echoes, dedicated to a great English tradition of the Elizabethan and Jacobean era: The Lute Songs (residence at La Cité de la Voix de Vézelay in co-production with the Elizabethan theater of the Château d'Hardelot).
In 2021, the album Suite d'un Goût Etranger was released (Château de Versailles Spectacles label), dedicated to the famous suite composed by Marin Marais. The ensemble recorded the same year for the Paraty label its program Blessed Echoes in collaboration with the festival and the musical city of the Abbaye aux Dames de Saintes (released in 2023).
In 2022, Près de votre oreille created two new English language programs: A Byrd Celebration, which pays tribute to the music of William Byrd, through his 4 voices mass (creative residency at the Embaroquement Immédiat festival) and Lighten Mine Eyes, dedicated to Harp Consort and lesser known Sacred Songs in Three Parts by William Lawes (created at the Saintes Festival).
Près de votre oreille ensemble also wishes to express itself by trying to meet one of the most important challenges for all musicians specializing in the interpretation of old repertoires on period instruments: developing contemporary composition on abandoned instruments, that have been rediscovered, and thus try to preserve the fabulous surge of creativity that accompanied this rediscovery. In 2018, the ensemble created the piece entitled Le Manuscrit de Voynich, composed by the Bulgarian composer Yassen Vodenitcharov for mezzo-soprane and consort of violas da gamba and presented at the Gennevilliers Conservatory, the show Les Trois Ailes du Papillon (for two dancers and a viol), which features works by Rika Suzuki, Yassen Vodenitcharov and Jean-Marc Chouvel. In duet with Anaïs Bertrand, Robin Pharo created a cycle for viola da gamba and voice entitled The Waves and composed by Fabien Touchard, recorded for the Scala Music label in 2023, in a program around the contemporary repertoire for viola da gamba, works by Philippe Hersant and Robin Pharo as well as new arrangements of melodies composed by Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré and Nadia Boulanger. In 2023, Près de votre oreille will be in residence at La Cité de la Voix in Vézelay for the creation of a chamber opera, Les vies ordinaires d'Anaïs, based on an original text by author Milena Scergo and composed by Fabien Touchard.
The association Près de votre oreille has produced five discs, L'Anonyme Parisien (Paraty, 2016), Come Sorrow (Paraty, 2019), Suite d'un Goût Etranger (Château de Versailles Spectacles, 2021), Blessed Echoes (Paraty, 2023) and The Waves (Scala Music, 2023).
Ensemble Près de votre oreille will be recording his program Lighten mine eies in 2024 for label Scala Music and will be also creating a new program entitled Mes amours durent en tout temps, dedicated to French and Flemish art of songs from the 16th century.