Méhul: Le Chant du départ includes arrangements of the overtures to six of Méhul’s successful operas. At the end of the 18th century, it was common practice to arrange extracts from fashionable operas for small ensembles, often wind octets, to allow them to be performed in a range of contexts. Several revolutionary pieces are also included, such as Le Chant du Départ, a war song for the Revolutionary French armies.
The ensemble Les Jacobins originated with the desire to explore the rich but little-known repertoire associated with the French Revolution. The group is comprised of Mathieu Lussier in collaboration with Canadian and international wind players. This exploration of the music of Étienne-Nicolas Méhul is the ensemble’s second CD on the ATMA label.