Benevolo: San Luigi dei Francesi mass / Allegri: Miserere

Sunday 17 June 2018 – 5.30pm
Approximate duration: 
1h10 without intermission


After the success of Striggio’s Mass for 40 voices, Hervé Niquet is piquing the public’s curiosity again and for the 30th anniversary of the Concert Spirituel, he is pursuing his conquest of forgotten masterpieces of polyphony.


The luxurious and spellbinding sounds of 8 choirs of 4 singers, accompanied by fifteen continuo players will take you to Italy, to discover unpublished works by Frescobaldi, Monteverdi and Benevolo, the centerpiece of this programme.

Son of a pastry chef from Burgundy who had immigrated to Rome, Orazio Benevolo was one of the greatest geniuses in music for multiple choirs, a fertile composer, probably the Italian composer with the largest opus.

He entered the choir school of San Luigi dei Francesi as a young boy, and would later organise ceremonies and liturgies showing the magnificence of French art in Rome. He ended his career as chapel master at the Vatican.

Hervé Niquet discovered this extraordinary composer thanks to Jean Lionnet, who before working as a musicologist at the Centre de musique baroque of Versailles, was a sound engineer for Frederico Fellini. For years, Jean Lionnet had access to the Vatican’s music collection. For years, he painstakingly copied by hand, one part after the other, the works of many forgotten Italian composers… including Benevolo, who was then completely unknown. More than 20 years ago, Hervé Niquet was entrusted with some of these scores, and immediately fascinated by what he discovered, he took the gamble of recording Benevolo’s Missa Azzolina.

Since then, he has ceaselessly promoted the composer, whose treasures well deserve to be rediscovered.


Benevolo, Un génie oublié, Concert Spirituel

With the support of the fondation Bettencourt-Schueller.



Orazio Benevolo (1605-1672)

San Luigi dei Francesi mass
Messe Si Deus pro Nobis for 16 voices
Magnificat for 6 voices

Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652)

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Cantate Domino

Giovanni Palestrina (1525-1594)
Musical extracts and harmonised plain-chant

Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643)
Canzon Vigesimanona for 8 voices



Le Concert Spirituel Choir and orchestra

Hervé Niquet Conductor