Valentin TOURNET
Violinist (Gambist)

Valentin received a grant to purchase a viola da gamba. 


What is your artistic background? 

I have been passionate about early and classical music played in a ‘historically informed’ way since a young age. Fascinated by the immense richness of the European musical repertoire, I have been thinking for several years about playing and recreating music from other periods, discovering the sounds of instruments from those times, basing my artistic choices on the search for a crossover between stylistic and historical knowledge and contemporary creative imagination. The vast musical background of those periods allows the rediscovery of forgotten pieces and offers countless possibilities for sound exploration. It is by developing this research that I am completing my studies in the final year of my Master's degree at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris.


How do you see your profession today? 

Since the boom in early music at the end of the last century with popular films such as Tous les Matins du Monde, the way of looking at the music has changed a lot. Many roles have been created, the early music departments of music schools have been bolstered and there are now many professionals ‘specialising’ in this practice. But all this should not make us too purist! To take an example, I’ve always preferred to hear Bach on the harpsichord rather than the usual piano! Nevertheless, a few exceptional pianists manage to instil such great emotion when playing scores, that these stylistic differences no longer matter...


How do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?

I have many projects for the coming years, especially with my friends from La Chapelle Harmonique, the ensemble I formed and which I direct, which is composed of a choir and an orchestra of period instruments. I am very drawn to interdisciplinary practice, because I find that everything stems from a common creative energy that can be felt in music, painting, dance, architecture... Creating by putting musical improvisation in combination with other artistic disciplines, influencing each other, letting inspiration come... I find it exciting and profoundly healthy! Let's never forget that sincerity and emotion must be at the heart of everything we do.


This interview was conducted in 2017

Photo credit: Céline Anaya Gautier