Henry / Béjart / Robbe

Messe pour le temps présent

Maurice Béjart et Pierre HenryMaurice Béjart et Pierre Henry © DR
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Wednesday, 20 November 2019 — 8:30pm
Salle des concerts - Cité de la musique
Duration: about 2h00 with 1 intermission


  • Pierre Henry
    Carnet de Venise
    Promenade dans Venise en compagnie de Monteverdi - Première audition à Paris
  • Pierre Henry
    Grand Remix de la Messe pour le temps présent


  • Thierry Balasse
  • Maurice Béjart , choreographer
  • Hervé Robbe, choreographer
  • José Meireles, Alice Ladda, interprètes et assistants au remontage
  • Dominique Genevois et Juishi Kobayashi, reconstruction
  • Etudiants de l'école Supérieure du Centre National de Danse Contemporaine - Angers
The concert opens with Pierre Henry’s Carnet de Venise, which premiered in 2003 at La Folle Journée Festival in Nantes. In his text about this work (“Pierre Henry nous emmène à Venise”), François Weyergans wrote:

“ ...What makes Carnet de Venise a capital work is the art of mixing, which, without hesitation, I see as just as important as the art of fugue.(…) From the very start, the irruption—after one minute twenty-eight seconds—of  the sounds of Venice after the voice of the soprano, followed by the electronic sounds, is a great moment in contemporary music. Once one has taken note of this art of mixing, it is a pleasure to follow it throughout the entire musical journey that brings us from Torcello to Guidecca and the Arsenal. There is, here, a source of intelligent emotion that is quite uncommon. 
Pierre Henry has pulled off this genre of mixing—great art—at each change in sequence in Carnet de Venise”.

Composed by Pierre Henry at the end of his life and accompanied by a new choreography by Hervé Robbe, the “Big Remix” of Mass for the Present Time allows us to rediscover this ever-astonishing rara avis of works in a new light.

Maurice Béjart’s famed ballet, Mass for the Present Time, which premiered at the Avignon Festival in 1967, certainly left its mark, particularly for the pulsating music that Pierre Henry and Michel Colombier wrote for Béjart’s choreographic compositions. At the juncture between electro pop and musique concrète, this feverish, crackling music was an inventive and mischievous leap into the future. Nearly fifty years later, Pierre Henry created his “Big Remix” of this work, unveiled in January 2016 at the Philharmonie de Paris with a new ballet created for the occasion by choreographer Hervé Robbe, a student of Béjart. This remixed version is now being presented again, with sound projection by Thierry Balasse.

Linked events

Talks & Debates

Rencontre avec Bernadette Mangin, Thierry Maniguet, Hervé Robbe, Isabelle Warnier


Pierre Henry : Messe pour le temps présent

Messe pour le temps présent - Grand Remix - CNDC