Ensemble Anonymus

Ensemble Anonymus. Vocal and instrumental ensemble of 5 to 6 members, founded in Quebec City in 1978 by Claude Bernatchez and Pierre Langevin, with Bernatchez as its artistic director. Other early members included Sylvain Bergeron, Sylvie Grenier, and Anne Massicotte. It specializes in the performance of vocal and instrumental repertoire of the Medieval and Renaissance eras on period instruments. The ensemble combines theatre and music, somewhat in the spirit of the Medieval jongleurs and minstrels. The musical production of Adam de la Halle's Li Jus de Robin et Marion, presented in 1985 at the Festival d'été (Festival international) de Lanaudière, was instrumental in establishing the group's existing reputation. This pastourelle was subsequently revived in Montreal and in Quebec City, as well as on the east coast of the US and in Europe, notably at the Festival d'Avignon (1987). Li Jus de Robin et Marion also won the prize for best staging from the Association Québécoise des critiques de théâtre in 1986.

Le Voyage de Saint Brandan (1988) and the scenic cantataO Fortuna (1991), based on the Carmina Burana of the Middle Ages, with modern staging, marked a turning point in the career of Anonymus. The ensemble also has performed more traditional concerts: El Llibre Vermell and Scaramella, devoted to Spanish and Italian music, respectively (1987); El Siglo de Oro, devoted to Spanish music (1989), also performed abroad, notably in Mexico (1989) and Venezuela (1990); and Le Chant des cathédrales, a concert of Gothic songs for male choir and organ (1990). Anonymus has recorded a number of albums featuring European works from the 12th to 16th centuries, two on the Siscom label and several on the Analekta label.

The Ensemble Anonymus has also performed such theme-based programs as Adventus; Inventio; Le Monde des goliards; Musica Mundi; Le Mystère de l'Étoile; Noël, Paris, Notre-Dame; and Rue des jugleors, many of which have been broadcast on CBC radio. It regularly performs at such international festivals as the Berkeley Early Music Festival, the Encuentro Internacional de Musica Antigua in Mexico City, and the Dieppe Early Music Festival and has also performed in additional areas in Canada (mainly in Ontario, Quebec and BC, but also in Calgary, Edmonton, and Whitehorse); the US (especially New York, Texas, and Arizona); Europe (Belgium, Italy); and Venezuela. It has received support from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts, among others.

As artistic director of the ensemble, Bernatchez was awarded in 1987 the Prix annuel de création of the Conseil de la Culture de la région de Québec.

See also Instruments: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque


Anonymus. 1982. Siscom SC-04028 (LP)

Musique médiévale et renaissante. 1985. Siscom SC-03426 (LP)

Llibre Vermell, Catalonian Pilgrimage Songs & Dances from the 14th Century. 1993. Analekta FL 2 3055 /AN 2 8001

Rue des Jugleors: Instrumental and Vocal Music from the 12th to the 14th Century. 1994. Analekta FL 2 3056 / AN 2 8002

A La Via!, Street Music from the 13th to the 16th Century. 1995. Analekta FL 2 3070 / AN 2 8003

Tempus Festorum: Medieval Music for the Nativity Season. 1997. Analekta FLX 2 3106 (CD)

The World of Robin and Marion: Songs and Motets from the Time of Adam de la Halle (1240-1287). 2004. Analekta. An 2 9816 (CD)

Compilation Vol. 12: The Finest Canadian Musicians. 2005. Analekta. An 12 (CD)

Joyaux de la renaissance: Jewels of the Renaissance Era. 2005. AN 2 9781 (CD)

Joyaux médiévaux: Jewels of the Medieval Era. 2006. Analekta AN 2 9780 (CD)


Flamands et Florentins. 1988. Presses de l'U Laval (video)