No Time in Eternity

Consort songs for 5 viols and a countertenor

This short poem by Robert Herrick (English Renaissance) states the theme that lies at the heart of this entire project. In its programme, the Céladon Ensemble takes no account of conventional chronology and instead focuses on the clear artistic link between the music of the English Renaissance and English contemporary music.
The distance between these periods is extreme, yet the composers blended vocal and instrumental colours with the same intentions: to move the listener deeply and to attain a fullness of sound that was both powerful and yet caressing. 

During the reign of Elizabeth I, William Byrd found that the Consort Song provided him with the perfect vehicle for poetry. In 1995, Michael Nyman composed the Self-Laudatory Hymn of Inanna and Her Omnipotence; he then composed No Time in Eternity, a cosmic and timeless piece, specifically for Céladon in 2016.

The Céladon Ensemble has created this programme that includes these works and others by the same composers. It demonstrates of the possibility of disregarding temporal markers in works that are nonetheless defined by their respective periods. 

Spanning the centuries, the listeners hear the strength of a declaration projected by the counter-tenor voice, the intensity of a consort of viols and it soars aloft, and finally a truly magical effect: the paradox of a voice that is alone and yet six-fold, the sixth of the five viols.


Paulin Bündgen, countertenor & artistic director
Catherine Arnoux,
Liam Fennelly or Emmanuel Guigues,
Viviana Gonzalez-Careaga,
Nolwenn Le Guern and
Luc Gaugler, viols

Soledad tenguo de ti

Portuguese music of the Renaissance

The cantigas, vilancetes and romances were composed when Portugal was on the decline politically, but still superb. These pieces range in mood from sadness and melancholy, prefiguring the saudade of the Portuguese fado, to exuberant joy. Little Portuguese music from the end of the 16th century has survived. Most of the pieces are found in the Cancionereiro Geral, the Cancioneiro de Palacio, the Elvas Cancioneiro and the Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional. Most of the composers are anonymous, with the exception of Pedro de Escobar but some texts are by famous poets (Juan Fernandez de Heredia, Andrade de Caminba, Miguel de Andrade, …). They usually are in Castilian.  Indeed, Spanish was the language of intellectuals at the Portuguese court, where the nobility was bilingual. 

This bilingualism led to the appearance of Portuguese phonetic influences in Castilian. Thus, the Portuguese word saudade (nostalgic melancholy or yearning) was simply translated into saludad. Portuguese music of the Renaissance period is quite surprising: its simple but effective harmonies and clear, light counterpoint ensured that it was perfectly accessible to a wide public. The themes of absence, disillusionment, hopelessness and renunciation of love are recurrent. This very fine music, combining the most learned and the most popular aspects of the Renaissance period, shows Portugal at its most traditional, as well as evoking the languor and spice of Brazilian bossa nova.


Paulin Bündgen, countertenor & artistic director
Luc Gaugler, viol
Florent Marie, lute
Gwénaël Bihan, recorders
Ludwin Bernaténé, percussions

La belle au cler visage

Francis I and the House of Valois, true patrons of literature and the Arts

“J’aime la belle au cler visage”. This chanson, published by Jacques Moderne in Lyon at the beginning of the 16th century, sets the tone for a programme that the Céladon Ensemble has created around the great composers of the French Renaissance.

This is a joyously accessible concert that includes many well-known works as well as lesser-known treasures of the period. These pieces prove once again that the pleasures that our senses grant us are what we appreciate most in Renaissance music and literature. 

Francis I ascended the throne in 1515; it was from that time onwards that his court began an avid search for new music for singing and dancing in the French and Italian styles. La belle au cler visage blends and contrasts two solo voices with subtlety and accompanies them with the delicate timbres of lutes and gitterns. The listeners can get to know or revisit the chansons of Claudin de Sermisy, Jehan Chardavoine, Adrien Peti Coclico and Guillaume Costeley, set to the sublime poetry of Clément Marot and Pierre de Ronsard. There is only one rule that applies to this music: it has to be played with imagination, poetry and humour!




Anne Delafosse or Clara Coutouly, soprano
Paulin Bündgen, countertenor & artistic director

Rémi Cassaigne & Florent Marie, lutes & gitterns

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Paulin Bündgen