Mozart’s music resonated on Wednesday between the walls of the Croisée prison in Orbe (VD). The Lausanne Chamber Orchestra (OCL) began there with Renaud Capuçon, its new conductor and violinist, a series of concerts intended to “deconfin” classical music.
At the origin of the project, Renaud Capuçon, the new head of the OCL, says he wanted to offer inmates “a few minutes out of their daily lives, a little lightness in this heavy prison world.”
Asked by Keystone-ATS, the famous violinist evokes an “escape through music”. An escape perpetrated with the complicity of Mozart, whose concertante symphony for violin and viola was performed twice Wednesday afternoon in the prison gym.
Dialogue with Gérard Caussé’s viola
Two flights of around 40 people, who had previously registered, attended the concerts. Separated from the detainees by a red ribbon, Renaud Capuçon briefly greeted the audience and presented the work, before letting the music speak in front of an attentive audience.
On the violin, the French classic star has a dialogue with the viola of his friend Gérard Caussé. Both were surrounded by the OCL in great formation with about thirty musicians. Renaud Capuçon indeed wanted to offer a “real” concert to the prisoners, unlike what is sometimes seen in this type of event, when only a few musicians come.
Healing with music
If it is out of the ordinary, a concert in prison is not far-fetched for Renaud Capuçon. “I have always considered that music should be shared. I like to reach out to all audiences, even if the organization of such meetings is sometimes complex,” he notes.
For several years now, the virtuoso has been giving concerts to a so-called “disabled” audience, such as the homeless or people at the end of their life. With prisoners, his experience has so far been limited to a single concert in a prison in Savoy.
In addition to sharing, Renaud Capuçon praises the healing virtues of music, classical music in particular. “For people who suffer morally and physically, the benefits are undeniable,” he says.
And to add that he has felt several times “closed people” open to the sound of music. “It’s hard to describe in words, but it clearly shows in the atmosphere of a concert,” he remarks.
St-Prex, Martigny, Cugy
Determined to continue in this direction, Renaud Capuçon took advantage of his appointment to the artistic direction of the OCL, in the spring of 2020, to imagine the series “OCL for all”. An idea born in the midst of a health crisis with the conviction that music had to be “deconfined”.
The Orbe prison is the first stop in this series. Three other concerts will follow for people with disabilities and young people with disabilities at the Perceval foundations in St-Prex (November 30), Gianadda in Martigny (January 25) and Echaud in Cugy (May 21).
The operation, funded by patron Aline Foriel-Destezet, should be repeated each season, at least until the end of Renaud Capuçon’s term at the OCL in 2025.
To believe the native of Chambéry, who lives in Lausanne his first experience as a conductor, the musicians of the OCL were delighted with the idea of this series of concerts: “They realized how much it could do us good. , to us as musicians too. Because the more you give, the more you receive. “