Four Reviews of The Great Mirror

Olyrix – Opera online

Les « Voix Nouvelles » à Royaumont : de la création avant toute chose

(translated from French)

(…) And then Mauro Hertig’s The Great Mirror for double vocal quartet, based on the encyclopedia of Vincent de Beauvais, which supposedly contains all the knowledge of the world. This totalizing ambition is transcribed in this three-part performance which integrates and combines a great variety of elements with a brilliance in its implementation. Also present: the use of sound recordings, the mobilization of the public, leaving parts free to improvisation, the spontaneity of the changes of tone carried by hand claps while at the same time keeping up a certain competence in the writing of the choir sounds, reflecting a balanced discourse. The abundance of energy, the smiling tone of les Métaboles [choir], taking part in this experiment, are communicative, ensuring this strong moment of the concert.


Res Musica – Musique Classique et Danse

(translated from French)

(…) But it is, in fine, the Swiss Mauro Hertig who creates the moment of this concert-academy, by throwing himself in the theatrical experience, with certainly reduced means but a good dose of humor and invention. Relevant is the idea of ​​staging the character of Vincent de Beauvais, who died in Royaumont in 1264. A Dominican Brother, he is the author of an encyclopaedia constituting a panorama of the Middle Ages known as Speculum Maius (Great Mirror). The book is divided into three main parts which also divide the work by Mauro Hertig, renamed The Great Mirror. It summons a double vocal quartet and some recorded sounds, captured in the very enclosure of the abbey and bringing noises of nature to the ear in the first chapter, the Speculum Naturale. The very free interpretation of the scholar’s work gives rise to as many “tableaux”, funny and well guided, where the singers mingle with the public (Speculum Historiale) without neglecting the beat of the gesture or the requirement of a vocal writing that makes this theater of words a truly musical experience.


(translated from French)

(…) Mauro Hertig, meanwhile, with The Great Mirror for double vocal quartet, a piece that unequivocally falls under the musical theater – by which it differs from the trends reflected by this promotion 2019. Nor does it yield to the nostalgia of “Classics” of the genre, the Swiss composer does not sacrifice music on the altar of the theater. Tinged with subtle humor, his abundant inventiveness does not deprive him of a detailed control of the musical discourse.

Blog of Omer Corlaix, Editions MF

(translated from French)

(…) The work of young Swiss Mauro Hertig (* 1989), The Great Mirror for double vocal quartet closing the concert of creations Sunday at noon was one of the highlights of this Academie Voix Nouvelles 2019. Mauro Hertig was bold to create connection with the encyclopedia of the Dominican friar Vincent de Beauvais, lecteur at the Abbey of Royaumont during the reign of Saint Louis. The Speculum Maius is a gigantic work gathering all the knowledge of an era, it is a set of 32 books distributed in 3718 chapters. It is the equivalent of its time of the Great Diderot-D’Alembert encyclopedia. For the concert, the composer composed a piece of fifteen minutes made from an English edition of the fifteenth century. Musical theater, virtuosity of the singers taken individually or collectively, spatialization, humor, sound shift …. It is a beautiful success full of freshness where diversity reaches unity. Mauro Hertig is what is called a composer in printing, the multiple makes sense for the listener.