During the pre-industrial era and before the invention of the light bulb many people had sleeping habits that differed remarkably from the ones we have today. They went to bed when it got dark and cold, only to wake up in the middle of the night. They revived, fulfilled some tasks in the dark and went back to bed. The period between those two stages of sleep came to be called the dorveille, which was used for several things. Sex was of course one of the most common, but others just grabbed a bite or used the time to warm up at the hearth or stove. It was the ideal time to commit all sorts of criminal acts as well. Another popular occupation was the interpretation of dreams, as they were freshly lingering in the memory, hence many a writer was inspired during this mysterious dorme-veille. Those of a more devoted nature used the time to pray.

Bel Ayre entre-temps

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'A Canzone 'E Partenope

First CD 

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'A Canzone 'e Partenope
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“A sunny and at the same time intense melancholic CD. The music flows like a conversation on a summer evening.” (****)
— De Standaard (Belgian newspaper)

Lieselot De Wilde, voice

Peter Verhelst - guitar, arrangements and compositions

Jean-Philippe Poncin - clarinets

Dick van der Harst - bandoneon

Lode Vercampt - cello

Yves Peeters - percussion





Bel Ayre means beautiful song. What might seem an understatement at first is what Bel Ayre stands for: music, tastefully chosen from the infinite song repertoire. While the ensemble started as an interpreter of baroque music, it grew to a collective that creates song projects from a more various repertoire. Hidden gems, evergreens, art songs or more traditional airs, ancient songs or younger compositions, all are interpreted with love, knowledge and respect for tradition, yet performed in a way that allows for a contemporary and personal connection.

Lieselot De Wilde, soprano
Peter Verhelst: guitar, arrangements and compositions

website Bel Ayre