The three Leçons de Ténèbres pour le mercredy (Tenebrae for Wednesday) are the only ones by François Couperin to have survived: 'recitations' destined to accompany the Office of the Tenebrae during one of the nights of Holy Week. Couperin is one of the uncontested masters in this exercise fusing vocal virtuosity and deep religious feeling.
Couperin’s Trois Leçons de Ténèbres are amongst the small amount of the composer’s sacred music that was published during his lifetime. They are intensely personal, depicting the prophet Jeremiah’s bitter anguish in settings that are quite unique. Also included here are Couperin’s joyful motets Laetentur caeli and Venite, exsultemus Domino, and a remarkable Magnificat.
This spectacular set features a quintessential selection of western sacred music that that will please one and all, from an inquisitive novice to a discerning connoisseur. It features a vast array of critically acclaimed recordings of more than seventy cornerstone works, ranging from the earliest Christian chants to gospel songs and Gershwin's blues. The performers include some of today's finest artists, including René Jacobs, Philippe Herreweghe, Paul Hillier and William Christie. Offered at a special low price, this limited edition set is packaged in a luxury clamshell style box containing 29 discs of music and one PDF disc with sung texts.
Descendant d'une longue lignée de musiciens, François Couperin fut le plus grand compositeur baroque de son temps. Il représente un jalon important entre Lully et Rameau et, bien que, comparé à d'autres, il ait peu composé, rien dans son oeuvre n'est à écarter. C'est pour les concerts du dimanche matin à la cour du roi Louis XIV, que Couperin composa cette série de Concerts royaux.
From the music of François Couperin, Aline Zylberajch and Martin Gester have assembled a Watteau-esque idyll fit for a king. A manuscript trio sonata from the early 1690s and one of the chamber concerts included in his collection entitled Les Goûts-réunis add further instrumental timbres to what is otherwise a showcase for the ravishing Ruckers-Taskin harpsichord from the Musée de la Musique at the Cité de la Musique in Paris. The excellent booklet notes by Denis Herlin provide all you might wish to know about the background of the music.
Blandine Verlet is now one of the last living legends of the harpsichord. After a few years of absence, she has joined the label Aparté with a programme dedicated to Francois Couperin's harpsichord music, recorded on a sumptuous Hemsch of 1751 upon which she already performed Goldberg Variations in 1993. Throughout these pieces with evocative titles (Les Amusements, the Raphaèle, the delights, the Poppies, the Wandering Shadows ..) she reveals an artist with a voice more than inspired, powerful and constantly renewed.