Friday, April 22, 2011

Francois Couperin - Motets - Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques







Before you play the first track of this disc, make sure you're in quiet surroundings and ready to listen closely. You'll hear a pure yet sensuous soprano voice slip gently out of the silence and sing a melody that manages to be haunting and virtuosic at the same time--only to be followed by a similar voice doing the same. The two voices coil around each other (with some gleaming suspensions) for a full minute before instruments join them. And that's just the beginning of this marvelous disc François Couperin, (1668-1733). Anonymous artist, Collection of the Château de Versailles. of motets by François Couperin, a composer better known for his keyboard and chamber music. Most of these pieces were written to accompany the Elevation of the Host (the most solemn moment of the Roman Catholic liturgy), so you won't hear much exuberance. You will hear an enchanting blend of piety and grace, as well as expert performances by Christophe Rousset's instrumental ensemble, tenor Jean-Paul Fouchécourt and bass Jérôme Corréas. The real stars of this record, however, are those two sopranos--Sandrine Piau and Caroline Pelon. --Matthew Westphal


flac, covers

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