Francois Couperin, Robin Blaze, Daniel Taylor - Lecons De Tenebres

Published Wednesday 25th May 2005
Francois Couperin, Robin Blaze, Daniel Taylor - Lecons De Tenebres
Francois Couperin, Robin Blaze, Daniel Taylor - Lecons De Tenebres

STYLE: Classical
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

This release shows a striking contrast between light and dark. The light comes from a glorious "Magnificat" and the contrast is the three "Leçons de Ténèbres". The Magnificat was Mary's song of praise after she learned that she was to be the mother of the Christ. This setting, from 1702, portrays the rapture of the words with the two counter-tenors, Robin Blaze and Daniel Taylor, lifting us up with their vocal pyrotechnics. The "Leçons de Ténèbres" are based on texts from the Book of Lamentations where the Prophet Jeremiah mourns over the ruins of Jerusalem after her destruction by Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonians in 586 BC. In the Catholic Church these texts were used at Matins (in the wee small hours) in the days leading up to Easter. The music is, appropriately, sombre although the performance on this CD is thoroughly professional. François Couperin (1668 - 1733) was a Parisian organist who worked also in the Royal Court of Louis XIV. No less a figure than J S Bach admired his compositions and any readers who enjoy Bach and Baroque singing in general should investigate this release.

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