Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 12/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"AN EMOTIONALLY CHARGED AND AN EXPERTLY PERFORMED COUPERIN!
The 'TROIS LECONS DE TENEBRES' were amongst the small amount of Francois Couperin's (1668-1733) ecclesiastical music that was published during his lifetime, and appeared in print between 1713 and 1717. Couperin's 'Lecons' are intensely personal, depicting the biblical prophet Jeremiah's bitter anguish in settings that are quite unique. Each lecon ends with Jeremiah's words to the people of the Holy City,"Jerusalem, turn to the Lord, your God". The music has, within its own self-imposed limits, an intensity and power rarely found in baroque church music. It was mostly scored for one, two or 3 voices and continuo; this CD is an excellent example of his work. The name "tenebrae" probably refers to the darkness that gradually spread during the service as candles were extinguished one by one until Matins ended in darkness.
The first 2 lessons are for solo voice;the third is a duet. The disc begins with a Motet "LAETENTUR COELI" which was written in honor of the marytr St. Bartholomew during which the 2 voices imitate and chase each other in 3rds. It is particularly Italianate, full of vocal melismas and dramatic and recitativo-like writing.
The selection "VENETE EXULTEMUS DOMINO" is largely an exultant text with suspensions of great beauty and ending in a surprisingly low tessitura. To my mind the "MAGNIFICAT" with its variety of textual moods and rich harmony is the real "showcase" on this recording!
And with the two great countertenor voices of Chance and Bowman we have the BEST possible rendition. (I have 3 others to compare; this one wins; hands down,) They are a great team vocally for they blend well and indeed are very similar in their singing style, although I think Chance as the edge in overall performance. Their emotional investment truly brings out the instensity of these words; just very moving. A great recording in every way.
A quote from CD review: " I...enthusiastically urge you to obtain this recording... an outstanding recording by any standards, all four artists (J.Bowman, M. Chance, M.Caudle,J. King) contibuting to a truly memorable experience."
The disc is accompanied by a very informative booklet that includes information in German, French and English, and a complete text in Latin and English. Recorded in December, 1990.
Depth of Holy Week Captured
Anthony Benedict | houston texas | 04/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this for the voices of Michael Chance and James Bowman, as well as for Robert King. Once again these two famous counter-tenors are teamed up. Both with different voices but the perfect blend. Tracks 3 and 4 are solos, and the rest duets, with the singers complimenting each other magnificently. If you enjoy the mysterious and lengthy sound of sacred music, focusing specifically on the voice, you will love this recording.