An exquisite shining pearl - perfect, simply perfect.
Ingrid Heyn | Melbourne, Australia | 04/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I possess every recording of these leçons that is currently available. As a soprano with a deep love for the baroque repertoire, I have performed these with fellow singer Katrena Mitchell in our duet ensemble "Sounds Sublime". The pieces themselves are as familiar to me as a byte is to a computer expert... ... and there is simply no recording to compete with this one.It's exquisite from the very opening. In particular when Sophie Daneman and Patricia Petibon sing together, the work between the two and the ravishing vocal blend is something of which dreams are made. The pronunciation of the Latin is beautifully French, as it would have been performed at the time. The ornamentation and musicianship here is superb, as one would expect from a recording conducted by William Christie.But the two singers are the highlight here, in this most ravishing of performances.I have an enormous admiration for Emma Kirkby, but the recording of this work with her and Judith Nelson is stiff, unemotional, and blank in comparison with this recording. (I do not admire Nelson's voice, either, however much I admire Kirkby's.) The vocal beauty on this recording is truly sublime - this CD is one I listen to over and over again, always with a sigh and a smile.Other versions, including a surprisingly bland rendition by Gens and Sandrine Piau, and two good countertenor versions and one not-so-good (oh dear, Deller...) are available, but nothing approaches the shimmering beauty of this version.The pieces themselves are of heavenly beauty. I've never performed them without seeing audience members weeping with the beauty of the music.I recommend this CD strongly."
Gorgeous, rare recording of the Tenebrae by Couperin
Joanna Daneman | Middletown, DE USA | 11/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The service of Tenebrae (time of darkness--traditionally celebrated at 3 am) is a Holy Week liturgy taken from the Lamentations of Jeremiah. The other reason for the title "Darkness" is that it is accompanied by the solemn ceremony of stripping the altar before the total eclipse of Good Friday. Lighting is gradually reduced throughout the service, initially being fully lit, frequently by candles which are gradually extinguished as the service progresses, thus the name Tenebrae meaning Darkness is virtually performed as well.
Couperin's settings (composed in 1703) uses a few voices and few instrumentals in the French tradition of the service. This recording features sopranos Patricia Petibon and Sophie Daneman. The performance follows the French tradition also in the pronunciation of the Latin. The conductor took great care to reproduce the performance as the French would have heard it, and if you want the genuine experience, this recording surely comes the closest (as far as we can tell, from historical records.)
Couperin - Lecons de Tenebres/ The Lamentations of Jeremiah
I. Fernandez | New York, NY | 02/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Years ago I heard Judith Nelson and Emma Kirkby perform this beautiful work from Couperin and fell in love with it. However since my first listening I have heard Alfred Deller's version, which is alright, but I have also heard many wonderful reviews about this recording. So I decided to recently purchase it for my boss who's an avid lover of classical music as a Christmas present. She found it quite lovely and when I heard it, I was mesmerized! The quality of the voices and the singers' phrasing is impeccable!! I even love that Sophie Daneman articulates the Latin with a French accent giving Couperin's work and text even more credibility. The quality of the recording is quite clear, and listening to it at work, I feel like I am in a cathedral experiencing the actual performance. I highly recommend this C.D.!!!"