Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Michel Richard Delalande, William Christie, Veronique Gens|
Delalande - Te Deum /Gens * Piau * Steyer * Fouchecourt * Piolino * Correas * Les Arts Florissants * Christie
In Bill We Trust
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 07/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording of three motets by Michel Delalande (1657-1726) is performed by Les Arts Florissants under the baton of Bill Christie!That should be all the recommendation you need, especially at a give-away price. I feel an urge, however, to expatiate about the parallel universe of the French Baroque, and here I go:
No one with even one intact ear, ála van Gogh, could fail to hear the difference between French Baroque music and music of Germany or Italy in the same era. First there are the falling iambic ornaments and the trochaic cadences, packed into melodic lines that invariably favor 'affect' over virtuosity. Then there are the sprightly ballet rhythms, shifting from twos to three evanescently. Nothing is sustained to the point of ennui in French Baroque; the nineteen-minute Te Deum recorded here, for instance, has thirteen separate movements. Solo movements in particular are concise, while choral passages are allowed to swell. Don't assume, however, that such evanescence is frivolous. There is an overarching unity to each of these three motets that accumulates into a sense of musical grandeur.
If you listen to these motets before glancing at the texts, you may wonder what language in being sung. The voices are unmistakably French, especially the males - oaky, smokey, slightly nasal. The vowels sound French, yet a French speaker wouldn't undertstand. It's Latin they're singing, with quaint French pronunciation - eroded consonants, nasal A's and purse-lipped U's. I know Bill Christie's work well enough to be certain that he instructed his chorists and soloists to adopt such pronunciation. It wouldn't have been hard for them, since they are all French. That's one of the keys to the coherence and stylistic elegance of this performance, and part of a growing concensus in early music circles that most music is best sung by native speakers.
The greatest masterpieces of French Baroque are the operas of Lully and Ramaeau, but motets such as these deserve to be performed far more often. This CD, I'll venture to say, is the best I've heard of the repertoire.
Michel Delalande was the successor to Lully as the favorite court composer of Louis XIV, and what was good enough for the Sun King is good enough for me."
Superb Grand Motets
Gustavo Gomez | Mexico City, MEXICO | 11/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This disc features Les Arts Florissants, for me, the best French baroque ensemble, under great conductor and harpsichordist William Christie. A recording from early 90's in Harmonia Mundi,with excellent acoustics and performance.The initial Te Deum makes use of full choirs and soloists with some brass and timpani. The next Grand Motets are cast for smaller forces, alternating full choirs and more austere solo recitatives. All around, this is music of triumph and "grandeur", perfect for festing Louis XIV at his Chapelle Royale. Fans of French Baroque Music will be delighted."
scott | Calgary, Canada | 12/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Delalande was extremely well regarded in his own time, but there are not that many recordings of his music available, and as such is under-represented in the catalogue. He was acknowledged as a master of the grand motet, of which the three offered here are very good examples.
The Te Deum is every bit as engaging as the more famous one by Charpentier, and to tell the truth, I enjoy the Delalande work quite a bit more. Most of the movements are short, but they are all lovely and notable.
Super flumina Babylonis and Confitebor are likewise very good, the last movements of each exhibiting tremendous energy and momentum.
Les Arts Florrisants under William Christie show why they are masters in this repetoire. The soloists are all drawn from the chorus, but with names like Gens, Fouchecourt, Correas and Piau, they are not second-rate singers at all. Christie has a way of making these grands motets sound very grand, and this release is one of the best Delalande recordings you will find."