Couperin’s Avertissement notes that they may be transposed for any voice types, and recommends adding a bowed string instrument: “quoyque. Couperin’s Trois Leçons de Ténèbres are amongst the small amount of the composer’s sacred music that was published during his lifetime. They are intensely. Stream Couperin (Le Grand): Trois Leçons de Ténèbres by Veronique Gens & Sandrine Piau & Emmanuel Balssa & Les Talens Lyriques & Christophe Rousset .
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COUPERIN Trois Leçons de Ténèbres
Leçons de ténèbres (Couperin)
Please try again later. Audio CD Verified Purchase. For those who love streamlined baroque soprano singing, ethereal, sleek, with carefully-prepared dissonances and resolutions and a sound that is sheer and beautiful, this release is for you.
Piau, with a more unusual and lower voice than her partner, takes on the first Lecon. This can be heard musically as the last section of the 3rd Lecon ends inconclusively, not like a traditional structured conclusion. In contrast, the excellent version of the Lecons on Erato led by Laurence Boulay reorganizes the three Lecons to no ill effect. Listening to the Boulay also underscores how the performers in this disc have conceived and executed their Lecons as sleek and elegant.
I also compared the performance with that from William Christie and Les Arts Florissants and found that, though the two share a similar approach, Gens and Piau inject much more life and emotion into their rendition, making it preferable. Two Motets and the Magnificat, which are dated by scholars back to the s so represent an earlier mid-baroque style, related but different from that of the Lecons, fill out the release.
All three are beautiful and worthwhile. Clocking in at right over 10 minutes, the Magnificat may be my single favorite track here, livelier and little less serene than the other music. This disc is exemplary and beautiful. I suspect some listeners will absolutely love it for its ravishing and exalted cumulative effect.
Helped by some very fine sound engineering, it is warmly recommended. One person found this helpful. Veronique Gens and Sandrine Piau are two lovely singers.
Leçons de ténèbres (Couperin) – Wikipedia
I own recordings of both of them which are lovely – Piau’s Mozart arias is exquisite better by several degrees than her more recent Handel arias recording, but that too has some fine thingsand Gens’ extensive recording repertoire from her Mozart to her Berlioz is regularly taken out of my CD shelves to be given another listen. It was with the expectation of delight that I purchased this recording. To my astonishment, the performance failed to “shimmer”, right from the start.
It seemed pedestrian, walking where it should float. The blend of the two voices was The fault is absolutely not that of the music. Couperin’s lamentations are utterly, utterly beautiful. Don’t mistake me – it’s not dreadful. The two sopranos, as I’ve said, are lovely on other recordings. I feel that perhaps they did not share the same vision of the works on this recording, so that they sometimes seem to be pulling away from each other rather than together.
In the duet work, this is fatal Yet even in the solo portions of the works recorded here, I was not transported with delight.
I think it may be at least partly due to the recording itself rather than the singers, but I do have a few quibbles with regard to the singing. Firstly – the Latin is not French Latin, as I’ve always considered it should be. Secondly, the ornamentation is inconsistent, and doesn’t always follow the markings in tenebrws score. Thirdly, the tones of both sopranos seemed not to fall into the right sound for the Couperin works.
I am at a loss to understand why – really, these two sopranos are so experienced in French baroque works that I fully expected them to have created a delicious performance. I hovered between 3 and 4 stars for this.
I suppose I am very much a person of “Yes, I love this” or “No, I loathe it” – my opinions are rarely tepid. That version above all is beatiful beyond belief. Listen to them one after the tendbres – the comparison is astonishing.
The prospective buyer should know about a reissue of this excellent recording by the Eloquence label, who have reissued many great recordings from the Decca catalog. I don’t have my copy with me at the moment, but I don’t remember anything in the notes about a new remastering for this particular Eloquence reissue; but even though it has a less attractive cover no offense to M. Roussetyenebres can be had for perhaps less than half the price of this original edition. Here is the Renebres edition: I have recently been listening to some of her Handel on the Naive label, which is not to be missed.
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