Les Leçons des ténèbres
François Couperin - André Campra

Les Leçons des ténèbres

Monique Zanetti / Francoise Masset / Mathieu Dupouy

Label: Herisson
Format: CD
Barcode: 3770002538043
Catalog number: LH 09
Releasedate: 29-03-13

Part of a very ancient tradition of setting the text of the Lamentations of Jeremiah to music, François COUPERIN's TENEBRAE LESSONS are certainly one of his most famous works and the pinnacle of Baroque vocal music.Written in 1714, probably for the Abbey of Longchamp, they represent the culminating point of the French Tenebrae Lessons tradition and are the masterpiece of the genre. Recognised specialists in French Baroque vocal music, the singers Monique ZANETTI and Françoise MASSET, perform them in the sound context of the period: the pitch a tone lower than current pitch and a French meantone temperament that enhances the dissonances in Couperin's language and softens its tonic chords.  The two singers and the continuo (viola da gamba and theorbo) were placed in the loft of the historic Rozay-en-Brie organ, a miraculously preserved jewel of French 17th manufacture. We would add that the Couperin family came from a village situated less than ten kilometres away and that its members therefore almost certainly knew the instrument!  Extracts from Couperin's Mass for the Convents played by Mathieu DUPOUY allow us to hear the organ by itself and the programme concludes with André Campra's hitherto unrecorded motet, Cantate Domino.