Couperin: Leçons de Ténèbres
Couperin’s Leçons de Ténèbres is a summit of French sacred music of the beginning of the 18th century. Vocal art and spirituality combine beautifully, a testimony the refinement of French singing at the time of Louis XIV, both in salons and theatres and in churches.
A wide public rushed to hear the divine voices singing the Leçons for the Holy Week, faceless voices of young convent recluses, voices from heaven…The three Lessons still existing were written for Holy Wednesday. The Misere composed for women’s voices by his contemporary Clérambault, deploys a similarly contrasted palette.
After having recorded these works at the Royal Chapel in autumn 2013 for the Alpha/Versailles collection, Vincent Dumestre is proposing this programme again.