Couperin: L'Apothéose de Lully; Leçons de Ténèbres

Couperin: L'Apothéose de Lully; Leçons de Ténèbres

by Jonathan CohenJonathan Cohen


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François Couperin's "L'Apothéose de Lully" and "L'Apothéose de Corelli" are unique programmatic works, from late in the composer's career, in which he gave concrete form to the fusion of French and Italian influences that he had explored over much of his career. They are sometimes paired, but to aim at the generalist Couperin buyer with a work of an entirely different sort, as the English early music group Arcangelo and director/keyboardist Jonathan Cohen do here, is also a valid approach, and the music is beautifully executed. The two works, comprising little instrumental pieces preceded by a title, depict the ascent of their respective composer subjects to the heights of Parnassus. The titles are not always read aloud, as they are here, but this is preferable (and translations into English might have been helpful). "L'Apothéose de Lully" is heard here. Its instrumental parts can be realized in various ways; Arcangelo uses only two violins and continuo, but the continuo is flexible, with viola da gamba, lute, and harpsichord. The lute and harpsichord sound a bit unusual when played together, but when Thomas Dunford's lute steps out as a solo accompanimental instrument (sample the "Enlévement de Lulli au Parnasse"), the effect meshes well with the intimate quality of Cohen's approach as a whole. The work is paired here with the "Leçons de Ténèbres" or Tenebrae Lessons, settings for one or two singers, with a continuo of lute, viola da gamba, and organ, of the biblical Lamentations of Jeremiah that combine text with vocal melismas that challenge the performer yet don't disturb the basic mood of piety and simplicity. They are among the most powerful in the long tradition of settings of this text, and the mood of sustained, transcendent calm achieved here by Cohen and sopranos Katherine Watson and Anna Dennis is luxurious. An excellent release for anyone interested in Couperin's vocal music and instrumental ensemble music.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/28/2017
Label: Hyperion
UPC: 0034571280936
catalogNumber: 68093
Rank: 148825


  1. L'Apothéose de Lully, for various instruments & continuo

    1. Lulli aux Champs Élisés: Concertant avec les Ombre liriques
    2. Air pour les Mêmes
    3. Vol, de Mercure aux Champs Élisés, pour avertir qu'Apollon y va descendre
    4. Descente d'Apollon: qui vient offrir son Violon à Lulli; et sa place au Parnasse
    5. Rumeur Souteraine: Causée par les auteurs - Contemporains de Lulli
    6. Plaintes des Mêmes: pou les Flûtes, ou des Violns tres adoucis
    7. Enlévement de Lulli au Parnasse
    8. Accüeil enter-Doux, et-Agard, fait à Lulli par Corelli, et par les Muses italiénes
    9. Remerciment de Lulli: à Apollon
    10. Essai en forme d'Ouverture: Lulli et les Muses Françoises, Corelli et les Muses Italiénes
    11. Air léger: Lulli, joüant le Sujet; et Corelli l'acompagnant
    12. Second Air: Corelli joüant le Sujet, à son tour, que Lulli acompagne
    13. Sonade en Trio: Gravement
    14. Sonade en Trio: Saillie - Vivement
    15. Sonade en Trio: Rondement
    16. Sonade en Trio: Vivement
  2. Leçons de Ténébres, for treble voice (or 2 treble voices) & continuo

    1. Première Leçon. Incipit lamentatio Jeremiae prophetae
    2. Première Leçon. Aleph. Quomodo sedet sola civitas plena populo
    3. Première Leçon. Beth. Plorans ploravit in nocte
    4. Première Leçon. Ghimel. Migravit Juda propter afflictionem -
    5. Première Leçon. Daleth. Viae Sion lugent
    6. Première Leçon. Heth. Facti sunt hostes eius in capite
    7. Première Leçon. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum
    8. Seconde Leçon. Vau. Et egressus est a filia Sion
    9. Seconde Leçon. Zain. Recordata est Jerusalem dierum afflictionis suae
    10. Seconde Leçon. Heth. Peccatum peccavit Jerusalem
    11. Seconde Leçon. Theth. Sordes eius in pedibus eius
    12. Seconde Leçon. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum
    13. Troisième Leçon. Jod. Manum suam misit hostis -
    14. Troisième Leçon. Caph. Omnis populus eius gemens -
    15. Troisième Leçon. Lamed. O vos omnes qui transitis per viam
    16. Troisième Leçon. Mem. De excelso misit ignem in ossibus meis -
    17. Troisième Leçon. Nun. Vigilavit iugum iniquitatum mearum
    18. Troisième Leçon. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum

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