The French in their airs, aim at the soft, the easy, the flowing and coherent … but the Italians … venture the boldest cadences and the most irregular dissonance; and their airs are so out of the way that they resemble the compositions of no other nation in the world. Although Couperin is best known as a composer of harpsichord music, he also composed extensively for small ensembles throughout his career. Each of the four ordres celebrates a power of Europe — France, Spain, Italy and Piedmont — and each is a combination of an Italianate trio sonata, with its free-form virtuosity, and a large-scale and elaborate French dance suite. Fifteen candles, fitted on a triangular frame, were extinguished one by one until Matins ended in darkness.
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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first. Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats.
The site is also available in several languages. Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults. Countertenors James Bowman and Michael Chance are celebrated not only as great soloists but matchless duettists.
To this end he employed a large number of musicians, mostly to supply grand music in the Chapelle Royale at the daily celebration of High Mass—a spectacular musical affair, typified in the Grands Motets of Michel-Richard de Lalande — In Louis appointed Couperin as one of the four organists: his function was to provide music as well as to direct performances.
All of his surviving sacred music is scored for one, two or three voices and continuo, sometimes with concertante instruments and chorus. The only large-scale sacred works he may have written, said to have existed in manuscript at his death, have not survived.
This is the case with so much of his music: letters he exchanged with Bach were allegedly destroyed in later years when they were used as jampot covers! Fifteen candles, fitted on a triangular frame, were extinguished one by one until Matins ended in darkness.
The music has, within its own self-imposed limits, an intensity and power rarely found in baroque church music. The motet Laetentur caeli , in honour of the martyr St Bartholomew, is particularly Italianate, full of vocal melismas, and with the two voices imitating and chasing each other in thirds. The Magnificat , with its variety of textual moods, inspires a remarkable setting by Couperin which contains eleven contrasting sections in as many minutes.
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Don't show me this message again. Originally issued on CDA The French in their airs, aim at the soft, the easy, the flowing and coherent … but the Italians … venture the boldest cadences and the most irregular dissonance; and their airs are so out of the way that they resemble the compositions of no other nation in the world.
Leçons de ténèbres (François Couperin)
The tenebrae service uses the text of the Lamentations of Jeremiah , originally deploring the Siege of Jerusalem BC and subsequent desolation of the city, but applied allegorically to the three days of mourning for Christ between his crucifixion and resurrection. Delalande's year-old daughter sang for Louis XIV first in his living rooms and then in chapel, becoming the praise of all Paris. The following represents the typical French baroque schema set by Marc-Antoine Charpentier ,  which follows the order of the Roman Breviary of St. Pius V as it was promulgated after the Council of Trent in However, in practice composers rarely supplied a complete set of all 9 settings.
Leçons de ténèbres (Couperin, François)
Leçons de Ténèbres by Couperin and Lalande