This week, a French flavour!
Leçons de Ténèbres, Couperin. Performed by La Nuova Musica.
“Music for Holy Week. François Couperin served as harpsichordist to Louis XIV and was famed for reforming elegant chamber music of the French court in the more impassioned Italian style of the time. For his Leçons de Ténèbres, a setting of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, ‘Couperin le Grand’ fused devotional expression with a dramatic performing style embodied here by sopranos Lucy Crowe and Elizabeth Watts. Two trio sonatas and a Stabat Mater by Sébastien de Brossard round out this luminous programme.” (cover)
Roméo et Juliette, Berlioz. Performed by the BBC Singers and Symphony Orchestra.
“…the BBC SO and its Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by offering as you have never heard them: the third symphony, Roméo et Juliette, and excerpts from his largest opera, Les Troyens; a ‘magical revelation… that wrought shivers’ (Bachtrack), in which ‘one could feel the instant rightness of the sonorous imagery Berlioz devises’ (The Sunday Times). The London Symphony Orchestra also recently produced a recording of this work: listen to both and compare!
A Fauré Recital, Volume 1: Après un Rêve. Performed by Louis Lortie.
“This album, the first in the series, travels through Fauré’s various creative periods, from easily appealing early pieces such as the Pavane and the mélodie ‘Après un rêve’ to the late and unjustly neglected Préludes, a masterpiece of condensed harmonic and melodic audacity.” (amazon.com)