Composer: François Couperin, Marin Marais, Monsieur de Sainte Colombe the younger
Orchestra: King’s Consort
Conductor: Robert King
Number of Discs: 1 CD
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Bit Depth: 24bit / 96kHz
Number of channels: 2.0
Size: 1.32 GB
Scan: yes (PDF)
The King’s Consort, Robert King / Couperin, Marais, Sainte Colombe the younger – Trois Leçons de Ténèbres
01. – 06. Couperin, F: 3 Leçons de tenébres, Première leçon 18:38
07. – 11. 3 Leçons de tenébres, Seconde leçon 12:18
12. – 16. 3 Leçons de tenébres, Troisième leçon 12:45
17. Marais, M: Pieces de viole, 2me livre: Suite in E minor 7:28
18. Marais, M: Pièces de viole, Book 5, Suite No. 2 in A Major 2:51
19. – 21. Couperin, F: Motet pour le jour de Pâques 7:29
22. Jean de Sainte-Colombe: Prelude in E Minor 5:00
23. – 26. Couperin, F: Magnificat 12:04
Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Marianne Beate Kielland (mezzo),
Lynda Sayce (theorbo), Robert King (chamber organ), Susanne Heinrich (viol)
Ravishing second release on The King’s Consort’s new classical label, VIVAT, features world-renowned British soprano Carolyn Sampson and outstanding Norwegian mezzo Marianne Beate Kielland in entrancingly evocative French Baroque music.
Couperin’s three “Leçons” for Holy Week are vividly atmospheric, highly coloured, richly dissonant, and deeply melancholy, presenting music of an intensity that is quiet unique in Baroque sacred repertoire. The third Leçon is an especial jewel, with gloriously intertwining vocal lines.
Alongside the three extraordinary “Leçons” come two further substantial vocal duets by Couperin: a joyous Easter motet and a fine setting of the Magnificat.
Full-length 79’40” disc also includes stunning solo instrumental tracks, with Gramophone award-winning viol player Susanne Heinrich performing music by Marin Marais and Monsieur de Ste-Colombe (composers featured in the film “Tous les Matins du Monde”).
Recorded at “low” French baroque pitch, A=392, giving unparalleled richness to the vocal and instrumental sonorities.
High quality documentation, first-rate engineering.
“The King’s Consort are set to re-enter the recording catalogue” (Gramophone)
BBC Music Magazine
The two singers complement each other beautifully in the final setting, Kielland’s reedy voice, with its somewhat androgynous quality, throwing Sampson’s crystalline soprano into high relief and adding a slight edginess that prevents the performances from becoming too saccharine.
[Sampson and Kielland] deliver fresh performances that are at once serious, stylish and beautifully judged…Well worth acquiring.
International Record Review
the delightful purity and seeming weightlessness of Sampson’s voice, at times soaring ethereally in delicate melismas, is perfectly complemented by the warmer character of the Norwegian mezzo-soprano…The instrumental support for the Lecons is discreet, a model of refined restraint…King’s own notes are packed with priceless information and valuable insight.
There is something about the atmosphere of Robert King’s Ténèbres which makes it more believable than many, and this is a recording which will take you on a very long journey indeed…The King’s Consort musicians create the ideal atmosphere for Couperin’s Lamentations, and both vocal soloists are highly effective and deeply expressive.
Robert King has always been able to assemble the right people for the right job…he combines the contrasting timbres of Carolyn Sampson (soprano) and Marianne Beate Kielland (mezzo) in sumptuous performances of three works by Couperin. Sampson’s brightness and Kielland’s riper tones beautifully complement each other.
Another hit for the King Consort’s new label Vivat. The gorgeous Trois leçons de ténèbres…are remarkable for their intertwining, sensual dissonances: here the idiomatic (though not vibrato-free) voices of soprano Carolyn Sampson and mezzo Marianne Beate Kielland are recorded quite close, so the detail tells…the eloquent centrepiece is the third lesson for them both, absolutely spine-tingling in its intensity.
Carolyn Sampson and Marianne Beate Kielland [find] liquid lyricism for the vocal arabesques that Couperin weaves around the introductory letters of the Hebrew alphabet…A disc that brings to life a body of music that fully merits the expressive finesse these performers bring to it.
Carolyn Sampson is perhaps this country’s leading singer of French baroque repertoire, and in Marianne Beate Kielland she has the ideal partner: the two voices weave around and respond to one another with subtlety and flexibility, and the instrumental playing is no less accomplished.