The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Thursday, January 19, 2006

CD Review- Courperin's Tenebrae Lessons

This is the best CD of Baroque music I have yet to hear. Though treating a very sacred subject (the Tenebrae Lessons of the Triduum Sacrum) in a very secular way, Couperin has made these texts shimmer with beauty.

Although this recording might be a little "inauthentic" since the harpsichord instead of the organ is used in the basso continuo, I have heard at least one more "authentic" recording of this work, and it did not have the same effect that this presentation by Les Arts Florissants did.

Find it here


At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I just inform you that Couperin himself wrote in the preface that EITHER organ or harpsichord could be used for his Tenebrae. What Christie does is perfectly acceptable.

At 5:55 AM, Blogger Arturo Vasquez said...

Thank you, I just assumed that since it was a "church work", the organ might have been a more "authentic sound". Were there harpsichords in churches in 18th century France?

Anyway, I am just an amateur at this anyway. I know what I like, but that's about it. Thanks for informing me.

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Sprezzatura said...

There certainly were harpsichords in churches in 18th century France - often they were played during times when the organ was silent - so Lent was among those times. OTOH, most places ignored the direction and kept playing their organs through Lent.

My preferred continuo realisation of the bass line in Couperin's Trois Le¸ons de Ténèbres is organ, bass viol and theorbo. But then I'm a lute and theorbo player, so I am definitely biased.


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