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

3 Comments:

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 Pseudo-Iamblichus 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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