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Couperin: Exultent Superi; Motets Choisis / Edward Higginbottom

Audio Samples

>Couperin, François : Resonent organa, motet for St. Cecile, 3 voices, 2 violins & continuo
>Couperin, François : Tantum ergo sacramentum, motet for 3 voices & continuo
>Couperin, François : Ornate aras, motet for voice(s), 2 violins & continuo (incomplete)
>Couperin, François : Lauda Sion salvatorem, motet for 2 treble voices & continuo (Le Manuscrit du comte de Toulouse)
>Couperin, François : O Domine quia refugiam, motet for 3 voices & continuo
>Couperin, François : O Misterium ineffabile, motet for soprano, bass & continuo (Elevations)
>Couperin, François : Ad te levavi oculos meos, motet for bass voice, 2 violins & continuo
>Couperin, François : Domine salvum fac regem, motet for soprano, bass & continuo (Le Manuscrit du comte de Toulouse)
>Couperin, François : Exultet superi, motet for St. Suzanne, for chorus, 2 violins & continuo (incomplete)

Album Summary

>Couperin, François : Resonent organa, motet for St. Cecile, 3 voices, 2 violins & continuo
>Couperin, François : Tantum ergo sacramentum, motet for 3 voices & continuo
>Couperin, François : Ornate aras, motet for voice(s), 2 violins & continuo (incomplete)
>Couperin, François : Lauda Sion salvatorem, motet for 2 treble voices & continuo (Le Manuscrit du comte de Toulouse)
>Couperin, François : O Domine quia refugiam, motet for 3 voices & continuo
>Couperin, François : O Misterium ineffabile, motet for soprano, bass & continuo (Elevations)
>Couperin, François : Ad te levavi oculos meos, motet for bass voice, 2 violins & continuo
>Couperin, François : Domine salvum fac regem, motet for soprano, bass & continuo (Le Manuscrit du comte de Toulouse)
>Couperin, François : Exultet superi, motet for St. Suzanne, for chorus, 2 violins & continuo (incomplete)
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

From the foreword by Edward Higginbottom: When I wrote the entry on François Couperin for the New Grove Dictionary of Music, I read through every single extant piece of his music - that is apart from three motets which had not been published at the time, and which were unperformable because they lacked string parts (long since lost). Subsequently I came to see that these three motets - Resonent organa, Ornate aras and Exultent superi - were among his best. The challenge was to restore them. This I have done by composing string parts that Couperin might have written. These motets, newborn and set in the context of a selection of other sacred music - motets choisis - reveal Couperin as a master not only of keyboard music but also of vocal.

Fanfare Magazine - Christopher Brodersen
The music is handled entirely by a mix of seven soloists (two dessus, one haute-contre, one basse-taille, and three basses), all drawn from the Choir of New College Oxford, a traditional English men-and-boys' choir. The singers are uniformly excellent: obviously well coached and very attentive to the style of the period, even down to the skillful negotiation of the essential agréments. (Note that French pronunciation is used for the Latin texts - fairly common nowadays with this music.) The instrumental contribution is likewise first-rate; many of the motets begin with an extended instrumental introduction and are interspersed with symphonies. Higgenbottom moves his forces along at a brisk pace, but is always mindful of the meaning of the texts and gesture behind the music.

Lovely music, lovingly performed and recorded. If you haven't yet sampled the religious Couperin, this is an ideal place to start.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: St Michael's Church, Summertown, Oxford, England (03/21/2011-03/24/2011).



Reviews

Minor repertoire, but worth hearing
This recording of motets by the French keyboard master Couperin collects some virtually forgotten music, and makes it live again in elegant performances. Nothing here is in the grand manner--solo voices and single instruments once performed a sort of sacred concert in the royal chapels while the priest said the Mass--but the result is most agreeable. Though some of the instrumental parts have been lost over the years, director Edward Higginbottom recreates their music in appropriate style. English trebles often do not have a very solid quality when singing solo (though together, they produce that amazing choral sound), but the two here are quite accomplished. Likewise, Guy Cutting copes with the punishingly high tessitura of the tenor part with every appearance of ease. The basses are a little light at the bottom, if one wants to quibble. Good sound and interesting booklet notes (with texts): well worth a listen.
Submitted on 07/09/12 by Jim D. 
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Works Details

>François Couperin (1668 - 1733) : Resonent organa, motet for St. Cécile, 3 voices, 2 violins & continuo
  • Performers: Guy Cutting (Treble); George Coltart
  • Conductor: Edward Higginbottom
  • Ensemble: Collegium Novum (England)
  • Notes: St Michael's Church, Summertown, Oxford, England (03/21/2011-03/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>François Couperin (1668 - 1733) : Tantum ergo sacramentum, motet for 3 voices & continuo
  • Performers: Duncan Saunderson (Countertenor); Edward Higginbottom (Organ)
  • Conductor: Edward Higginbottom
  • Notes: St Michael's Church, Summertown, Oxford, England (03/21/2011-03/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>François Couperin (1668 - 1733) : Ornate aras, motet for voice(s), 2 violins & continuo (incomplete)
  • Performer: Guy Cutting (Treble)
  • Conductor: Edward Higginbottom
  • Ensemble: Collegium Novum (England)
  • Notes: St Michael's Church, Summertown, Oxford, England (03/21/2011-03/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>François Couperin (1668 - 1733) : Lauda Sion salvatorem, motet for 2 treble voices & continuo (Le Manuscrit du comte de Toulouse)
  • Performer: Edward Higginbottom (Organ)
  • Conductor: Edward Higginbottom
  • Notes: St Michael's Church, Summertown, Oxford, England (03/21/2011-03/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral

>François Couperin (1668 - 1733) : O Domine quia refugiam, motet for 3 voices & continuo
  • Performers: Nick Pritchard; Duncan Saunderson (Countertenor); Tom Edwards; Edward Higginbottom (Organ)
  • Conductor: Edward Higginbottom
  • Notes: St Michael's Church, Summertown, Oxford, England (03/21/2011-03/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>François Couperin (1668 - 1733) : O Misterium ineffabile, motet for soprano, bass & continuo (Elévations)
  • Performers: George Coltart; Edward Higginbottom (Organ)
  • Conductor: Edward Higginbottom
  • Notes: St Michael's Church, Summertown, Oxford, England (03/21/2011-03/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: circa 1700

>François Couperin (1668 - 1733) : Ad te levavi oculos meos, motet for bass voice, 2 violins & continuo
  • Performers: George Coltart; Edward Higginbottom (Organ)
  • Conductor: Edward Higginbottom
  • Ensemble: Collegium Novum (England)
  • Notes: St Michael's Church, Summertown, Oxford, England (03/21/2011-03/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>François Couperin (1668 - 1733) : Domine salvum fac regem, motet for soprano, bass & continuo (Le Manuscrit du comte de Toulouse)
  • Performers: Edward Higginbottom (Organ); George Coltart
  • Conductor: Edward Higginbottom
  • Notes: St Michael's Church, Summertown, Oxford, England (03/21/2011-03/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral

>François Couperin (1668 - 1733) : Exultet superi, motet for St. Suzanne, for chorus, 2 violins & continuo (incomplete)
  • Performers: Guy Cutting (Treble); George Coltart
  • Conductor: Edward Higginbottom
  • Ensemble: Collegium Novum (England)
  • Notes: St Michael's Church, Summertown, Oxford, England (03/21/2011-03/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1680