Couperin’s vividly atmospheric, richly dissonant settings of Jeremiah’s bitterly anguished texts present music of an intensity and power that is quite unique in Baroque sacred repertoire. These three glorious Leçons are performed by two of the finest singers working in the field, British soprano Carolyn Sampson and Norwegian mezzo Marianne Beate Kielland, whose exquisite, intertwining duets are a highlight of the disc. The recording also contains two further, remarkable vocal works by Couperin: a setting of the Magnificat and a fine Easter motet. Accompanying them are theorbo player Lynda Sayce, organist Robert King and Gramophone award-winning violist Susanne Heinrich, who also contributes a striking Prélude by the shadowy Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe le fils and two ravishing solos by Marais, including a wonderfully melancholy Tombeau.
Couperin: Trois Lecons de Tenebres
Marais: Tombeau pour Sieur de Ste Colombe
Marais: Chaconne in A Major
Couperin: Motet pour le jour de Paques
M. de Sainte-Colombe le fils: Prelude in E minor