Couperin: Leçons de Ténèbres & motets

Chantal Santon Jeffrey, Anne Magouët, Benoit Arnould SSB, Les Ombres, Margaux Blanchard, Sylvain Sartre
62:00
Mirare MIR 358

I’m not unsympathetic to these singers’ desire to explore the drama and passion of Couperin’s remarkable Leçons, but as soloists they are too heavy in tone with too much vibrato for my taste. In duet they sing more gently but much of the delicate filigree ornamentation is still very laboured. I enjoyed the shorter, much less familiar items that complete the programme rather more (one first recording here) and was rather surprised that they rate scarcely a mention in the notes. And quite what a brief movement from an organ mass is doing in the middle of the programme I have no idea. I’m afraid that on several counts this is a case of ‘should have done better’, though the singing of bass Benoit Arnould is consistently of a high standard.

David Hansell

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