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Les Ombres - François Couperin : Leçons de ténèbres & motets

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François Couperin : Leçons de ténèbres & motets

Les Ombres, Margaux Blanchard, Sylvain Sartre...

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Today, only three remain out of the nine Leçons de ténèbres that François Couperin has seemingly written. Composed for the “Religious Ladies” who belonged to the Order of the Poor Clares in the Abbey of Longchamp, near Paris, which was completely destroyed during the French Revolution, these Leçons represent the height of Baroque pietism from the end of Louis XIV’s reign, still completely permeated by the Jansenism from the previous century. As the abbey was open to the public, it became usual to give these Leçons de ténèbres not at night, but on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons. This was a society event that the Parisians came to attend. Very popular in the second half of the 17th century, these lessons of darkness became a genre very sought-after by many composers, among whom Marc-Antoine Charpentier who composed at least thirty of them, but of those very few survived to the present day.
If François Couperin covers this slightly archaic genre at the beginning of the 18th century, he managed to breathe into it a new form by blending the proper austerity and a very Italian expression of pain which give his pieces a troubling sensuality. The Troisième Leçon (Third Lesson), for two voices, is particularly ornamented with coloraturas filled with affectation. Thanks to the genius of François Couperin, this exacerbated expression of pain isn’t very far from the opera, whose representations were forbidden during Lent. You could therefore follow the delicious spectacle of the most feverish and subtle human passions under the pretext of religion. The ensemble Les Ombres, co-headed by Margaux Blanchard and Sylvie Sartre, offers us this new album the Leçons de ténèbres and extracts from Couperin’s masses and motets, in a chiaroscuro mood which skillfully blends the French rigor spirit and the sweet Italian theatrics. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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François Couperin : Leçons de ténèbres & motets

Les Ombres

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1
Leçons de ténèbres, Première leçon à une voix: I. Incipit lamentatio Jeremiae prophetæ - Aleph 00:02:30

Les Ombres - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor - François Couperin, Composer

Mirare Mirare

2
Leçons de ténèbres, Première leçon à une voix: II. Beth 00:03:25

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

3
Leçons de ténèbres, Première leçon à une voix: III. Ghimel 00:01:36

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

4
Leçons de ténèbres, Première leçon à une voix: IV. Daleth 00:02:08

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

5
Leçons de ténèbres, Première leçon à une voix: V. He 00:02:49

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

6
Leçons de ténèbres, Première leçon à une voix: VI. Jerusalem 00:02:21

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

7
Leçons de ténèbres, Seconde leçon à une voix: I. Vau 00:01:56

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

8
Leçons de ténèbres, Seconde leçon à une voix: II. Zain 00:03:00

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

9
Leçons de ténèbres, Seconde leçon à une voix: III. Heth 00:01:45

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

10
Leçons de ténèbres, Seconde leçon à une voix: IV. Teth 00:02:19

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

11
Leçons de ténèbres, Seconde leçon à une voix: V. Jerusalem 00:02:08

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

12
Leçons de ténèbres, Troisième Leçon à deux voix: I. Jod 00:01:34

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

13
Leçons de ténèbres, Troisième Leçon à deux voix: II. Caph 00:01:41

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

14
Leçons de ténèbres, Troisième Leçon à deux voix: III. Lamed 00:02:22

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

15
Leçons de ténèbres, Troisième Leçon à deux voix: IV. Mem 00:01:34

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

16
Leçons de ténèbres, Troisième Leçon à deux voix: V. Nun 00:01:46

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

17
Leçons de ténèbres, Troisième Leçon à deux voix: VI. Jerusalem 00:01:59

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

18
Quatre versets du psaume Mirabilia testimonia tua composé et chanté par ordre du Roy : I. Tabescere me fecit (1703) 00:01:26

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

19
Quatre versets du psaume Mirabilia testimonia tua composé et chanté par ordre du Roy : II. Ignitum eloquium (1703) 00:02:36

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

20
Quatre versets du psaume Mirabilia testimonia tua composé et chanté par ordre du Roy : III. Adolescentulus sum ego (1703) 00:03:11

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

21
Quatre versets du psaume Mirabilia testimonia tua composé et chanté par ordre du Roy : IV. Justitia tua (1703) 00:02:04

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Anne Magouët, Soloist, MainArtist - Chantal Santon Jeffery, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

22
Messe propre pour les Convents de Religieux et Religieuses: V. Agnus Dei 00:01:19

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - François Couperin, Composer - Marc Meisel, Soloist, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

23
Motets à voix seule, deux et trois parties, et symphonies: I. Salvum me fac Deus 00:01:41

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Benoît Arnould, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

24
Motets à voix seule, deux et trois parties, et symphonies: II. Infixus sum in limo profundi 00:01:38

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Benoît Arnould, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

25
Motets à voix seule, deux et trois parties, et symphonies: III. Laboravi clamans 00:03:26

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Benoît Arnould, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

26
Motets à voix seule, deux et trois parties, et symphonies: IV. Confortati sunt 00:00:52

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Benoît Arnould, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

27
Motets à voix seule, deux et trois parties, et symphonies: V. Deus tu scis insipientiam meam 00:02:31

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Benoît Arnould, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

28
Motets à voix seule, deux et trois parties, et symphonies: VI. Non confundantur super me 00:01:06

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Benoît Arnould, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

29
Motets à voix seule, deux et trois parties, et symphonies: VII. Exaudi me Domine 00:02:12

François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Benoît Arnould, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

30
Motets à voix seule, deux et trois parties, et symphonies: VIII. Et ne avertas faciem tuam 00:01:29

Copyright Control, MusicPublisher - François Couperin, Composer - Les Ombres, Ensemble, MainArtist - Benoît Arnould, Soloist, MainArtist - Sylvain Sartre, Conductor, MainArtist - Margaux Blanchard, Conductor, MainArtist

Mirare Mirare

Album Description

Today, only three remain out of the nine Leçons de ténèbres that François Couperin has seemingly written. Composed for the “Religious Ladies” who belonged to the Order of the Poor Clares in the Abbey of Longchamp, near Paris, which was completely destroyed during the French Revolution, these Leçons represent the height of Baroque pietism from the end of Louis XIV’s reign, still completely permeated by the Jansenism from the previous century. As the abbey was open to the public, it became usual to give these Leçons de ténèbres not at night, but on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons. This was a society event that the Parisians came to attend. Very popular in the second half of the 17th century, these lessons of darkness became a genre very sought-after by many composers, among whom Marc-Antoine Charpentier who composed at least thirty of them, but of those very few survived to the present day.
If François Couperin covers this slightly archaic genre at the beginning of the 18th century, he managed to breathe into it a new form by blending the proper austerity and a very Italian expression of pain which give his pieces a troubling sensuality. The Troisième Leçon (Third Lesson), for two voices, is particularly ornamented with coloraturas filled with affectation. Thanks to the genius of François Couperin, this exacerbated expression of pain isn’t very far from the opera, whose representations were forbidden during Lent. You could therefore follow the delicious spectacle of the most feverish and subtle human passions under the pretext of religion. The ensemble Les Ombres, co-headed by Margaux Blanchard and Sylvie Sartre, offers us this new album the Leçons de ténèbres and extracts from Couperin’s masses and motets, in a chiaroscuro mood which skillfully blends the French rigor spirit and the sweet Italian theatrics. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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