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Sacred Vocal Music - Released December 1, 2014 | Aparté
Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles Classica
Classical - Released September 1, 1998 | Tempéraments Radio France
Classical - Released October 5, 2009 | Glossa
For their recital of organ solos and religious monody accompanied by organ, tenor Dominique Vellard and organist Jean-Pierre Leguay have limited themselves to works of the seventeenth and twenty first centuries. As the title suggests, the works are interlaced throughout the recording, with the intent that the juxtapositions and musical cross references will allow the listener to hear the pieces with fresh insight. The early works, by Monteverdi, Frescobaldi, and Schütz, are varied in style, highlighting the diversity of musical voices in the early Baroque, from the florid and virtuosic vocal writing of some of the Monteverdi to the plain and repetitive but hauntingly evocative Messa della Madonna of Frescobaldi. The pieces by organist Leguay are comparably diverse, from the austere simplicity of the Pater Noster to his quirkily jaunty Alleluia to the expansiveness of his 20-minute motet, Secundum Matthaeum, and are clearly the work of a fine musical imagination. Vellard, who has made a career specializing in early music as a singer, conductor, and instrumentalist, has a wonderfully pure and natural tenor, and his delivery is clean and unmannered. His voice is also exceptionally supple, so the eccentricities of early Baroque ornamentation hold no terrors for him, and his astonishing breath control allows him to sustain notes for what seems like an inhuman length. Leguay's choices of registration are wonderfully inventive, but never merely showy, and he is especially dazzling in his own improvisation on Alleluia. The motet is remarkable for the way it allows the listener to hear this music as pure sound; the extended melismatic unaccompanied vocal solo toward the conclusion is unlike quite anything else in the literature. Glossa's sound is deeply resonant and rich, but never at the expense of clarity.
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