Schneebeli directs the choirs of Versailles' Centre de Musique Baroque, where he tries to revive music of 17th and 18th century cathedrals.
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released January 1, 2004 | Alpha
Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Le Choix de France Musique
Even in a field crowded with first-rate composers, Marc-Antoine Charpentier held his own in eliciting the royal favor of Louis XIV. After listening to this superlative disc collecting Charpentier's works dedicated to St. Louis, one understands why. As performed in the chapel of Versailles by Olivier Schneebeli leading Les Pagies and Les Chantes in compelling performances, this disc demonstrates Charpentier's greatest strengths as a composer, the combination of might and majesty with just a touch of sentimentality that appealed to the sovereign's elevated emotions. The boys of Les Pagies are sprightly and delightful. The men of Les Chantes are robust and wonderful. The three soloists are superb and soulful. The musicians of Les Symphonists are strong and sensitive. But best of all is Frederic Desenclos' performing on the organ of the Versailles' chapel. Desenclos is a staggering virtuoso and he wrenches stunning sonorities out of the restored royal instrument. Alpha's sound is vivid and immediate and the packaging is rich and luxurious.
Sacred Vocal Music - Released January 26, 2018 | Warner Classics
Distinctions Diapason d'or
Michel-Richard de Lalande was the leading composer of sacred music at the French court during the 17th Century. His Grands motets – he composed 77 – dominated the repertory of the Royal Chapel during his lifetime and after, until the 1770s in the programmes of the Concert Spirituel in Paris. His works are marked by both expressive harmonic vocabulary and contrapuntal mastery, which is exemplary in this set. Edward Higginbottom (b. 1946) developed a particular interest in French baroque music and spent time in France (1970-1972), studying the organ with Marie-Claire Alain. His love of French culture has borne fruit in many recording projects featuring French music. He has been Director of Music at New College Choir Oxford from 1976 to 2014 with which he recorded the bestseller albums "Agnus Dei I & II". The French conductor and chorus master Olivier Schneebeli studied with Pierre Dervaux and Jean-Claude Hartemann. In 1987, on the occasion of the rediscovery of Atys by Lully, he created with William Christie the chorus of Les Arts Florissants. He has made it his specialty to rediscover French sacred masterworks of the 17th and 18th centuries. © Warner Classics
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