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Les Arts Florissants|Gesualdo: Tenebræ Responsoria, Feria Quinta

Gesualdo: Tenebræ Responsoria, Feria Quinta

Les Arts Florissants, Paul Agnew

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The singers of Les Arts Florissants made their names in French Baroque opera, but their recordings of Carlo Gesualdo under director and tenor Paul Agnew have been uniformly successful. Their intense readings of the composer's secular madrigals are very strong but do not fundamentally depart from earlier performance traditions. The situation is different with the Tenebrae Responsories, which have often, as sacred works, been performed by choirs. Agnew argues that the likely candidates for having performed them this way would not have been up to the technical challenges and that these works were essentially sacred madrigals performed in specialized spaces by a one-to-a-part group similar to those that sang the secular pieces. No doubt, this idea is subject to debate, but the musical results here are impressive. These are late pieces, akin to Gesualdo's highly experimental last two books of madrigals. They don't have quite the radical harmonies of those pieces, but in a sacred context, they must have sounded plenty startling, and Les Arts Florissants puts this across with haunting effect. The sound from the Abbatiale d'Ambronay matches perfectly what Agnew had in mind, and the end result is a superb conclusion to the group's series. This release made classical best-seller charts in early 2023.
© James Manheim /TiVo

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Gesualdo: Tenebræ Responsoria, Feria Quinta

Les Arts Florissants

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Tenebræ Responsoria, Feria Quinta (Carlo Gesualdo)

1
Nocturnus I. Zelus domus tuæ
Les Arts Florissants
00:01:45

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

2
Lectio I. Incipit Lamentatio Jeremiæ
Les Arts Florissants
00:02:10

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

3
Responsorium I. In monte Oliveti
Les Arts Florissants
00:04:58

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

4
Lectio II. Vau - Et egressus est a filia Sion
Les Arts Florissants
00:02:20

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

5
Responsorium II. Tristis est anima mea
Les Arts Florissants
00:04:53

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

6
Lectio III. Jod – Manum suam misit hostis
Les Arts Florissants
00:01:59

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

7
Responsorium III. Ecce vidimus eum
Les Arts Florissants
00:07:06

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

8
Nocturnus II. Liberavit Dominus pauperem
Les Arts Florissants
00:01:44

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

9
Lectio IV. Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam
Paul Agnew
00:01:27

Paul Agnew, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

10
Responsorium IV. Amicus meus
Les Arts Florissants
00:04:19

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

11
Lectio V. Utinam ergo qui nos modo exercent
Edward Grint
00:01:23

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer - Edward Grint, MainArtist, BassVocals

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

12
Responsorium V. Judas mercator pessimus
Les Arts Florissants
00:02:29

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

13
Lectio VI. Quoniam vidi iniquitatem
Sean Clayton
00:01:41

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer - Sean Clayton, MainArtist, TenorSolo

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

14
Responsorium VI. Unus ex discipulis meis
Les Arts Florissants
00:05:56

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

15
Nocturnus III. Dixi iniquis
Les Arts Florissants
00:01:31

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

16
Lectio VII. Hoc autem præcipio
Edward Grint
00:01:55

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer - Edward Grint, MainArtist, BassVocals

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

17
Responsorium VII. Eram quasi agnus innocens
Les Arts Florissants
00:04:43

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

18
Lectio VIII. Ego enim accepi a Domino
Paul Agnew
00:01:59

Paul Agnew, MainArtist, TenorSolo - Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

19
Responsorium VIII. Una hora non potuistis vigilare mecum
Les Arts Florissants
00:03:30

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

20
Lectio IX. Itaque quicumque manducaverit panem
Sean Clayton
00:02:11

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer - Sean Clayton, MainArtist, TenorSolo

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

21
Responsorium IX. Seniores populi consilium fecerunt
Les Arts Florissants
00:05:42

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

22
Christus factus est
Les Arts Florissants
00:00:37

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

23
Miserere mei, Deus
Les Arts Florissants
00:09:42

Les Arts Florissants, Choir, MainArtist - Carlo Gesualdo, Composer

2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi 2023 Les Arts Florissants / harmonia mundi

Album review

The singers of Les Arts Florissants made their names in French Baroque opera, but their recordings of Carlo Gesualdo under director and tenor Paul Agnew have been uniformly successful. Their intense readings of the composer's secular madrigals are very strong but do not fundamentally depart from earlier performance traditions. The situation is different with the Tenebrae Responsories, which have often, as sacred works, been performed by choirs. Agnew argues that the likely candidates for having performed them this way would not have been up to the technical challenges and that these works were essentially sacred madrigals performed in specialized spaces by a one-to-a-part group similar to those that sang the secular pieces. No doubt, this idea is subject to debate, but the musical results here are impressive. These are late pieces, akin to Gesualdo's highly experimental last two books of madrigals. They don't have quite the radical harmonies of those pieces, but in a sacred context, they must have sounded plenty startling, and Les Arts Florissants puts this across with haunting effect. The sound from the Abbatiale d'Ambronay matches perfectly what Agnew had in mind, and the end result is a superb conclusion to the group's series. This release made classical best-seller charts in early 2023.
© James Manheim /TiVo

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