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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.