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Classical - Released May 11, 2015 | Les Arts Florissants - Editions

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
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Secular Vocal Music - Released September 22, 2014 | Les Arts Florissants - Editions

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month - 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Secular Vocal Music - Released February 17, 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Award
Recorded at the Cité de la Musique during the complete cycle of Monteverdi madrigals mounted in partnership with the Philharmonie de Paris and the Théâtre de Caen, the last volume in our trilogy probably contains the best-loved gems of a composer who had become maestro di cappella at St Mark’s in Venice, and finally entered the priesthood. Alongside the great operas that have survived from this period, the final madrigals methodically explore the multiple possibilities offered by the rapidly developing practice of basso continuo and by an unprecedented exploitation of solo voices. And, in that respect, the celebrated Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda forms a spectacular finale to our Monteverdian adventure!
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released September 28, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
It's thanks to a complete stroke of luck that several of Pierre Bouteiller's rare works have been preserved for posterity, including this Messe à cinq voix. During a long journey from Paris to Strasbourg, Sébastien de Brossard – who was relying on the collegial hospitality of chapel masters at various churches along the route – found himself lodging with Bouteiller, who was working at Châlons-sur-Marne. The two musicians exchanged manuscripts, including thirteen motets and the Messe pour les défunts by Bouteiller, which have been found in Brossard's private library. In order to bring these works by Brossard and Bouteiller to life, and to perform them in the manner that they were sung in their day, during funerals, Paul Agnew, leader of the Arts Florissants has chosen to insert plain-chant sections to mark different points along the cortège and the funeral rites. In the reconstruction offered in this recording, Brossard's Miserere comes sandwiched between two organ pieces – the instrumental Kyrie by André Raison – which figures in the procession towards the tomb, and then the return to the church. The time of the Sun King is reconstructed with care, right down to the choice of acoustics (the Abbey of the Holy Trinity in Lessaye, Manche) and the selection of vocalists. © SM/Qobuz

Vocal Recitals - Released September 14, 2009 | Ambroisie

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Scots tenor Paul Agnew has an ideal voice for Purcell: clean, pure, supple, strong across its range, with exceptionally precise intonation. His delivery is natural and unmannered, and he is undaunted by the music's outrageous technical demands, so that even the most ornately embellished lines sound spontaneously imagined and genuinely felt. (His is a voice, in fact, that would be ideal for any number of composers.) In this recital of songs by Purcell, intermingled with instrumental interludes by a few of the composer's contemporaries, Agnew is joined by three other virtuosos: Anne-Marie Lasla playing bass viol, Elizabeth Kenny playing theorbo and guitar, and Blandine Rannou playing harpsichord and organ. There is nothing routine about their realizations of the continuo parts, and the variety of their solutions astonishes with inventiveness. Even the simplest, O Solitude, in which Lasla accompanies Agnew with a single unadorned bass line, holds the listener rapt for almost seven minutes with the sensuality and sensitive interweaving of voice and viol. The most complex realizations, such as those for Music for a while, and the third of the composer's three settings of If music be the food of Love (track 1) have the richness and texture of chamber music. Music for a while, justly recognized as one of the composer's masterpieces, elicits a performance from Agnew that's spellbinding in its intensity and interpretive depth. The recital is nicely varied, from the anguished and sophisticated Not all my torments can your pity move, to the ribald, earthy Man is for the woman made, and contains an attractive mix of familiar and less well-known repertoire. Agnew seems to be miked very closely, but rather than being a fault, it makes him feel physically close to the listener. The balance with the instruments is good, and sound is natural and effectively ambient. Highly recommended for fans of Baroque vocal music, or anyone who loves beautiful singing.