Pierre Bouteiller: Requiem pour Voix d’Hommes
Recorded in the Église de Notre Dame du Liban, Paris, Feb. 2010
Frédéric Bétous, Didier Bouture, Eric de Fontenay, Yann Rolland (hautes-contre), Gauthier Fenoy, Edmond Hurtrait (hautes-taille), Nicolas Maire, Pascal Richardin (tailles), Justin Bonnet, David Witczak (basses-taille) & Paul-Henry Vila, Frédéric Albou (basses-contre)
Le Concert Spirituel, Hervé Niquet
The richness and splendour of French Baroque sacred music, by turns gravely sombre and spectacularly exuberant, have already been amply demonstrated by Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel through their series of Glossa recordings of music by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. But it was not just in Paris or in the country’s religious foundations that such involved musicmaking was called upon, but also in cities such as Troyes and Châlons-sur-Marne where Pierre Bouteiller, (c.1655-c.1717) maître de musique in cathedrals there during the reign of Louis XIV, composed his Missa pro defunctis, a beautiful setting scored for five voice parts with instrumental accompaniment.
The 1693 religious ceremony for which this Missa pro defunctis was written would have required Bouteiller (who later on in his career moved to the French capital) to find other suitable pieces from the time to complete the service and in the spirit of a modern-day reconstruction Hervé Niquet, employing his consummate flair and experience in this musical arena, has chosen to entice us not only with the substantial Stabat mater by Sébastien de Brossard (1655-1730) (an early champion of Pierre Bouteiller's qualities), but also with instrumental versions of pieces by compositional talents even less recognisable today – Henri Frémart, Louis Le Prince and Pierre Hugard. With a dozen male voices, low strings and organ, Hervé Niquet recreates the incredible French ‘cathedral sound’ from the turn of the 18th century.
“What lends the performance some interest is Niquet's reconstruction of a 17th-century service...Brossard's Stabat Mater, as conventional as Bouteiller's Requiem, is redeemed by a vigorous final section” Gramophone Magazine, February 2011
“The viol and organ playing is superlative” The Independent on Sunday, 15th November 2010
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