RESTORING A SACRED
'A truly gorgeous recording has just emerged
from the Maîtrise de Caen ... tenderly supportive,
with beautiful clear words, good intonation
and an attractive feel for cadence and phrasing.'
RODERIC DUNNETT listens to
Les Petits Motets de Sébastien de Brossard
truly gorgeous recording has just emerged from the Maîtrise de Caen,
one of the first French cities and regions (outside the court of Versailles
itself) to take steps in the late 20th century to restore a sacred choral
tradition shredded by the French Revolution.
This disc of Les Petits Motets de Sébastien de Brossard
(Assai 207582) is not the Maîtrise's first recording - their earlier
efforts included some superb boys' singing in, among other things, the Sanctus
and Benedictus of Britten's Missa Brevis - but it suggests we should hope
for more from this choir whose weekly Saturday concerts under their maître
des chanteurs, Robert Weddle, are an essential part of Normandy's musical
Brossard (born Caen, 1655-1730) was a Lalande and Purcell contemporary,
who outlived his English compatriot by more than three decades. Armed with
holy orders, he served three cathedrals : Notre Dame, Strasbourg and Meaux
where he was maître de chapelle. On that basis, there should
be a lot of his stuff - psalm-based and other motets, masses and penitential
oratorios - around, spanning half a century. And what we have here is exquisite.
Copyright © 4 June 2000 Roderic Dunnett,
CD INFORMATION - ASSAI 207582
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