French Baroque Choral Opulence

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Portrait of several musicians and artists by François Puget; 1688.

This week’s episode presents the choral sounds of the French baroque. We hear some of the best music from the 1600s and early 1700s and the artists who bring it to life for us today. The program is book-ended by the leading figures of the age – Lully and Rameau – and includes lesser-known composers like Campra and Gilles. 

Louis XIV ruled France for more than seven decades and consolidated his power at the Palace of Versailles, the most over-the-top palace in Europe. The music from the age of Louis XIV reflects the same aesthetic as Versailles: lavish, rich in detail, infused with the dances that were so central to courtly life.



Jean-Baptiste Lully: Grand Motet; Exaudiat, LWV 77 no 15

Exaudiat te Dominus (Psalm 19):

I. Exaudiat te Dominus;

II. Tribuat tibi;

V. Gloria

Le Concert Spirituel

Hervé Niquet, Conductor

Naxos 8554399


Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Messe de minuit pour Noël, H 9; “Kyrie”

Les Arts Florissants

William Christie, Conductor

Erato 85820


Michel-Richard Delalande:

Regina ceoli; Quia Quem meruisti; Ressurexit; Ora pro nobis

Ex Cathedra Baroque Orchestra, Ex Cathedra

Jeffrey Skidmore

Musical Concepts 1216


André Campra: Messe de Requiem :

Introit & Kyrie

La Chapelle Royale

Phillipe Herreweghe, Conductor

Harmonia Mundi 901251


Jean Gilles: Requiem Messe des morts:

Agnus Dei; Post Communion

Les Elements Chamber Choir, Orchestre Baroque Les Passions

Jean-Marc Andrieu, Conductor

Ligia 202196


Jean-Philippe Rameau: Hippolyte et Aricie:

Overture; Chorus of the Nymphs and Entry of the Forrest Dwellers

Les Arts Florissants

William Christie, conductor

Erato 666305


Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Te Deum in D major, H 146

I. Prélude en Rondeau

II. Te Deum Laudamus: Te Dominum Confitemur

III. Te Aeternum Pater, Omnis Terra Veneratur

VII. Te Ergo Quasemus Famulis Tuis Subveni

XI. In te Domine Speravi: non Confundor in Aeternum

Maîtrise de Bretagne, Le Parlement de Musique

Martin Gester. Conductor

Naïve 30463