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Couperin: Exultent Superi/ Motets Choisis CD

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Product Description

This latest release from NOVUM is a CD of motets by François Couperin (1668-1733), the greatest figure in the French musical scene of the early 18th century. Everybody knows his fabulous harpsichord pieces, few his equally fabulous motets. Why? Many of them were effectively lost for over 200 years, and some have survived only in incomplete form. As a result, the motets are a sorely neglected part of his output. This New College release puts that right. Something like half the CD is of music never before recorded. The incomplete sources - violin parts lost soon after composition - have been reconstituted here by Edward Higginbottom, musicologist as well as Director of New College Choir. The CD features solo voices from New College Choir, including two exceptional trebles and a real hautecontre, together with an instrumental ensemble of distinguished baroque players, the whole ensemble directed from the keyboard by Edward Higginbottom.


The performance is astonishing, Two New College trebles, aged 11 and 13, sing with a musicality maturity and technical focus which I have never heard better. With excellent strings and sympathetic recording, this is a real revelation. Performance***** Recording**** --BBC Music Magazine,Mar'12

Higgingbottom returns to his favoured French repertoire --IRR,June'12

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Minor repertoire, but worth hearing 9 July 2012
By Jim D. - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This recording of motets by the French keyboard master Couperin collects some virtually forgotten music, and makes it live again in elegant performances. Nothing here is in the grand manner--solo voices and single instruments once performed a sort of sacred concert in the royal chapels while the priest said the Mass--but the result is most agreeable. Though some of the instrumental parts have been lost over the years, director Edward Higginbottom recreates their music in appropriate style. English trebles often do not have a very solid quality when singing solo (though together, they produce that amazing choral sound), but the two here are quite accomplished. Likewise, Guy Cutting copes with the punishingly high tessitura of the tenor part with every appearance of ease. The basses are a little light at the bottom, if one wants to quibble. Good sound and interesting booklet notes (with texts): well worth a listen.
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