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