This is an extraordinary performance which deservedly received the Gramophone best vocal CD award for 1995. Rameau's music is very recognizable, its distinctive flavor evident in the melodic structure of the motets and in the agrements with which they are performed. This flavor is characteristically French, permeating French baroque music generally, yet present in Rameau's compositions in its purest, most refined, strain. Even in motets which are, as the name implies, of a religious origin, Rameau's music is animated, espressive and individualized. Whether or not it was performed in a church or in a salon, it implies a radical personal relationship with God, as opposed to serving merely as part of an impersonal medium between the holder and the recipient of truth, the role the earlier church music (e.g. Gesualdo) served. For this reason, Rameau's motets are surprisingly gripping, in a way that can appeal even to a casual listener. They are also superbly performed. Christie, a notable expert in French baroque, offers a finely tuned yet emotional account of these motets. Some of the best baroque soloists, all of whom enjoy a lasting and productive relationship with Christie, make memorable contributions to this recording. I was particularly impressed with the singing of Paul Agnew, Christie's favorite tenor at the moment, and Nicolas Rivenq whose basse-taille is simply glowing. Like I said, these soloists have made a number of other recordings with Christie which, I think, anybody with the remotest interest in baroque should definitely discover. My personal favorite is La Descente d'Orphee aux Enfers, with Agnew.