Couperin：”Trois Leçons de Ténèbres” / Sandrine Piau, Véronique Gens
I had time to listen to several Leçons de Ténèbres, and of the six or so discs I listened to, this one ranks by far at the top. The “first Leçons” is sung by Sandrine Piau and the “second Leçons” by Véronique Gens. The music ranges from a delicate pianissimo to a powerful forte, with a good amount of vibrato that is pleasing to the ear. The entire piece is full of suspension note, requiring a highly controlled messa di voce, and the singing of Sandrine Piau and Véronique Gens is a true highlight of the performance. In the “Third Leçons”, the two clash in dissonance, find relief in resolution, and harmonize comfortably in harmony, evoking a heavenly world. The organ accompaniment by Christophe Rousset is also good and understated. The CD also couples two motets, also by Coupland, and a Magnificat as bonus tracks. The discs I compared are as follows. Each has its own merits, so I encourage you to compare them.
①Anne Monoyios, Monique Zanetti
②Lucy Crowe, Elizabeth Watts（La Nuova Musica and David Bates）
③Patricia Petibon, Sophie Daneman（Les Arts Florissants, William Christie）
④Jean-Francois Lombard, Romain Champion（haute-contre）
⑤Gérard Lesne, Steve Dugardin（counter tenor）