by ada

Well, I guess, today’s music sort of fails to match my own criteria, because no one would dare to call the French composer François Couperin, court organist, composer and harpsichord teacher of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, a musician of small importance. He wrote a number of virtuoso and charming harpsichord pieces and some other amazing instrumental and vocal music, and his harpsichord tutorial, L’art de toucher le clavecin, published in 1716,  is really worth reading. This very piece of his, Troisième Leçon de Ténèbres pour deux voix, originally written for the Wednesday evening liturgy before Maundy Thursday, was even featured in the movie Tous les matins du monde, with Gérard Depardieu starring in the role of the old Marin Marais. Composing Leçons de ténèbres (Lectures of the Darkness) upon the text of the Lamentations of Jeremiah for the late night services of the three holy days before Easter was a huge trend in the late 17th – mid 18th century French music, and it resulted some really moving compositions. This version of Couperin is one of the most beautiful pieces of baroque vocal music I know (and well, I do know a bit about baroque music, hm).

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