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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Master of the King’s Music in the golden age of Louis XIV, Lully dominated French music for over 30 years, carefully keeping such composers as Charpentier in the background. Though in depth he may not quite match Charpentier, let alone Purcell, he was consistently lively and inventive. This excellent Naxos issue offers three of the larger-scale, multi-movement motets with choir and soloists, set against two of the best-known ‘little’ motets for soloists alone, including the beautiful O dulcissime. First-rate French performances, with no singers individually named.



William J. Gatens
American Record Guide, October 2000

"Briefly, these are polished and persuasive performances that favor energy and propulsion over stateliness or bombast. They may sound more theatrical that churchly, but that seems entirely appropriate to the music."



Nick Morgan
International Record Review, August 2000

"Once again Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel [come] to the rescue, re-stocking this important stretch of musical history so that it now pullulates with personalities and speaks clearly and evocatively of the supreme power of the King, especially in these grands motets, a genre which Lully more or less invented to glorify his employer. Congratulations to Naxos for snapping up Niquet's survey, masterminded by the Versailles Centre for Baroque Music and first briefly available in the mid-1990s on the label of the French recording and book superstore FNAC. I actually went to considerable trouble and expense to track down Volume 1 second-hand, only to find Naxos reissuing it at a mere £4.99.

"I thoroughly enjoyed that first volume and the same is true of this final one. Niquet's way with these pieces, richly scored in up to ten parts and sweeping majestically through the texts in an alternation of symphonies, full grand choeur and petit choeur of soloists, is to emphasize their theatrical, declamatory qualities. Not a bad approach to a composer who was born Italian but revolutionized French stage music and whose gifts for setting words were so admired. At times Niquet's nervy pace threatens to break into a gallop but his well-drilled choir and orchestra keep up effortlessly and stylishly. This energy comes in handy for the many passages of word painting in the three grands motets on this disc. ... If Naxos carries on at this rate, soon it'll be able to say, 'La musique, c'est nous'"






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6:25:11 PM, 17 September 2014
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