This first CD in a series licensed by Naxos from the French company FNAC pre-dated the birth of MusicWeb International, but Colin Clarke’s welcome for Volume 3 (four stars out of five) would apply equally well to this and to Volume 2.
[Niquet] brings declamatory vigour, rhythmic incisiveness and, where the contrast exists, a gentler expressive sensibility to music that is redolent of those gestures typifying Bourbon absolutism during the Grand siŠcle…a stimulating issue.
…Once upon a time sacred music of the French Baroque was considered expressively superficial. These idiomatic, often affecting performances argue strongly to the contrary.
The splendour of Lully’s ceremonial sacred music for the 17th-century French court is magnificently captured on this first volume in a series of his Grand Motets…excellently focused but with a spaciousness that adds to the thrill of the choral and solo singing.
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