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Henri IV et Marie de Médicis
Florence, 5 octobre / Lyon, 17 décembre 1600
Eustache Du Caurroy
(1549-1609) (Texte de Nicolas Rapin)
1 Pavane fait au mariage de Mr de Vandosme 2'23
2 Au Roy, valeureux guerrier 1'49
Stefano Bernardi (ca. 1575-1636)
3 Sinfonia à huit (Exultavit cor meum in Domino) 2'11
Eustache Du Caurroy (Texte de Nicolas Rapin) 1'52
4 A la Royne, ninfe qui tient tant d'heur
Stefano Bernardi
5 Sinfonia à six (Sinfonia terza concertata) 2'17
Claude Lejeune (1528 ?-1600)
6 Epithalame à deux chœurs 12'48
Gioseffo (Giuseppe) Guami (ca. 1540 - 1611)
7 Muse honorons de ta chanson (Texte déclamé)* 0'56
8 Pavane faite pour le mariage de Henry le Grand en 1600 2'32
Messe à double chœur, Marco da Gagliano (1582-1643)
9 Introït : Deus in loco sancto (plain chant)** 3'15
10 Kyrie 4'16
11 Gloria 2'50
12 Credo 5'00
13 Offertoire Canzon a 8 voci 3'24
Stefano Bernardi
14 Sanctus 1'36
15 Elevatione a 4 voci / Luca Bati 2'08
16 Agnus Dei 3'25
17 Sinfonia a 8 (Fili ego Salomon) 1'38
Claude Lejeune
18 Te Deum 7'59

Ensemble Doulce Mémoire
* par Thierry Peteau ** par Lucien Kandel
Julie Hassler, Véronique Bourin, sopranos
Marc Pontus, alto
Serge Goubioud, Lucien Kandel, ténors
Thierry Peteau, Emmanuel Vistorky, barytons
Philippe Roche, basse
Denis Raisin-Dadre, basson alto, flûte à bec ténor, bombarde alto
Elsa Frank, chalémie, bombarde, bassanello, basson ténor, flûte à bec basset
Jérémie Papasergio, basson basse, flûte à bec basset
Pascale Boquet, théorbe
Jean-Paul Boury, cornet à bouquin et cornet muet, flûte à bec contrebasse, flûte à bec basse
William Dongois, cornet à bouquin et cornet muet
Franck Poitrineau, sacqueboute
Yuka Saito, basse de viole renaissance
Françoise Enock, basse de viole renaissance
Sylvia Abramowicz, viole ténor renaissance
Dominique Ferran, orgue positif
Bruno Caillat, percussions

Direction : Denis RAISIN-DADRE
Astrée Naïve E 8808 [62.40]
Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

It had required quite an effort to decipher even brief particulars from the tiny white-on-yellow print of the visually attractive but trendy & user-unfriendly packaging. The booklet is stuck into the case, which I find a nuisance, and a lot of its text is devoted to Royal marriage ceremonies in Florence & Lyon c.1600, which is how so many early music CDs are now marketed. I am grateful to Doulce Mémoire for supplying (after I had written this review) the track listing, which I had been unable to locate on the (interesting & colouful, definitely not naive) Astrée website; those can often be found by searching the Web if necessary.

It is an exceptionally attractive and well-conceived release, so the effort on both sides was worthwhile.

To get to the music, the first tracks are secular & by mainly obscure composers like Rapin & Bernardi, with a substantial 13 mins Epithalame by Claude Lejeune for two choirs. There are Pavanes and Sinfonias and celebratory vocal items. It is all refreshingly cheerful music, such as might have been given in the Cathedral before the marriage ceremony itself. The rest is devoted to a Mass for Double Choir by Marco da Gagliano (1582-1643) with interposed movements by Guami & Bati, whom I did not know either. To finish, another Sinfonia and an 8 mins Te Deum by Lejeune.

The French music demands special attention to its rhythms, and this is explained in fullest detail. For the Italian music, there is emphasis on instrumental sumptuousness, including the rare bassanello, with cornett, viols, sackbut & recorders. The Mass has double instrumental choirs to produce its richness, and the recording (location, I have failed to discover) does it all full justice. Despite my minor quibbles, this is an admirable, scholarly production, with full details of participants and all their intruments, going into such matters as for which words r's should be rolled once, twice or thrice! Full texts and translations.

It's a great CD, really!

Peter Grahame Woolf

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