Hyperion Records

The Magnificat, with its variety of textual moods, inspires a remarkable setting by Couperin which contains eleven contrasting sections in as many minutes. After the joyful triple-time opening a more supplicatory mood (complete with suspensions) is struck for ‘Quia respexit’ before the confidently rising phrases of ‘Quia fecit mihi magna’ herald the return of both voices. ‘Et misericordia’ is characterized by a more chromatic bass line and richer harmony, after which ‘Fecit potentiam’ contains melismas in both voice and accompaniment to pictorialize ‘dispersit superbos’. Remarkable too is the ground bass for ‘Suscepit Israel’ which modulates into a minor section at ‘recordatus misericordiae’. The continuo instruments first sound the running figure that characterizes the opening of the ‘Gloria’, and a continuously running bass line also colours the final joyful ‘Sicut erat in principio’.

from notes by Robert King © 1991

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDH55455 track 6
Recording date
8 December 1990
Recording venue
Tudeley Church, Tonbridge, Kent, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Ben Turner
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Couperin: Leçons de Ténèbres (CDA66474)
    Disc 1 Track 6
    Release date: November 1991
    Deletion date: March 2011
    Superseded by CDH55455
  2. Couperin: Leçons de Ténèbres (CDH55455)
    Disc 1 Track 6
    Release date: December 2013
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
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