Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

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Label: Hyperion
Recording details: October 2001
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: October 2002
Total duration: 72 minutes 26 seconds

Cover artwork: Apotheosis of King Louis XIV of France by Charles Le Brun (1619-1690)
Musée Ingres, Montauban, France / Bridgeman Images

This resplendent CD introduces another outstanding 'early music' ensemble to Hyperion—Jeffrey Skidmore's Ex Cathedra, who will explore some of the lesser-known Baroque byways for us. They make their entrance with this programme of music by one of the four composers assigned to Louis XIV's Chapel in 1683. The disc gives us the opportunity to hear two of Lalande's 'grands motets' in full (substantial, sectional works in which episodes for vocal soloists are interspersed with passages for small ensembles and chorus, the orchestra providing both accompaniment and interludes), as well as a solo movement extracted from another one, and one of his instrumental pieces. This is music which was highly regarded both in the composer's own day and beyond, and performed throughout the eighteenth century.


‘This CD will do much to further De Lalande's reputation … gripping choral singing … stylish playing … highly attractive’ (BBC Radio 3 CD Review)

‘Jeffrey Skidmore and the orchestra and choir … perform these works stylishly, executing decorations with a gentle, almost casual swagger and responding to the shape and stress of phrase as if to the Gallic manner born. The soloists, an impressive line-up of Baroque specialists, more than live up to their reputation’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘Treat yourselves and stand by to be impressed by all concerned’ (Early Music Review)

‘Wow! This is a thrilling release, of proud and sparkling music, performed with evangelical fervour and presented in recorded sound that’s as good as it can get … if you’ve never bought a CD of French Baroque in your life before, here’s the place to start’ (International Record Review)

‘These are early music performances of the highest standard … this recording will delight admirers of the French baroque, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to more general listeners’ (American Record Guide)

‘The performances are of supreme quality … both for its outstanding musical and executant qualities it demands a place on the shelves of anyone interested in Baroque choral music’ (Fanfare, USA)

‘Ex Cathedra, an English ensemble, delivers uniformly excellent performances’ (Goldberg)
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