Couperin: lumière et ombre, a real French baroque treat with Les Talens Lyriques
I was very excited about this double concert. As you might already know I love French baroque and there are not many changes of seeing this repertoire in London.
The first concert worked as an introduction to Couperin music: one concert from Les Goûts-réunis, three airs, some fragments from the 2nd book of Pièces de clavecin and finally another concert from Concerts royaux. The ensemble was minimal: violin, gamba and Rousset conducting from the harpsichord. They all played very well, with the delicacy and subtle tone.
But the second concert was the big treat. This time divided into two parts with the first comprising viola pieces and harpsichord works. This was more intimal than the concerts in the first concert. There was a total rapport between Rousset and Kaori Uemura-Terakado on the viola pieces.
And finally the big thing: The Trois Leçons de ténèbres. Intimate religious music quite touching and moving. Sung by Céline Scheen and Eugénie Warnier with a wonderful singing line and beautiful tone and magical results during the duets.
These leçons were supposed to be played by candlelight (I really don’t get the love in England for such a thing) with the musicians blowing out the candle after each piece. That didn’t work, because spotlights were kept on at the Milton Court trying to follow the blowing out of the candles but they failed and left the stage in dark when there was still one piece remaining that was then sand with full lights. But it didn’t matter because the music was so good and so well performed that anything else had no importance.