André CAMPRA 1660-1744) Salvum me fac Deus Beati Omnes O Jesu amantissime Quam Dilecta Immensus es Domine Jean-François DANDRIEU Magnificat in D minor Magnificat en G major Magnificat in A minor Sonate en trio n°1 Magnificat in D minor
Les Folies Françoises Patrick CÖHEN-AKENINE conductor Jean-François LOMBARD Haute-contre Jean-François NOVELLI Taille Marc LABONNETTE Bass
In the France of Louis XIV, from the 1640s onward, the petit motet (small motet), like the larger-scale motet à grand chœur or grand motet, was one of the two forms of religious music most current in the context of liturgical practice. While the grand motet drew its texts principally from the psalms, the petit motet, intended for the more intimate moments of the liturgy, favours texts of a more spiritual and reflective nature. In the early 18th century the petit motet, like instrumental music or the cantata, constituted a testing ground for the Italian style, then growing in favour in musical circles. The petit motet thus took on more ample proportions; indeed, some examples became comparable in scale to the motet à grand chœur. André Campra (1660-1744) is indisputably one of the key figures in the evolution of the genre, so consummately traced in the works on this recording. The motets performed here by the Folies françoises are to be found in the albums dating from 1695, 1699 and 1706 and richly demonstrate Campra’s contribution to this genre of religious music over the 25 years before he took up his prestigious royal appointment in 1723. In his hands, the genre gradually blurred the barriers between the sacred and secular, notably by bringing greater theatricality to the musical discourse. In the early 18th century, the closeness of the sacred petit motet to its secular equivalent, the cantata, gradually became more apparent as it acquired more worldly trappings, notably a greater inclination to vocal virtuosity and an assertion of its value as a musical work in its own right. For all that, Campra’s petits motets are imbued with a deep spirituality, eloquently and movingly expressed in this recording, which bears witness to the great sensitivity of one of France’s most fascinating composers.
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