Friday, 8 February 2008

51. Michel-Richard de Lalande - Grand Motets (1680-1700)


Title: Te Deum
Performers: Les Arts Florissants
Director: William Christie
Length: 1 hour
Year: 1990


If I had to chose a country with my favourite baroque music it would probably be France, which is actually quite under-represented in this list, particularly Lully is quite under-represented, having only one opera on the whole freaking list. But here we get the Lully of church music.

And it is fantastic, music for the court of Louis the XIV was quite spectacular as you can imagine, he wasn't called the sun king because of his love of sunbathing, but because he had tremendous delusions of grandeur, and so did the music that surrounded him, and that is really a lot of fun to listen to.

De Lalande gives us the most epic Church music that we got until now, this is devotion by people who didn't feel that humble, or humble at all, Louis was pretty much on the same level as God and this music reflects that. There are of course moments of tender devotion here, but what grabs your attention are the great instrumental and choral epics which go "Hey, God, how's it hanging?". Brilliant, beautiful and powerful stuff.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Delalande was arguably the greatest composer of French grands motets, a type of sacred work that was more pleasing to Louis XIV because of its pomp and grandeur, written for soloists, choir and comparatively large orchestra. According to tradition, Louis XIV organized a contest between composers, giving them the same sacred text and a time to compose the musical setting. He alone was the judge. Delalande was one of four winners assigned to compose sacred music for each quarter of the year (the other composers being Coupillet, Collasse and Minoret). Delalande's was the most important quarter of the year because of the Christmas holiday. Later he had full responsibility for the church music for the complete year.

Lully hacked this post and put his own Te Deum here, (i.e. no Lalande videos on Youtube), Lully puts his foot in it:

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