Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-87)
Grand Motets, Volume 3. Exaudiat te Dominus (Psalm 19). O dulcissime Domine.
Notus in zzzz Judaea Deus (Psalm 75). Laudate pueri Dominum
Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé
Naxos 8.554399 [DDD]
The Grands Motets on this disc (Exaudiat, Notus in Judaea Deus
and Benedictus) are scored for five soloists, five-part choir and
orchestra. Although averaging only a quarter of an hour in length, they are
nevertheless broad in conception. Le Concert Spirituel certainly does not
tiptoe around these works but rather throw themselves into their performances
The three Grands Motets are interspersed with Lully's settings of O dulcissime
Domine and Laudate pueri Dominum. The two women's voices in O
dulcissime Domine interweave magically over a continuo accompaniment.
The highlight, however, is the first motet, Exaudiat te Dominus. The
opening is lively and joyous, contrasting with the sad, heart-felt setting
of Domine salvum fac. Le Concert Spirituel bring out the contrasts
in the Dormierunt section of Notus in Judaea Deus well, and
respond to the grandiose passages in the Benedictus. It is only in
this latter piece that the generally crisp and rhythmic articulation flags.
The curious should not hesitate. The recording is in general good, although
the harpsichord sounds dull. Full texts and translations are included.