Ténèbres Lalande

Leçons de Ténèbres • Michel-Richard de Lalande


When Michel-Richard de Lalande left this valley of tears, his fame was at its peak; between 1725 and 1730, he was the most programmed musician in Paris. People flocked to hear his motets, especially the three Leçons de Ténèbres and the Miserere à voix seule intended for the Holy Week services. Many composers had already proposed their vision of the Leçons in the France of the Sun King, making the Office de Ténèbres a true worldly event. Faithful to this aesthetic, Lalande knew how to exploit this art of ambiguity, while turning away from the tradition.

The Grand Siècle was a time of unprecedented musical creation. Music sounded in the street, in the salons, in the church, in the opera, but also in places where its place was not obvious: the convents where nuns and the young girls whose education they supervised lived together were usually reserved for plainchant only. Nevertheless, when financial means permitted and the mother abbess – often from the upper class – showed a particular taste for singing, music was presented in a more sophisticated, sometimes even clearly seductive light. In the 17th century, the Offices of Darkness became a worldly event: courtesans and opera singers flocked to them, to the point of causing scandal among the devout.

Far from these excesses, the Leçons composed by De Lalande on the Lamentations of Jeremiah show an extremely seductive and theatrical music, while preserving a depth and an interiority in perfect mirror with the power of the text. Performed by the soprano Sophie Karthäuser, this program has been unanimously acclaimed in France and internationally by the critics.

Harmonia Mundi release April 5, 2015:

Diapason d’or de l’année 2015, Choc de Classica, ffff Télérama, Meilleur disque de l’année 2015 De Standaard, …


Michel-Richard de Lalande

Plange quasi virgo
Tristis est anima mea
IIIe Leçon pour le mercredy
Salve Regina
Ecce vidimus eum
IIIe Leçon pour le jeudy
Vinea mea electa
IIIe Leçon pour le vendredy
Cantique sur le bonheur des Justes et le malheur des Réprouvez
O Mors

Anciennes dates