Pour les Festes Solemnelles

François Couperin (1668-1733)Pièces d’orgue consistantes en deux Messes
Plain-chant, Motets de Du Mont, Charpentier…

Jean-Luc HO, orgue

Les Meslanges
Vincent Lièvre-Picard, haute-contre
Thomas Van Essen, Nicolas Rouault, tailles/basse-tailles
Florent Baffi & Jean-Louis Paya, basses
Volny Hostiou, serpent


François Couperin was only 22 years old when he composed his mass settings, which display an astonishing degree of mastery. He who would later be styled « François le Grand », was authorized to publish his organ works by Michel-Richard de Lalande (1657-1726), super-intendant of the royal music, who thought them « quite beautiful and worth being given to the public ». We are offering a performance of one of his masses with plainsong interludes. For the « Messe des paroisses » based on the plainsong of the Cunctipotens genitor Deus mass, we will use an unpublished source from the « Graduale Parisiense […] » (1689/Harlay Reform). The only remaining copy is housed at the Mazarine Library. When he composed his « Messe des couvents » Couperin was not obliged to use a gregorian chant. We will alternate with the syllabic plainsong which was invented, with it’s embellishments, either by Henri du Mont, sub-master of the royal music, or by Paul d’Amance, monk and organist at Lisieux. It is indeed in this rather codified form that music of that era was heard during the « Festes solemnelles » .

The motets by du Mont, Nivers and Charpentier were part of liturgical life and played their role in the enlightenment of the faithful. Jean-Luc Ho, organ ; Thomas Van Essen, Taille ; Volny Hostiou, serpent. 3 to 6 artists This program can be adapted to be performed with a youth choir of about 15 singers, thus as part of a vocal training scheme (plainsong and motets) requiring several interventions.