Couperin: Trois Leçons de Ténèbres

Couperin: Trois Leçons de Ténèbres


Carolyn Sampson soprano
The King’s Consort
Robert King

“Enthusiastically recommended to Sampson’s many admirers and Handel lovers alike”

“This entrancing disc – Robert King’s consort is a British treasure”
(Otago Daily Times)



Couperin’s vividly atmospheric, richly dissonant settings of Jeremiah’s bitterly anguished texts present music of an intensity and power that is quite unique in Baroque sacred repertoire. These three glorious Leçons are performed by two of the finest singers working in the field, British soprano Carolyn Sampson and Norwegian mezzo Marianne Beate Kielland, whose exquisite, intertwining duets are a highlight of the disc. The recording also contains two further, remarkable vocal works by Couperin: a setting of the Magnificat and a fine Easter motet. Accompanying them are theorbo player Lynda Sayce, organist Robert King and Gramophone award-winning violist Susanne Heinrich, who also contributes a striking Prélude by the shadowy Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe le fils and two ravishing solos by Marais, including a wonderfully melancholy Tombeau.

Track Composer Title Duration Play
1-6 Couperin Première Leçon de Ténèbres 18’40  
7-11 Couperin Deuxième Leçon de Ténèbres 12’18  
12-16 Couperin Troisième Leçon de Ténèbres 12’45  
17 Marais Tombeau pour Sieur de Ste Colombe 7’28  
18 Marais Chaconne in A Major 2’51  
19-21 Couperin Motet pour le jour de Pâques 7’29  
22 M. de Ste. Colombe Prélude in E minor 5’00  
23-26 Couperin Magnificat anima mea 12’04  
    Total 78′  
Download CD booklet (PDF)

“Sumptuous performances … Sampson’s brightness and Kielland’s riper tones beautifully complement each other”
(The Sunday Times)

“CD of the Week”
(CD Review, BBC Radio 3)

Couperin: Trois Leçons de Ténèbres

Carolyn Sampson soprano
Marianne Beate Kielland mezzo-soprano
Susanne Heinrich bass viol
Lynda Sayce theorbo
Robert King chamber organ

Couperin: Trois Leçons de Ténèbres
Marais: Tombeau pour Sieur de Ste Colombe
Marais: Chaconne in A Major
Couperin: Motet pour le jour de Pâques
M. de Sainte-Colombe le fils: Prélude in E minor
Couperin: Magnificat