Isabelle Desrochers / Christine Payeux / Les Voix Humaines

Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre: Le Sommeil d'Ulisse

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Having first made her name as a harpsichord player and a singer, Elisabeth Jacquet was a part of the court around Louis XIV from the time she was a child. She was groomed by his mistress and later married a Parisian organist but continued to appear at court and dedicate her compositions to the Sun King, who received them with unstinting praise. Jacquet continued the relationship until Louis' death and then sought new royal patrons for her works. In this lovely disc, a selection of the vocal and instrumental music of Jacquet is presented with graceful elegance and beguiling virtuosity by Le Voix Humaines. From the Prelude and Chaconne in A minor for harpsichord that opens the disc through the early cantata Le sommeil d'Ulisse to the central Sonata in D minor and the later cantata Samson that closes it, Jacquet proves herself a charmingly lyrical and decidedly lightweight talent. The musicians do everything in their power -- Isabelle Desrochers is a wonderfully expressive singer, Alice Piérot is a marvelously exciting violinist, and Freddy Eichelberger is a tremendously powerful harpsichordist -- and the music sounds lovely while it's playing, but fades from the memory like silk left too long in the light after it's over. Alpha's production values -- the warm reality of the sound, the lively intelligence of the notes, the beauty of the reproduction -- continue to define the upper end of recorded music.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Suite in A minor (from Pièces de Clavecin, 1687)
1
1:41
Le Sommeil d'Ulisse, cantata for voice & continuo
2
1:03
3
0:33
4
1:41
5
0:12
6
2:11
7
Air
2:22
8
0:54
9
7:52
10
0:32
11
1:16
12
4:24
Suite in A minor (from Pièces de Clavecin, 1687)
13
2:26
Sonata for violin & continuo No. 1 in D minor
14
3:03
15
1:41
16
0:58
17
1:47
18
1:59
19
3:28
20
2:05
Samson, for soprano, flute, violin & continuo
21
1:03
22
0:27
23
Air
3:23
24
0:25
25
1:09
26
Air
3:20
27
0:38
28
2:15
29
0:30
30
4:19
blue highlight denotes track pick