Cherubini & Plantade: Requiems

Album cover art for upc 3760014192517
Label: ALPHA
Catalog: Alpha251
Format: CD

Niquet, Hervé; Concert Spirituel Chorus; Concert Spirituel Orchestra

In 1817, two years after the restoration of the monarchy by Louis XVIII, the French court attended a performance of Cherubini’s Requiem in memory of Louis XVI. A few years later, the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Marie-Antoinette provided the occasion for giving Charles-Henri Plantade’s Messe des morts in her memory. In 2015, the two works were presented in a single concert at Versailles Palace. While Cherubini’s Requiem, scored for mixed choir and orchestra, but without soloists, is well known, Charles-Henri Plantade’s setting, which shares the same formal characteristics, is a complete discovery. It provides a striking transitional stage between the models of the Ancien Regime and early Romanticism, and displays a wealth of invention reminiscent of Mehul, Cherubini, and even Rossini. This is the first recording of Plantade’s work, which was revived at the spurring of the Palazzetto Bru Zane. A noted specialist in French music and large-scale sacred pieces, Herve Niquet brings out the full strength of these two works, recorded in the Chapelle Royale at Versailles.

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