Magazine article Gramophone

Mondonville: 'Grands Motets'

Magazine article Gramophone

Mondonville: 'Grands Motets'

Article excerpt

Mondonville

'Grands motets'

Cantate Domino. De profundis.

Magnus Dominus. Nisi Dominus

Chantal Santon-Jeffery, Daniela Skorka sops

Mathias Vidal, Jeffrey Thompson tens

Alain Buet bass Purcell Choir; Orfeo Orchestra / Gyorgy Vashegyi

Glossa (F) (2) GCD923508 (96' * ODD * T/t)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Jean-Joseph Cassanea de Mondonville, a violinist and composer prominent in Parisian musical life in the mid-18th century, was among the last composers to contribute significantly to the genre of the grand motet; indeed, his examples of these large-scale choral psalm-settings, usually created for the Royal Chapel at Versailles but popular in the concert hall as well, were among the most successful of the time. Their ability to please a crowd undoubtedly rested in their sweet melody, their imposing, sometimes Handelian choruses, and (perhaps above all) their enthusiastic pictorialism: in Nisi Dominus, one of the four motets recorded here, we get in quick succession a drowsy bassoon tucking in the Chosen Ones' virtuous slumber, archers' arrows whizzing through choir and orchestra and the noisy knocking of the Lord's enemies at the city gate. …

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