- Messe des Morts, for chorus & orchestra in D minor ("À La Mémoire de Marie-Antoinette")
18.99 In Stock
At the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in France in 1815, tributes to the executed Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were frequently offered, and two of the most important compositions used for their belated memorials were Luigi Cherubini's "Requiem in C minor" and Charles-Henri Plantade's "Messe des morts in D minor." Cherubini's work was performed at a ceremony in 1816, shortly after the monarchs' remains had been moved to the royal crypt in St. Denis, while Plantade's score was revised and performed in 1823 for the thirtieth anniversary of Marie-Antoinette's death. These Requiems provide a connection between the Baroque and Classical practices of the Ancien Régime and the dawning of the Romantic era, and while Cherubini's Classically restrained mass is superior in terms of artistry and expression, often evoking memories of Mozart's "Requiem," Plantade's work is significant because it reveals the continuing influence of the French motet tradition, as well as exploring innovations from opera. Hervé Niquet and his period ensemble Le Concert Spirituel deliver compelling interpretations, and their performances are striking for their sustained vitality and the freshness of their sonorities. While the atmosphere of this album is indeed somber and perhaps too heavy for one sitting, the beautiful counterpoint, the fascinating interplay of liturgical and dramatic elements, and the passionate performances make this disc from Alpha Classics essential listening.