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  Channel Classics -
  CCS SA 20306
  Couperin: Leçons de ténèbres - La Sfera Armoniosa
  François Couperin: Leçons de ténèbres

Anne Grimm (soprano)
Johannette Zomer (soprano)
La Sfera Armoniosa
Mike Fentross
Track listing:
  Classical - Vocal
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 1

Review by andrewb June 8, 2006 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is an excellent disc, the music is very fine and the performance superb, and the recording still very good, despite the loss of the original DSD master (see the forum discussion about this disc for details concerning the loss of the DSD master).

The Three Lecons of Couperin are separated on this recording by two lute and viol pieces by Marin Marais and Robert de Visee and these make ideal interludes between the vocal music, allowing one to listen through at a single sitting without tiring of the same musical style.

Anne Grimm performs the first Lecon while Johanette Zomer sings the second, of these two sopranos, Grimm has a lower centre to her voice when compared to Zomer but her performance is exquisite, she colours and shades the lines with great delicacy and gives a radiantly intense performance. Zomer is equally fine, though at a noticeably higher pitch than Grimm, but then I have come to expect no less from her after listening to her other marvellous discs on Channel Classics. The instrumental playing is very good and well balanced with the singing.

Recorded in a church the acoustics are excellent, with only slight reverberation, but there is sometimes a faint hum in the background, perhaps noise from some of the recording equipment, but this does not bother one. Apart from this minor defect, the recorded sound is very fine, comparing the multi-channel layer to the CD layer, it is noticeable clearer, more detailed and more delicate. Despite the loss of the original DSD recording for this work, and hence the fact that this recording was produced from a PCM backup with the two rear channels being produced by sound processing, I am very glad that Channel Classics chose to release it on SACD, so allowing us the best possible sound in the circumstances, it is much better than the CD.

As I have said, I was very happy with the sound quality and still am, but out of interest I also sampled similar discs from Channel Classics, such as Splendore di Roma CCS SA19903 , Caccini CCS SA21305 and Death and Devotion CCS SA20804, and there I found that these DSD recorded discs did have more definition and an extra level of clarity and detail when compared to this PCM recorded disc.

In summary, it unfortunate that the DSD recording was lost, but this should not stop people buying this SACD, thankfully the PCM backup has allowed us to hear this marvellous performance in still very good quality sound.

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Works: 1  

Francois Couperin - Leçons de Ténèbres