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COUPERIN, F.: Organ Masses

Composer(s):Couperin, Francois
Artist(s) Robin, Jean-Baptiste, organ
Period(s) Baroque (1600-1750)
Genre Classical Music
Category Instrumental
Catalogue 8.557741-42
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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Remarkable Recordings
Review By hephai,December 2010

Jean-François Couperin’s organ masses are summits of elder French Organ Music. Depending on the situation the pieces could be used during a liturgical act or between the texts of the service. They are varied – from more intimate parts to extraordinarily magnificent ones, whereas the second mass is a little bit more restrained due to its dedication. (For abbreviation I refer to the “Messe à l'usage ordinaire des paroisses pour les fêtes solemnelles” as “1st mass” and to the “Messe propre pour les couvents de religieux et religieuses” as “2nd mass”).

The organ of the Poitiers Cathedral is built by François-Henri Cliquot. It belongs to the very best organs of France. It possesses excellent stops of reeds – listen to the second part of the Kyrie of the 1st mass (“Fugue sur les more....

Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Couperin’s pair of Organ Masses each consist of 21 versets, which are intended to alternate with the text of the Mass, sung in plainchant. Only in two, for the Offertory and Deo Gratias, could the composer expand himself, and Couperin chooses to do this only in the Offertory. His Masses have been recorded in the past with the sung plainchant included, but the organ versets stand up well independently, and the recording here has dispensed with the plainchant. Of the two, the Messe à l’usage des Paroisses (Parishes) is the more imposing, and it especially suites the magnificent organ at Poitiers, while the Messe à l’usage des Couvents (Convents) is written for a more modest instrument and does not require a

Review By John Kitchen, Naxos,July 2006

Weinberger's Bach recording offers early versions and variants of well-known pieces. To give an example, the G major Prelude and Fugue BWV541 is separated by the slow movement of the fourth trio sonata, as it appears in some contemporary copies. These variants may surprise and even irritate us, but we must remember that some received versions, often established in 19th-century printed editions, are no more authentic than others. Weinberger plays authoritatively on two fine 18th-century German organs, although I find some of his playing too dettache, particularly in the pedal.



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