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Ensemble Aedes, Les Siècles
This exquisite rendition of Fauré's Requiem unites the historically informed approach of the Les Siècles ensemble, performing on period instruments, and the vocal mastery of the Ensemble Aedes, whose repertoire spans the last five centuries. The 1893 version of Fauré's ethereal, serene masterpiece prominently features the organ, a beautiful complement to the vocal lines throughout the work, perhaps especially so in the concluding "In Paradisum." With the Latin pronounced in the French way as it would have been in Fauré's time, the two French ensembles under Maestro Mathieu Romano deliver a lucid and luminous performance.
The Requiem is followed by the deeply moving Cantique de Jean Racine, a work by the prodigious 19-year-old Fauré that announced him as a major new composer. Rounding out the all-French program are Debussy's medievally inspired Trois Chansons de Charles d'Orléans, and two sacred works by Poulenc: the Litanies à la Vierge Noire, marking the composer's return to faith, and the Mass in F Major, a tribute to his recently deceased father.