A Nocte Temporis & Reinoud Van Mechelen – Clérambault: Cantates Françaises (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 01:12:06 minutes | 1,37 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © Alpha

The son of one of the Twenty-four Violins of the King, Nicolas Clérambault was born in Paris in 1676. He was a precocious child: he is credited with a large choral motet, composed when he was just thirteen years old. His education was provided by excellent masters and he was a close friend of Guillaume-Gabriel Nivers, whom he eventually replaced in 1714 at the tribune of Saint-Sulpice and the Maison Royale de Saint-Louis in Saint-Cyr. In addition to a book for harpsichord, and another for the organ, Clérambault composed numerous motets, but during his lifetime already, his French Cantatas were the works that solidified his reputation: five books featuring twenty cantatas in addition to five single cantatas. They highlight his evolution, from a craft similar to his masters of the 17th century to the pure, classical style that soon became his. Apollon, Cantatte sur la paix, à voix seule, et simphonie écrite pour le Roy (Apollo, Cantata for Peace, single voice, and Symphony written for the King) dates back to the very end of Louis XIV’s rule, which was marked by war and famine; in it, Clérambault glorifies the King, often portrayed as Apollo, while echoing the overall feeling among the population: peace! His 1710 cantata Le Jaloux (The Jealous) departs from the standard framework: no action, no lauding or flattery, simply a delicious tableau of jealousy! The album’s centrepiece remains 1713 Pyrame et Thisbé (Pyramus and Thisbe), derived from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Pyramus and Thisbe love each other, but their parents are opposed to their union. A beautiful instrumental prelude precedes the first recitative, which introduces and frames this tragedy. The melody closing the cantata is in a way the moral of the story. Between these two ends, Clérambault strings together recitatives, melodies, symphonies, as if in a lyric tragedy. The A Nocte Temporis ensemble – flute, violin, viola de gamba, harpsichord – accompany tenor Reinoud van Mechelen who performs these intense moments of great French classicism with perfect conviction and diction – crucial for this kind of textual works – while respecting the pronunciation specific to that era. For instance, “l’espoir de se revoir” turns into “l’espouêr de se revouêr”!

Nicolas Clérambault (1676-1749)
01. Apollon: Simphonie
02. Apollon: Récitatif “L’aurore alloit chasser les ombres de la nuit”
03. Apollon: Air “Doux repos de l’indifference”
04. Apollon: Récitatif “Le berger s’endormoit plein de sa resverie”
05. Apollon: Récitatif “De sa gloire environné”
06. Apollon: Air “Ce n’est point pour servir les volages amours”
07. Apollon: Récitatif “Alors un dieu sur un char préparé”
08. Apollon: Air “Heros des siecles passés”
09. Le jaloux: Air “Revien printems”
10. Le jaloux: Air “Je consens que la victoire”
11. Le jaloux: Récitatif “Helas ! Pour mon cœur allarmé”
12. Le jaloux: Air “Dieu des amants prens ma deffence”
13. Le jaloux: Air “Amour venge toy, venge moy”
14. Le jaloux: Air “Revien printems”, Pt. 2
15. L’amour, guéri par l’amour: Récitatif “Pour oublier l’inconstante Climeine”
16. L’amour, guéri par l’amour: Air “Souffrez, plaintive Philomele”
17. L’amour, guéri par l’amour: Récitatif “Ainsy de son tourment il se plaignoit sans cesse”
18. L’amour, guéri par l’amour: Air “Amour, sur un cœur trop fidélle”
19. L’amour, guéri par l’amour: Récitatif “Il dit, et penetré d’une douleur mortelle”
20. L’amour, guéri par l’amour: Air “L’absençe, d’une ardeur extrême”
21. Pyrame et Thisbé: Récitatif “Pirame, pour Thisbé, dès la plus tendre enfance”
22. Pyrame et Thisbé: Air “Si vôtre tendresse est extrême”
23. Pyrame et Thisbé: Récitatif “Tisbé, pour résister à l’ardeur de ses vœux”
24. Pyrame et Thisbé: Air “Aux pieds de ces tombeaux sacrés”
25. Pyrame et Thisbé: Récitatif “Bientôt au gré de leur impatience”
26. Pyrame et Thisbé: Air “Vole, vole dit-elle amour”
27. Pyrame et Thisbé: Récitatif “Elle cherchoit l’amant qui la tient asservie”
28. Pyrame et Thisbé: “Quoi ? Tisbé tu n’és plus”
29. Pyrame et Thisbé: “Venez monstres affreux”
30. Pyrame et Thisbé: “Aimable et cher objet ton trepas est mon crime”
31. Pyrame et Thisbé: Air “Amour, qui voudra desormais”

Reinoud van Mechelen, tenor
ensemble A Nocte Temporis