Les Funérailles Royales de Louis XIV
Catalogue Number: 05T089
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Reference: HMD 9909056357
Description: The funeral of Louis XIV mirrored his reign: grandiose and filled with pathos. Raphaël Pichon has chosen the setting of the Chapelle Royale in Versailles, built 'for the use' of the Sun King, to present a musical reconstruction of the event, with chiaroscuro lighting designs by Bertrand Couderc. Solemn grands motets like the De profundis and Dies irae of Michel-Richard de Lalande and the poignant Marche funèbre pour le Convoy du Roy by André Danican Philidor are juxtaposed with rarely heard music by Jean Colin, Louis Chein and Charles d'Helfer. An outstanding performance by Pygmalion, filmed on the occasion of the tercentenary of the event, in November 2015. An excerpt from the Opera Today review: “Though extremely well played and sung, this performance needs to be experienced visually for maximum impact. Night time shrouds the architectural splendours of the Chapelle Royale, but this is how things should be. In the presence of death, material glory is nothing. In the presence of God, even the Sun King is mortal man. The original funeral rites took place over a period of 24 hours, with ovations, prayers and lying in state. Here, instead, we focus on the music, and its liturgical meaning. Darkness enhances the experience, intensifying the mystery that is life and death.” Céline Scheen (soprano), Lucile Richardot (alto), Samuel Boden (countertenor), Marc Mauillon (tenor), Christian Immler (baritone), Pygmalion Chorus and Orchestra; Raphaël Pichon. 16:9 format. PCM stereo. All regions. 102 min.