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In recent years, The Ripieno Choir has successfully brought little-known or under-performed pieces to light, to the delight of our audiences. As one of David Hansellís many enthusiasms and specialities, this concert of French Baroque music is another opportunity to hear sensational music rarely performed live.
Jean-Philippe Rameau, whose 250th anniversary weíre celebrating, is one of the most important French composers and music theorists of the Baroque period. The principal genre of sacred choral music at the time was the grand motet, usually a setting of one of the more colourful psalm texts, which were performed during Mass in the Royal Chapels (principally at Versailles) and, from 1725-90, at the Concerts Spirituels, one of the first series of public concerts. The music is particularly notable for its rich and inventive textures, contrasting dramatic choral declamation with fluent and lively counterpoint. This concert will sample a number of Rameauís works and those of his predecessors and contemporaries, including the magnificent Litanies by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, with the brilliant and unusual choral disposition of SSSATB. The outstanding mass (also in six parts) by the almost unknown, though aptly named, Louis le Prince will be an exciting revelation.