Pierre Bouteiller's Requiem 
For men voices

Recorded in the Église de Notre Dame du Liban, Paris, in February 2010
Score of la Messe de morts by Bouteiller has been published by the éditions Abbesses

Release 4 January 2011

With Glossa
Distribution Harmonia Mundi

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Choc Classica

Pierre Bouteiller, a music master in Troyes and Châlons-sur-Marne under Louis XVI, composed his Missa Pro Defunctis for 5 voices in 1683. Hervé Niquet recreated the work by juxtaposing excerpts from the Stabat Mater by Sébastien de Brossard and recreating the incredible cathedral sound of this music.

The richness and splendour of French Baroque sacred music, by turns gravely sombre and spectacularly exuberant, have already been amply demonstrated by Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel through their series of recordings on Glossa of music by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. But it was not just in Paris or in the country’s religious foundations that such involved music-making was called upon, but also in cities such as Troyes and Châlons-sur-Marne where Pierre Bouteiller, maître de musique in cathedrals there during the reign of Louis XIV, composed his Missa pro defunctis, a beautiful setting scored for five voice parts with instrumental accompaniment.

The 1693 religious ceremony for which this Missa pro defunctis was written would have required Bouteiller (who later on in his career moved to the French capital) to find other suitable pieces from the time to complete the service and in the spirit of a modern-day reconstruction Hervé Niquet, employing his consummate flair and experience in this musical arena, has chosen to entice us not only with the substantial Stabat mater by Sébastien de Brossard (an early champion of Pierre Bouteiller's qualities), but also with instrumental versions of pieces by compositional talents even less recognizable today – Henri Frémart, Louis Le Prince and Pierre Hugard.

With a dozen male voices, low strings and organ, Hervé Niquet recreates the incredible French “cathedral sound” from the turn of the 18th century.

Requiem de Pierre Bouteiller