Mondonville: Dominus regnavit; In exitu Israel; De profundis

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Mondonville
WORKS: Dominus regnavit; In exitu Israel; De profundis
PERFORMER: Sophie Daneman, Maryseult Wieczorek (soprano), Paul Agnew, François Piolino (tenor), Maarten Koningsberger (baritone), François Bazola (bass)Les Arts Florissants/William Christie
CATALOGUE NO: 0630-17791-2
The three French grands motets recorded here, from the nine surviving motets of Mondonville, are an absolute treasure trove, offering, among much else, French gravity, robust counterpoint, astonishingly vivid orchestration and constantly beguiling melody. Mondonville’s ability to reflect words is breathtaking: his mountains do indeed ‘skip like lambs’ during In exitu Israel, and the tempest in Dominus regnavit is superbly realised. The magnificence of the music is not quite equalled by the performance of Les Arts Florissants. While the soprano and alto tone of the choir is splendidly focused, the sound the men make is on the raw side and their pitching is by no means flawless; also, the soprano soloists are not particularly well matched. But in the broad sweep of these wonderful pieces these are small points and the orchestra plays magnificently, especially in the abundant graphic sections. Clearly Mondonville’s day has come – I can’t wait to hear his remaining grands motets. Jan Smaczny