Notes and Editorial Reviews
Cyril Auvity and
L'Yriade make their debut on Glossa with a programme of airs de cour,
Stances du Cid, ideally devised for the French haute-contre’s voice.
An extraordinary enthusiasm was held in seventeenth century France for the air de cour: a secular song genre popular across the social spectrum and singable, it seems, by everyone from cobblers to marquises... Even still, one distinctive voice which proved to be ideal for such airs was the haute-contre, a high tenor, sweet-sounding and clear; precisely the instrument possessed by Cyril Auvity, and it is no coincidence that the singer has, in recent years, been enjoying much success with his performances of the music of, among many others, Lully and Charpentier (the latter was a haute-contre himself).
Stances du Cid presents a selection of Charpentier’s secular vocal works, including the seldom recorded stanzas (whose text is taken from Pierre Corneille’s tragicomedy Le Cid, which enjoyed great popularity for years after its 1637 première in Paris). The bucolic character of Charpentier’s other airs is complemented by a pair of airs de cour from an earlier master of the genre, Michael Lambert, and the expressive flavour of the music of ancien régime France is suitably enhanced on this recording also by instrumental interludes taken from François Couperin’s trio sonatas Les Nations, deftly handled by L'Yriade.
In his booklet essay, Vincent Borel supplies a colorful defence, both of the potency of the air de cour and of its quintessential voice, the haute-contre.