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Press Release


Boston Early Music Festival presents Les Talens Lyriques and director Christophe Rousset in a program of works by François Couperin on Sunday, October 14 in Boston and Tuesday, October 16 in New York City

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ARTIST: Les Talens Lyriques (France)
Christophe Rousset, director

Amel Brahim-Djelloul & Eugénie Warnier, soprano; Gilone Gaubert-Jacques, violin;
Mikko Perkola, viola da gamba; Christophe Rousset, harpsichord, organ & direction
WHEN: Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 4pm
Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 7:30pm
Gilder Lehrman Hall at the Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, New York, NY
PROGRAM:  From Light to Shadow: Music of François Couperin

Concert royaux – Troisième Concert
Second Livre de pièce de clavecin –
Septième Ordre
Pièce de viole – Première Suite
Leçons de Ténèbres du Mercredi Saint
TICKETS: Tickets are priced at $20, $39, $51, and $70 each, and can be purchased at and 617-661-1812; a $5 discount for students, seniors, and groups is available by calling 617-661-1812. Subscription discounts are available with the purchase of three or more programs on the 2018-2019 Season.

Tickets for the New York performance are priced at $35 for Morgan members and $45 for non-members; tickets for the series of two BEMF performances at the Morgan are priced at $80 for members and $100 for non-members. Tickets can be purchased at and at 212-685-0008 ext. 560.

Savor the music of François Couperin as we approach the Baroque master’s 350th birthday with this intimate program featuring some of the composer’s most lyrical masterpieces. For more than a quarter century, harpsichord virtuoso Christophe Rousset and his ensemble Les Talens Lyriques have been heralded around the globe for their musical sensitivity and finesse. They make their long-awaited return to the BEMF concert stage in this celebration of François Couperin, with stylish selections from the third Concert royal, excerpts from the hauntingly expressive Leçons de ténèbres, Suite No. 1 from the Pièces de violes, and selections for solo harpsichord.

“As we listen to the dreamy, tender, delightfully teasing qualities of his music, Couperin compels silence. We have to bow before him, not because he was a knight, but because he was the first poet of French music.” –Christophe Rousset

From the light of the Sun King’s court to the spiritual devotions of Holy Week, this program displays the many facets of Couperin’s musical poetry. The first half is inspired by the intimate salon performances that were a signature part of French cultural life, held even in the apartments of Louis XIV at Versailles. The Concerts Royaux are dance suites made for listening, perhaps designed to raise the elderly King’s spirits. The Second Livre de pièces de clavecin is an intensely personal collection of solo harpsichord works, exploring a range of emotions, at turns sensual and somber and playful. Written towards the end of Couperin’s life, the Première Suite of Pièces de viole is one of the great masterpieces of the viol repertoire, a virtuosic showcase of instrument and composer alike. The program concludes with selections from Couperin’s renowned settings of the Leçons de Ténèbres, a unique genre of French Baroque music drawing upon texts from the Old Testament Book of Lamentations. Composed for the Abbey of Longchamp, the Leçons are serenely beautiful, and a stunning earthly pleasure for the listener.

There will be a Pre-Concert Talk at 3pm in Boston and 7pm in New York with Les Talens Lyriques director Christophe Rousset.

Les Talens Lyriques was founded twenty-five years ago by harpsichordist and conductor Christophe Rousset. Proponents of a broad vocal and instrumental repertoire ranging from the early Baroque to the emergence of Romanticism, the musicians of Les Talens Lyriques endeavor to throw light on the great masterpieces of musical history, while providing perspective with rarer or little known works that are important as missing links in the European musical heritage. As well as the operatic repertoire, Les Talens Lyriques explores madrigals, cantatas, airs de cour, symphonies, and the vast corpus of sacred music. Varying in size from just a handful of musicians to a group of more than sixty, Les Talens Lyriques gives performances all over the world. The ensemble has recorded some fifty titles for the Erato, Fnac Music, Auvidis, Decca, Naïve, Ambroisie, Virgin Classics, Outhere and Aparté labels, as well as the much-acclaimed soundtrack for the film Farinelli (1994).

Christophe Rousset is an inspirational musician and conductor specializing in music of the Baroque, Classical, and pre-Romantic periods. He is particularly inspired by seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European music and has rediscovered forgotten operas by Traetta, Martin y Soler, Jommelli, Salieri, and Johann Christian Bach. Mr. Rousset has made his mark as a conductor, receiving invitations to perform with Les Talens Lyriques around the world, as well as appearing with organizations such as La Scala Milan, London’s Royal Opera House, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orquesta Nacional de España, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Mr. Rousset continues to pursue an active career as a harpsichordist, and his many recordings include the complete harpsichord works of d’Anglebert, Forqueray, François Couperin, and Jean-Philippe Rameau. His interpretations of works by J. S. Bach are regarded as references. He has been awarded the French honours of Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur, Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Chevalier in the Ordre national du Mérite.

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BEMF’s 2018–2019 Season Press Release:

The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. Today, more than a century after its founding, the Morgan serves as a museum, independent research library, musical venue, architectural landmark, and historical site. Located at Madison Avenue and 36th Street, its collection includes world-renowned collections of drawings, literary and historical manuscripts, musical scores, medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, printed books, photography, and ancient near Eastern seals and tablets. Gilder Lehrman Hall, designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, was opened by the Morgan in May 2006, and seats 264 people, providing a uniquely intimate concert venue. This marks the Boston Early Music Festival’s 13th season of concerts at the Morgan Library & Museum.

Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) has been credited with securing Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, BEMF offers diverse programs and activities, including one GRAMMY Award-winning and four GRAMMY Award-nominated opera recordings, an annual concert series that brings early music’s brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and a biennial week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). The 20th Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 9–16, 2019, and feature the fully staged North American premiere of Agostino Steffani’s Orlando as the Centerpiece Opera. BEMF’s Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and Dance Director Melinda Sullivan.

The 2018-2019 Boston Early Music Festival Concert Series is presented with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, WGBH Radio Boston, and Harpsichord Clearing House, as well as a number of generous foundations and individuals from around the world.

For more information, images, press tickets, or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email