In France, during the reign of Louis XIV, the religious service known as Tenebrae was one of
the most distinctive ceremonies in the liturgical year. Marc-Antoine Charpentier composed
Tenebrae settings throughout his career, 31 lessons in all. The three presented here, written
for the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of Holy Week, are scored for a solo bass voice,
accompanied by an orchestra composed of recorders, oboes, strings, bassoon, and organ. After
the success of Vivaldi s Concerti per il flauto traversier (Gramophone Editor s Choice), flautist
and conductor Alexis Kossenko presents a new vision of this highly dramatic work.