This first recording devoted to Franck Villard, composer and conductor born in 1966, brings together works for choir and organ in a programme built in the shape of an arch around the choral cycle Ténèbres du Jeudi Saint. With his stripped-down style, Franck Villard is close to the spirit of Tomas-Luis de Victoria, but also to that of Francis Poulenc. In a contemporary language that does not shy away from making reference to the past, he takes up the liturgical alternation between monody and polyphony: Jeremiah's Lamentations - or Lessons - are in the prolongation of Gregorian cantillation, while the Reponses adopt a strict four-part writing style. The interpretation of these Ténèbres du Jeudi Saint has been the subject of a long process of maturation between the Ensemble Vocal Cori Spezzati, its conductor Olivier Opdebeeck and Franck Villard himself, who was also the artistic director of the recording.
Framing this choral cycle, two pieces for solo organ performed by Denis Comtet at the Saint-François-Xavier organ loft in Paris reveal another facet of the composer's language, which places great emphasis on instrumental virtuosity.
CHRISTUS FACTUS EST motet pour la Passion (version pour choeur a cappella) (2011)
QUASI UNA FANTASIA pour orgue (2007)
TÉNÈBRES DU JEUDI SAINT - Neuf Répons avec Leçons alternées pour choeur a cappella (2007)
EX ABRUPTO pour orgue (2014)
CHRISTUS FACTUS EST motet pour la Passion (version pour choeur et orgue) (2011)
Ensemble vocal Cori Spezzati
conductor : Olivier Opdebeeck
Denis Comtet : organ