Couperin: L’Apothéose de Lully

Arcangelo & Katherine Watson (Soprano), Anna Dennis (Soprano)

L’Apothéose de Lully was Couperin’s hommage to his great musical predecessor and depicts the elder composer’s elevation to Mount Parnassus (where he plays duets with the shade of Corelli and, with Apollo’s blessing, effects a reconciliation between the contrasting French and Italian styles of the day). The Leçons de ténèbres were written for performance in Holy Week and demand—and here receive from Katherine Watson and Anna Dennis—vocal artistry of the highest order.

Featured works

  • François Couperin: L’Apothéose de Lulli
  • François Couperin: Leçons de ténèbres

Press & Praise


“The delightful scenario of L’Apothéose de Lully imagines the composer Lully, one of François Couperin’s forebears at the court of Louis XIV, being wafted up to Mount Parnassus by Apollo. There, he meets the Italian muses, and the music becomes that synthesis of the French and Italian styles which Couperin so admired. All of this is captured with grace in Arcangelo’s playing under its founder, Jonathan Cohen.”


“The pictorial movements of L’Apothéose are introduced by a reciter and all are well characterise with unnecessary exaggeration. Indeed, at times, the performance errs slightly on the side of restraint, although it is unfailingly beautiful and much aided by excellent lute and gamba continuo accompaniment…the breath control of Katherine Watson and Anna Dennis in the long melismatic lines is stunning.”

Album Details

  • Released April 2017
  • Hyperion Records | CDA68093
  • Recorded March 2013 & January 2014


  • Katherine Watson (Soprano)
  • Anna Dennis (Soprano)
  • Stéphane Degout (Baritone)
  • Sophie Gent (Violin)
  • Bojan Čičić (Violin)
  • Jonathan Manson (Viola da Gamba)
  • Anne Marie Lasla (Viola da Gamba)
  • Thomas Dunford (Lute)
  • Jonathan Cohen (Direction)


BBC Radio 3

Record of the week May 2017

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