In 1683, Michel-Richard de Lalande entered the Chapelle Royale as a sous-maître after receiving the support of Louis XIV in a formidable recruitment competition. Still only twenty-five years old, the young composer was swiftly to become established as the King’s favourite and accede to the most coveted posts at court in a career spanning almost forty years. Above all, Louis included him in the consultations for the construction of the new Chapelle Royale, adjacent to Versailles Palace. As the arches gradually rose skywards, Lalande composed and revised his motets, which give expression to the then-peerless grandeur of the realm, while at the same time testifying to the chapel’s incomparable acoustics. His works – settings of psalms, hymns, the Te Deum – record the atmosphere at court in the liturgy, in times of both trouble and rejoicing. Following their earlier recording of Te Deum settings by Lully and Charpentier at the Chapelle Royale, Vincent Dumestre and Le Poème Harmonique have now returned to Versailles to tackle the music Lalande composed for that extraordinary place. Alongside the grands motets Deitatis majestatem and Ecce nunc benedicite, with their synthesis of royal pomp and the language of opera, they offer the deeply moving Miserere and the most grandiose Te Deum performed in the reign of Louis XIV, the Te Deum of the King himself.

"These fine performances realise their majesty, variety and sheer style to the full…Indeed, in all these works one is repeatedly struck by Lalande’s confident skill and diversity at setting words…Dumestre finds ideal blend and balance of both sound and texture among his forces…and reacts with skill and care to every one of Lalande’s expressive demands. One need ask no more."
Gramophone
"Meanwhile, the new recording should help to re-establish an unjustly neglected composer."
MusicWeb International
"If de Lalande is little more than a name to you, this CD is a great place to start exploring his vivid and bracing music. If you are already ‘hooked’ you will want to add this to your collection - and by no means just because it appears to be the only CD containing these works which is available. It’s a significant gem."
MusicWeb international
"There is much here that both impresses and gives joy."
Early Music Review
"The sound is excellent, as is the balance. This is a most welcome release, both from the standpoint of the music itself, and these fine performances. Solidly recommended."
Fanfare, 8 March 2018