Alexis Koerner was a British blues musician and radio broadcaster, who has sometimes been referred to as "a founding father of British blues". A major influence on the sound of the British music scene in the 1960s, Korner was instrumental in bringing together various English blues musicians. Without Alexis Korner, there still might have been a British blues scene in the early 1960s, but chances are that it would have been very different from the one that spawned the Rolling Stones, nurtured the early talents of Eric Clapton, and made it possible for figures such as John Mayall to reach an audience.
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. Gradually, in the course of the office, the candles were extinguished, recalling the darkness that covered the earth when Jesus died on the cross. Charpentier composed Tenebrae settings throughout his career, thirty-one 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.