Charpentier - Pastorale, Christmas Oratorio, Te Deum - Christie & Les Arts Florissants

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Charpentier - Pastorale, Christmas Oratorio, Te Deum - Christie & Les Arts Florissants
Classical, Sacred, Vocal | APE (Single Tracks) dBPoweramp | 5CD/1.30GB |

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704)

Marc-Antoine Charpentier was a French composer of the Baroque era. He was a prolific and versatile composer, producing music of the highest quality in several genres. His mastery in the composition of sacred vocal music was recognized and acknowledged by his contemporaries.

Charpentier was born in or near Paris, the son of a master scribe who had very good connections to influential families in the Parlement of Paris. Marc-Antoine received a very good education, perhaps with the help of the Jesuits, and registered for law school in Paris when he was eighteen. He was in Rome, probably between 1667 and 1669, and studied with Giacomo Carissimi. A certain legend claims that Charpentier initially traveled to Rome to study painting before he was discovered by Carissimi. This story is undocumented and possibly untrue. Regardless, he acquired a solid knowledge of the contemporary Italian practice that he brought to France upon his return.

Most likely he worked for Marie de Lorraine, duchesse de Guise on his return to France, as her house composer, until her death in 1688. During this time he composed a considerable quantity of dramatic secular vocal works, as well as Psalm settings, hymns, a Magnificat setting, a mass, and motets, which he called stories and canticum.

A recently discovered portrait, presumed to be Charpentier, but dates circa 1750.Beginning around 1672, he worked with Molière, after Molière's falling out with Jean-Baptiste Lully. During the 1680s Charpentier served as maître de musique at the Jesuits' Paris church of St. Louis. In addition, Charpentier served as the music teacher to Philippe, Duke of Chartres. Charpentier was appointed maître de musique à la Sainte Chapelle in 1698, a post he held until his death in 1704. One of his most famous compositions during his tenure was the Mass "Assumpta Est Maria" (H.11).

His compositions include oratorios, masses, operas, and numerous smaller pieces that are difficult to categorize. Many of his smaller works for one or two voices and instruments resemble the Italian cantata of the time, and share most features except for the name: Charpentier calls them air sérieux or air à boire if they are in French, but cantata if they are in Italian.

The prelude to his Te Deum, H. 146, a rondeau, is well-known as the signature tune for the European Broadcasting Union, heard in the opening credits of the Vienna New Year's Concert and the Eurovision Song Contest.

Album Information
Composer: Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Jacques Danican Philidor
Conductor: William Christie
Performer: Francois Fauche, Philippe Cantor, Les Arts Florissants, Ian Honeyman, Michel Laplenie
Audio CD (October 12, 2004)
Number of Discs: 5
Label: Harmonia Mundi HMX2908140 ASIN: B0002I749U

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