Charpentier: Te Deum, Messe de Minuit / Minkowski
Deutsche Grammophon | ARCHIV Produktion | Int. Release 01 Sep. 1997
DGG Webshop | mp3 | 320 kbps | 128 MB
An effective performance [of the Midnight Mass], whose soft colours radiate warmth and whose rhythmic vitality is infectious.Gramophone (London) / 01. November 1998
Minkowski gives a characteristically ebullient, highly charged performance.Graham Sadler, BBC Music Magazine (London) / 01. May 2007
Five stars for Nuit alone! The rest is fantastic, too
As I mentioned in the title, the "Nuit" instrumental interlude is worth the price of this disc, however, this recording is a real winner on every level and no lover of Baroque music should be without it.
Many people, perhaps most people, will recognise the Rondeau from the Te Deum. I think it was used during the World Cup, or was it the Olympics, some years ago. Minkowski's Les Musiciens du Louvre use a bass natural trumpet here, along with the regular clarini, and the affects/effects here are very powerful. The Te Deum is a grand work and full of M-A Charpentier's great creativity and vision. I think he was one of the very greatest Baroque composers - up there with Biber, Purcell, Corelli and Rosenmüller in his own age.
The Midnight Mass is a beautiful work, again one familiar to many because of its associations with Christmas and its use of Christmas carol melodies. The Messe de Minuit is scored for voices, recorders and strings and it offers a perfect contrast to the Te Deum with its trumpets, timpani, oboes, bassoons and strings.
The soloists are Early Music regulars and many will be interested in hearing what Magdalena Kozená was like back in 1997, when this recording was made. In some ways, I think she was better then, before she was coaxed into a solo career by DG/Universal. Maybe they thought she was too beautiful and luxurient looking to be a mere ensemble singer in Baroque sacred music and a part player in French Baroque opera?
This recording sounds very impressive through a big sound system. A "audiophile" CD.
Steven Guy (Croydon, South Australia), March 4, 2007
Joyful and Masterful Liturgical Music
Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704) was a French composer who was a contemporary of Louis XIV. Charpentier created liturgical works full of grace and energy, using great imagination for his musical settings. This is very much evident in the selections for this recording, the TE DEUM and the MESSE DE MINUIT. The first one is a joyously triumphant interpretation of the thanksgiving text, using eight soloists, chorus and orchestra, including three trumpets, something unusual for the times. The MESSE DE MINUIT is a more modest work where the composer integrates the melodies of traditional French carols of noels in the setting of the Mass, creating a joyous atmosphere that perfectly evokes the joy of Christmas. It between thesee two works, there is a small instrumental piece called 'Nuit' from another Christmas oratorio that greatly prepare the listener for the Christmas spirit of MESSE DE MINUIT by recreating the peace of the Christmas night. On this recording, this lovely music finds a perfect interpretation in the hands of Marc Minkowsky in collaboration with Les Musiciens du Louvre and some soloists (among them Annick Massis and Magdalena Kozena). There is not a weak link on the performances and the bounce and energy is truly contagious. This is a perfect CD to be used as an introduction to the skill and imagination of a French baroque composer that deserves to be better known today.
M. Ramos, May 9, 2009
Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1634 - 1704)
Te Deum for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra, H 146
Te Deum laudamus (Bass)
Te aeternum Patrem (Chorus, Soprano I/II, Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor)
Te per orbem terrarum (Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Bass)
Tu devicto mortis aculeo (Chorus, Bass)
Te ergo quaesumus (Soprano I)
Aeterna fac cum Sanctis tuis (Chorus, Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Bass, Soprano II)
Dignare, Domine, die isto (Soprano I, Bass, Soprano II)
Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos (Soprano I, Bass)
In te, Domine, speravi (Chorus, Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor, Bass)
In nativitatem Domini canticum, H. 416:
Messe de Minuit, H. 9
Offertoire: Laissez paitre vos bestes H. 531 b
Sanctus - Benedictus
Les Musiciens du Louvre
Download: part 1, part 2