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Marc-Antoine Charpentier

1643 - February 24, 1704
born in Paris, France, composed during the Baroque period
Long completely forgotten and then hailed, in the twentieth century, as a Baroque genius, Charpentier was born in Paris, in 1643. In the mid-1660s, he traveled to Rome, where he spent three years studying with Carissimi and mastering the Italian style. Upon his return to Paris, Charpentier accepted employment and patronage from the powerful and pious Marie de Lorraine, known as Mademoiselle de Guise, last scion of the illustrious Guise family. In 1627, already known for his religious music, Charpentier agreed to provide incidental music for Molière's comedies. With astounding facility, the church composer wrote witty, charming, and delightful music in perfect consonance with Molière's comedic genius, as exemplified by the extraordinary score for Le Malade imaginaire. Nevertheless, church music remained Charpentier's primary vocation, and he steadily wrote masses, motets, hymns, and various other liturgical pieces. After Mademoiselle de Guise died in 1688, Charpentier found employment at the college Louis le Grand, where his accomplishments included the Latin oratorio David et Jonathas, a dramatic masterpiece. His next post was at the Jesuit Church of St. Louis, where he composed music for various aspects of the Catholic liturgy. In 1693, Charpentier's Medea, a tragédie en musique, had its premiere at the Academie Royale. If the composer thought this extraordinary work would secure him a royal appointment, he was mistaken, for the audience seemed deaf to the music. In 1698, Charpentier became music master for children at the Sainte-Chapelle, remaining there until his death. Two and a half centuries after Charpentier's death, millions heard the opening bars of his stunningly brilliant Te Deum (H. 146), selected as Eurovision's official theme. A master of harmonic and melodic invention, Charpentier satisfies the three prerequisites for beauty formulated by St. Thomas Aquinas: consonantia (harmony), integritas (perfection), and claritas (brilliance). This quintessentially Catholic composer ingeniously resolved the perceived conflict between faith and pure beauty by creating music in which devotion and beauty cannot be separated. Indeed, musicologist Catherine Cessac captured the essence of Charpentier's music when she wrote that the "grandeur and originality of Charpentier's music is due to a combination of exceptional musical talent and deep faith, each complementing the other." ~ Zoran Minderovic, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Charpentier - Actéon / Visse · Mellon · Laurens · Feldman · Paut · Les Arts Florissants · Christie

Title: Actéon, Pastorale For Chorus, Strings & Continuo, H. 481
x

Track List: Charpentier - In Nativitatem Domini Canticum · Messe de Minuit / Les Arts Florissants · Christie

Title: In Nativitatem Domini Canticum, Histoire Sacrée For 3 Voices, Chorus, Orchestra & Continuo, H. 416
Title: Messe De Minuit, For 5 Voices, Chorus, Instruments & Continuo, H. 9
Title: Joseph Est Bien Marié, Noël For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 534/3 (Noëls Sur Les Instruments)
Title: Messe De Minuit, For 5 Voices, Chorus, Instruments & Continuo, H. 9
Title: Or Nous Dites Marie, Noël For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 534/4 (Noëls Sur Les Instruments)
Title: Messe De Minuit, For 5 Voices, Chorus, Instruments & Continuo, H. 9
Title: Une Jeune Pucelle, Noël For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 534/6 (Noëls Sur Les Instruments)
Title: Messe De Minuit, For 5 Voices, Chorus, Instruments & Continuo, H. 9
Title: Laissez Paître Vos Bêtes, Noël For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 531/1 (Noëls Sur Instruments)
Title: Messe De Minuit, For 5 Voices, Chorus, Instruments & Continuo, H. 9
x

Track List: Charpentier - Noëls & Christmas Motets

1. Messe De Minuit, For 5 Voices, Chorus, Instruments & Continuo, H. 9: A Minuit Fut Fait Un Reveil

Title: Noëls (3) Sur Les Instruments, For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 531

2. Noëls (3) Sur Les Instruments, For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 531: A La Venue De Noël

Title: Noëls (6) Sur Les Instruments, For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 534

3. Noëls (6) Sur Les Instruments, For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 534: Ou S'en Vont Ces Gais Bergers?

4. Noëls (6) Sur Les Instruments, For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 534: Joseph Est Bien Marie

Title: In Nativitatem Domini Canticum, Christmas Motet For Soprano, Countertenor, Tenor, Bass, 2 Flutes, 2 Violins & Continuo, H. 314

5. In Nativitatem Domini Canticum, Christmas Motet For Soprano, Countertenor, Tenor, Bass, 2 Flutes, 2 Violins & Continuo, H. 314: In Nativatatem Domini Canticum

Title: Noëls (6) Sur Les Instruments, For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 534

6. Noëls (6) Sur Les Instruments, For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 534: Ou Nous Dites Marie

7. Noëls (6) Sur Les Instruments, For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 534: Vous Qui Desirez Sans Fin

Title: Noëls (3) Sur Les Instruments, For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 531

8. Noëls (3) Sur Les Instruments, For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 531: O Createur

Title: Canticum In Nativitatem Domini, Christmas Motet For 2 Sopranos, Bass, 2 Treble Strings & Continuo, H. 393

9. Canticum In Nativitatem Domini, Christmas Motet For 2 Sopranos, Bass, 2 Treble Strings & Continuo, H. 393: Canticum In Nativitatem Domini

Title: Noëls (6) Sur Les Instruments, For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 534

10. Noëls (6) Sur Les Instruments, For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 534: Laissez Paistre Vos Betes

11. Noëls (6) Sur Les Instruments, For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 534: Une Jeule Pucelle

12. Noëls (6) Sur Les Instruments, For 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 534: Les Bourgeois De Chatres

Title: In Nativitatem Domini Canticum, Histoire Sacrée For 3 Voices, Chorus, Orchestra & Continuo, H. 416

13. In Nativitatem Domini Canticum, Histoire Sacrée For 3 Voices, Chorus, Orchestra & Continuo, H. 416: Chanson From In Nativitatem Domini Canticum

Title: In Nativitatem Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Canticum, Histoire Sacrée For 4 Voices, Chorus, 2 Treble Instruments & Continuo, H. 414

14. In Nativitatem Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Canticum, Histoire Sacrée For 4 Voices, Chorus, 2 Treble Instruments & Continuo, H. 414: In Nativitatem D(omini) N(ostri) J(esu) C(hristi)

x

Track List: Charpentier: Intermedes d'Andromède; Le Ballet de Polieucte

Title: Andromède, Incidental Music For Chorus, 2 Flutes, Strings & Continuo, H. 504
Title: Ouverture De Prologue De Polyeucte, For Orchestra, H. 498
x

Track List: Charpentier: Sacred Music Volume 4

Title: Quatre Antiennes A La Vierge

1. Quatre Antiennes A La Vierge: I. Alma Redemptoris

2. Quatre Antiennes A La Vierge: II. Ave Regina Caelorum

3. Quatre Antiennes A La Vierge: III. Regina Caeli

4. Quatre Antiennes A La Vierge: IV. Salve Regina

Title: La Prière À La Vierge Du Père Bernard, Motet For 3 Voices, Chorus, 2 Treble Instruments & Continuo, H. 367

5. La Prière À La Vierge Du Père Bernard, Motet For 3 Voices, Chorus, 2 Treble Instruments & Continuo, H. 367: Priere A La Vierge Du Pere Bernard

Title: Litanies De La Vierge, Motet For 6 Voices, Chorus, 2 Dessus De Violes & Continuo, H. 83

6. Litanies De La Vierge, Motet For 6 Voices, Chorus, 2 Dessus De Violes & Continuo, H. 83: Litanies A La Vierge

Title: Magnificat, Motet For 3 Voices, Chorus & Continuo, H. 76

7. Magnificat, Motet For 3 Voices, Chorus & Continuo, H. 76: Magnificat

Title: Pro Omnibus Festis B.V.M., Motet For 6 Voices, Chorus, Instruments & Continuo, H. 333

8. Pro Omnibus Festis B.V.M., Motet For 6 Voices, Chorus, Instruments & Continuo, H. 333: Pro Omnibus Festis

Title: Regina Coeli, Motet For 3 Voices & Continuo, H. 30

9. Regina Coeli, Motet For 3 Voices & Continuo, H. 30: Petit Motet Pour La Vierge

Title: Chant Joyeux Du Temps De Pâques, Motet For 6 Voices, Chorus, Strings & Contiunuo, H. 339

10. Chant Joyeux Du Temps De Pâques, Motet For 6 Voices, Chorus, Strings & Contiunuo, H. 339: Chant Joyeux Du Temps De Paques

x

Track List: Charpentier: Te Deum; Mass; Canticum Zachariae

Title: Te Deum À 4, Motet For 5 Voices, Chorus, Strings & Continuo, H. 147

1. Te Deum À 4, Motet For 5 Voices, Chorus, Strings & Continuo, H. 147: Te Deum H. 147

Title: Messe "Kyrie Eleison," For Voices, Instruments & Continuo, H. 1

2. Messe "Kyrie Eleison," For Voices, Instruments & Continuo, H. 1: I. Kyrie H.1

3. Messe "Kyrie Eleison," For Voices, Instruments & Continuo, H. 1: II. Gloria H.1

4. Messe "Kyrie Eleison," For Voices, Instruments & Continuo, H. 1: III. Credo H.1

Title: Deus Judicium Tuum Regi Da, Motet For 5 Voices, Instruments & Continuo, H. 166

5. Deus Judicium Tuum Regi Da, Motet For 5 Voices, Instruments & Continuo, H. 166: Precatio Pro Filio Regis H.166

Title: Messe "Kyrie Eleison," For Voices, Instruments & Continuo, H. 1

6. Messe "Kyrie Eleison," For Voices, Instruments & Continuo, H. 1: IV. Sanctus H.1

Title: Panis Quem Ego Dabo, Motet For 5 Voices, 2 Flutes & Continuo, H. 275

7. Panis Quem Ego Dabo, Motet For 5 Voices, 2 Flutes & Continuo, H. 275: Panis Quem Ego Dabo H. 275

Title: Messe "Kyrie Eleison," For Voices, Instruments & Continuo, H. 1

8. Messe "Kyrie Eleison," For Voices, Instruments & Continuo, H. 1: V. Agnus H.1

9. Messe "Kyrie Eleison," For Voices, Instruments & Continuo, H. 1: VI. Domine Salvum H.1

Title: Canticum Zachariae, Motet For 5 Voices, Chorus, 2 Treble Instruments & Continuo, H. 345

10. Canticum Zachariae, Motet For 5 Voices, Chorus, 2 Treble Instruments & Continuo, H. 345: Cantique De Zacharie: Benedictus H. 345

x

Track List: Charpentier: Te Deum; Messe de Minuit de Noël

Title: Te Deum, Motet For 8 Voices, Chorus & Orchestra, H. 146
Title: Messe De Minuit, For 5 Voices, Chorus, Instruments & Continuo, H. 9

Comments

Report as inappropriate
illyriarose
If he was born in 1643, then I believe the line in this bio In 1627, already known for his religious music, Charpentier agreed to provide incidental music for Molière's comedies, is incorrect.
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oldearth19.l h
Purely brilliant.
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By opening up, by a self-offerin g and self-dedicat i o n to the Divine Force, the Divine Shakti, our throat chakra opens up & is surrendered to the Divine for transformati o n . Ergo, as our head or crown chakra opens, ascent is followed by descent; consequently , our vital - physical - mental lower nature is gradually transformed, Supramentali s e d . In this Path of Purification greed, hatred, sloth, torpor are inexorably converted to profound love - faith - productivene s s - goodwill - creative harmony.
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‘The Kingdom of Love and Peace is beyond thought and beyond time. When at one with the One, we are transformed in Awareness into the cosmic realm from whence we came. This is the Truth of Zen. This is Nirvana. This is the Tao. This is Brahmic Splendor. This is Eternal Bliss. This is the Kingdom of Heaven — the Pearl of great price. This is the Promised Land. This is Paradise.’ ~ From the book: ‘The Christ is Not a Person: The Evolution of Consciousnes s and the Destiny of Man’ by J.C. Tefft
Report as inappropriate
INTEGRAL SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION::

•Animal Simple Consciousnes s

•Human Self-Conscio u s n e s s

•Cosmic Consciousnes s

•Essence/Pre s e n c e

This is getting to the core – unraveling the onion, the persona, the facade & tapping into Essence - Cosmic Consciousnes s evolutively. . .
When this occurs there is an awakening of consciousnes s

How does one become a butterfly? She asked pensively. You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar. -- Trina Paulu
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simply Exquisite, forget labels, genre, religion...
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charpentier- - - the xvii century is his private property
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the Pope is definitely fallible.. y/t - Mary, Queen of Nothing
Report as inappropriate
I have been a freethinker since I was 14. However, if religion of any sort has any merit, it provides a platform upon which artists can speak for all humanity. Hence, it is useful to embrace all the greatness that the world offers.
Report as inappropriate
Although I have no connection with Any religion and have no interest in the Catholic Church I enjoy charpentier' s music very much.
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...Time travel? Look at the description.
Report as inappropriate
chadstaten
Though I'm not Catholic, I LOVE Charpentier!
Report as inappropriate
A composer like this makes me even more appreciative of my Catholic faith....tru l y , one cannot separate faith and one's work. As Bono said at the Washington Prayer Breakfast in 2004 (quoting someone, but I don't remember who) "Don't ask God to bless YOUR work. Instead, busy yourself doing GOD'S work, for it is already blessed."

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