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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: 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: Noëls and Christmas Motets

x

Track List: Charpentier: Sacred Music Volume 4

Title: Quatre Antiennes A La Vierge
Title: La Prière À La Vierge Du Père Bernard, Motet For 3 Voices, Chorus, 2 Treble Instruments & Continuo, H. 367
Title: Litanies De La Vierge, Motet For 6 Voices, Chorus, 2 Dessus De Violes & Continuo, H. 83
Title: Magnificat, Motet For 3 Voices, Chorus & Continuo, H. 76
Title: Pro Omnibus Festis B.V.M., Motet For 6 Voices, Chorus, Instruments & Continuo, H. 333
Title: Regina Coeli, Motet For 3 Voices & Continuo, H. 30
Title: Chant Joyeux Du Temps De Pâques, Motet For 6 Voices, Chorus, Strings & Contiunuo, H. 339
x

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

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

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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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Sooooooooooo o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
VERY BEAUTIFUL... . . . . . . . . . : - D =-O :-) =-O :-D
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the Pope is definitely fallible.. y/t - Mary, Queen of Nothing
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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.
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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.
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chadstaten
Though I'm not Catholic, I LOVE Charpentier!
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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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