Messe et Te Deum à huit voix by Marc-Antoine Charpentier

With Glossa
Distribution Harmonia Mundi

Release May 2006

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Messe & Te Deum à huit voix

Messe à 8 voix et 8 violons et flûtes (H.3)
(Score from the Centre de Musique baroque de Versailles)

Te Deum à 8 voix avec flûtes et violons (H.145)
(Score from Le Concert Spirituel)

Stéphanie Revidat, Hanna Bayodi, soprano
François-Nicolas Geslot, Anders J. Dahlin, haute-contre
Emiliano Gonzalez-Toro, Sébastien Droy, taille
Benoît Arnould, Renaud Delaigue, basse

Le Concert Spirituel, choir and orchestra
Hervé Niquet, conductor

Recorded iat Église Notre Dame du Liban (Paris) in September 2005
Engineered Manuel Mohino and produced by Dominique Daigremont

Towards 1670 Marc-Antoine Charpentier returned from Rome following a sojourn of more or less five years, his ears and mind brimming with ultramontane music and culture. No sooner did he come back to Paris, where he was born in 1643 and where his skills arrived ahead of him, than Charpentier found considerable support amongst advocates of the Italian aesthetic who were themselves in contact with the leading centres of learning in Rome.

For a decade or so after his arrival in Paris, Charpentier was a regular contributor to the Saint-Louis Jesuits, who commissioned him to produce great two-choir compositions including the Mass for 8 voices and 8 violins and flutes [H.3] and the Te Deum for 8 voices with flutes and violins [H.145], which figure amongst the composer’s most impressive and lavish works.

These masterly works of his youth, bearing out highly skilful composition, convey the foundations of a musical language that was already very agile and personal, a language that was to assert itself in the course of the composer’s career and mark his contemporaries. Composers in his wake, such as Michel-Richard de Lalande and Henry Desmarest, even went so far as to incorporate the double Italian choir with two orchestras into the quintessentially French genre of the great motet.