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Marc-Antoine Charpentier
c.1634 - 1704
France
Picture Picture
M.A. Charpentier
Marc-Antoine Charpentier (c.1634 - 24/02/1704), a French composer (from Paris), who studied in Rome with Carissimi. On returning to France he was opposed by his Paris contemporary Lully, but nevertheless won considerable esteem. A prolific composer, he was more appreciated for his church music than his secular compositions. Charpentier was favoured by the Dauphin and the Jesuits who appointed him music master at their St. Louis church and later at the Sainte-Chappelle.
Marc-Antoine Charpentier wrote a lot of funeral music. A fine website to informe you about Charpentiers oeuvre is: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PRanum/funerals.html
Messe pour les trépassés à 8 - H 2
Period:Baroque
Composed in:1671c
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
This requiem is a concerted polychoral work modeled after those he had studied in Rome.
Author:John S. Powell
Messe pour les trépassés à 8 - H 2 with Dies irae H.12, Pie Jesu H.234, Motet pour les trépassés Miseremini mei H.311
Author:Frans van Wijck
'Requiem aeternam' and 'Et lux perpetuam' in Psaume 129 - H 156
Period:Baroque
Composed in:1672
Musical form:fragment
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Label(s):Erato 2292-45703-2
This setting of psalm 129 includes the requiem parts 'Requiem aeternam' and 'Et lux perpetuam'.
Author:John S. Powell
'Dies irae' in Prose des mortes - H 12
Period:Baroque
Composed in:1672c
Musical form:fragment
Text/libretto:Latin mass
This 'Dies irae' is an impressive polychoral setting; the opening section of which is based on the Gregorian sequence melody.
Author:John S. Powell
'Pie Jesu' - H 427
Period:Baroque
Composed in:1675c
Musical form:fragment
Text/libretto:Latin mass
In memory of:Mme Du Bois (?)
Two hypotheses can be proposed for this work:
1) The first goes as follows: Mme de Guise's little son died in March 1675, so this Pie Jesu cannot have been written for his funeral. But it could have been composed for his Bout de l'An. Actually, the child's funeral appears to have been conducted with little if any pomp, so we can just about rule out a re-use of the music written for his father and grandmother. In fact, since this child was a close cousin to the royal family, his funeral probably observed the same protocol as that observed after the death of Louis XIV's five-year-old daughter in 1672. The body lay in state for a day, surrounded by chanting priests. The next day it was embalmed and placed in a coffin, and the heart was placed in a silver or vermeil box. The body was then carried to its burial place and apparently was interred without the forty-day delay customary for high-ranking adults. Nor does the Guise child appear to have been given an elaborate Bout de l'An. In fact, I have found no mention of Mme de Guise's presence at Montmartre that day, not even in the correspondence of the gossipy Florentine agents! This would suggest that nothing special happened that day at Montmartre. Still, it would be surprising if Mme de Guise was not there, especially since she frequently went to see her sister, Mme de Toscane, who had recently returned from Florence and was a "prisoner" at Montmartre. Still, we should not rule out the possibility that this new Pie Jesu was composed specifically for the Guise singers and was intended for performance at a private Bout de l'An.
2) The second hypothesis goes as follows: Mme Du Bois died in May 1676, so Charpentier wrote a Pie Jesu to be performed by the Guise ensemble at her funeral service.
Author:John S. Powell
Messe des morts à 4 voix et symphonie H.10
Period:Baroque
Composed in:1695c
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Duration:ca.30'
In memory of:Maréchal Duc de Luxembourg
Label(s):Hungaroton HCD 322352
In Messe des morts à 4 voix et symphonie (H.10), the third mass for the dead, the orchestra occupies an all-important position, whether introducing or accompanying the vocal parts. There are interesting reminiscences of earlier works, such as the expressive ascending minor sixth in the prelude of the Kyrie, a characteristic of the De profundis (H.189) of 1683, or, at the start of the Christe, the first measures of the Magnificat à 3 voix (H.73), even though the imitation is on the fourth, ot on the octave, and on a different beaat. The Pie Jesu for two dessus, a marvel of religious fervor and vocal grace, recalls the opening of the mass by repeating the ascending minor sixth.
In the "Dies irae", the principal section of the mass, the full orchestra (strings, flutes, and oboes) aquires a truly dramatic role when introducing the powerful chorus Tuba mirum" with a sumtuous fanfare. If this "Dies irae" lacks the opulence and expressive force of Prose des morts (H.12), it nevertheless deserves our attention for the diversity of its textures, for its imaginative word-painting ("cum resurget", "quidquid latet", "voca me", and "lacrymosa"), as well as for certain harmonic strokes, like the bold anticipation of B-flat on "tantus labor" or the highly expressive cjromatic line in the first flute during the orchestral introduction to"Oro supplex".
This requiem contains:
- Kyrie
- Dies irae
- Sanctus
- Benedictus
- Agnus Dei
- Pie Jesu H.269
Author:Catherine Cessac / Traduction: E. Thomas Glasow, (c) 1995 Amadeus Press, Portland, Oregon
Contributor:Frans van Wijck
Messe des morts H 7
Period:Baroque
Composed in:1698c
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Duration:ca.24'
Label(s):Naxos 8.553173
This requiem is for four voices and is written between 1688 and 1698. Like his contemporaries, Charpentier composed a large number of motets for the Elevation of the Host, to be sung between the 'Sanctus' and the 'Benedictus'. In spite of its exceptional length, the Transfige, dulcissime Jesu keeps nevertheless, the intimate and devotional mood necessary for such a piece, something that can be heard again in the 'Pie Jesu' of the Messe des morts. This mass ends with the very fine psalm De Profundis (psalm 130), described in the French psalter as an example of how pardon should be sought from God for one's sins followed by the 'Requiem Aeternam', the first words of which are announced by voices in the lower register, in notes of long value and in a sombre mood, almost motionless. After the surprising dissonance underlining certain passages ("iniquitatibus ejus" and "requiem aeternam"), the 'Lux aeterna' affirms in solid counterpoint the promise of eternity.
This requiem contains:
- Kyrie
- Sanctus
- Pie Jesu
- Agnus Dei
- De profundis
Author:Cathérine Cessac. Translation: Keith Anderson