The prolific and versatile French Baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier was born in or near Paris in 1643. He studied in Rome with Giacomo Carissimi. Charpentier, who worked as a house composer for Marie de Lorraine, duchesse de Guise, and then later for the Jesuits, was especially praised for his sacred vocal music.
He wrote oratorios, masses, operas and many smaller pieces, and is possibly best known for the prelude to his Te Deum, his Messe de minuit pour noël of approximately 1690, and for the mass Assumpta Est Maria.
Charpentier also analysed other composers' harmony, and wrote a manual for musical training. His own music is fascinating as he was writing at a time of transition near the start of the Baroque period.
Marc-Antoine Charpentier died at Sainte-Chapelle, Paris, on 24 February 1704.
Ensemble. A Triumph - Roderic Dunnett listens to two one-act operas
CD Spotlight. An Interesting History - Gerald Fenech listens to Marc-Antoine Charpentier's 'Le Malade Imaginaire'. 'William Christie and his Arts Florissants offer an interpretation that sparkles with a musical originality ...'
CD Spotlight. An Exquisite Compilation - A selection of popular orchestral music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Spiritedly performed and superbly recorded ...'
CD Spotlight. Breathtaking Depth - Sacred music in seventeenth century Rome, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... performances of celestial beauty ...'
CD Spotlight. Consummate Skill - William Christie's Les Arts Florissants, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... each piece comes to life with inimitable charm and grace.'
CD Spotlight. Something for Everyone - Christmas favourites from Alabama, heard by Keith Bramich. '... a varied and appealing programme ...'
DVD Spotlight. Dignity and Impudence - A recital on Exeter Cathedral's organ, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... Millington on fine form ...'