MARC-ANTOINE CHARPENTIER: Pastorale sur la naissance de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ (Pastoral on the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ), H. 482 (1684) 40 '
MARC-ANTOINE CHARPENTIER: Messe de Minuit (Midnight Mass), H. 9 (ca. 1694) 30 '
It may be because of Jean-Baptiste Lully’s dominance and near-monopoly of music affairs at the court of Louis XIV that Marc-Antoine Charpentier immersed himself so deeply in the composition of sacred music. In addition, the works written on the subject of the Nativity and the pastoral context around it stand out in this part of his repertoire (it is worth mentioning that this is a key theme in French baroque music).
The great Pastorale sur la naissance de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ H. 482 (Pastoral on the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ), whose singing fluctuates in character between the sacred and the profane, innocence and seriousness, is an archetypical example of this. Leaving aside the Te Deum, the Messe de minuit pour Noël H.9 (Midnight Mass for Christmas) is Charpentier’s most famous work. In this work for choir, soloists, flutes, strings and continuo, the standard words of the Mass are set to up to ten popular Christmas tunes (in the style of the Renaissance parody mass) that afford it a casual and pastoral general quality.
Jeanne Lefort, María Cristina Kiehr, Lise Viricel, sopranos
Gabriel Díaz, countertenor
Victor Sordo, tenor / haute-contre
Mauro Borgioni, baritone
Christian Immler, bass