Charpentier and his Roman masters

A precursor in terms of style, form and harmony, Charpentier returned to Paris at the end of the 1660s, imbued with a thousand riches collected in Italy during five years of concerts, meetings and discussions. In perpetual research, Charpentier thus brought to 17th century France a new breath of fresh air, an exciting inventiveness, a taste for spices from elsewhere. Starting with the very first work preserved in his famous Mélanges, one of the first leçons de ténèbres composed in France, this program reconstructs an imaginary liturgy from this nocturnal lamentation to the daybreak service.

This concert presents a concentration of the different moments of the Office of Darkness, from Matins to Lauds and at daybreak, symbolizing the resurrection. Three excerpts from Charpentier’s Leçons de Ténèbres answer the music of his Roman masters: a responsorial and a Magnificat composed by Bonifacio Graziani in the year Charpentier arrived in Rome. Charpentier certainly heard these pieces at Saint-Louis des Français where Graziani was Master of the Chapel. And finally Carissimi, Charpentier’s teacher during his stay in Rome. Gathered in the same concert, these pieces highlight Charpentier’s musical universe before he started his own production on his return to France and illustrate the path from the Passion to the Resurrection.


Marc-Antoine Charpentier · De Profundis H.156
Marc-Antoine Charpentier · Tenebrae Factae Sunt H.129
Marc-Antoine Charpentier · Desolatione Desolata Est H.380
Marc-Antoine Charpentier · 1è Leçon du vendredy saint H.91
Bonifacio Graziani · Repons de la Semaine Sainte, Rome 1664
Francesco Cavalli · Canzon a 10
Marc-Antoine Charpentier · O vos Omnes H.134
Marc-Antoine Charpentier · Jerusalem Surge H.130
Marc-Antoine Charpentier · Velum Templi H.128
Marc-Antoine Charpentier · Stabat Mater

Marc-Antoine Charpentier · Motet pour les Trépasssés
Plain-chant · O Mors
Alessandro Melani · Miserere a 8
Giacomo Carissimi · Christus Factus Est
Marc-Antoine Charpentier · O Oriens splendor lucis aeternae
Alessandro Melani · Litanie per la Sa vergine a 9 voci