Charpentier’s Pilgrimage in Italy

Polyphonic spatialized masses


It is probably in Italy that the young Marc-Antoine Charpentier discovers polychorality, a technic dear to the italian composers and still rare in France around 1665. Charpentier comes back from Rome with manuscript of a polychoral mass from Beretta which he copied himself. He will compose himself a polychoral mass years after when he returned in France : a french exception in the global musical landscape of these years.

Between Rome and Paris, Charpentier made a long route : this programme recreates or reimagines this journey through Cremona where Tarquinio Merula, inheritor of the great Renaissance style, officiates until Venice where he surely heard music from the most famous italian composer of this era, Cavalli. And in between, Bologna where he probably met Cazzati, one of the masters of the Red City.

After few years of musical immersion in Italy, Charpentier returns in France : did he traveled through Ferrara on his way back, where Giovanni Legrenzi is Master of the Chapel and whose music spreads in France precisely few years after Charpentier is back ? In 1669, we can imagine that Charpentier has in mind all the music he heard from his italian pilgrimage when he composes his four choirs mass.


Marc-Antoine Charpentier Sub tuum praesidium

Tarquinio Merula Credidi

BOLOGNA | 4 ottobre a San Petronio
Maurizio Cazzati Motet pour San Petronio

Orazio Tarditi Iste confessor

Francesco Cavalli Sonate à 12 & Magnificat

Francesco Beretta Messe à 4 chœurs
Orazio Benevoli Crucifixus
Cristofaro Caresana Sonate à 8

Giovanni Legrenzi Dies Ira, Oro suplex & Pie Jesu
Marc-Antoine Charpentier Messe à 4 chœurs

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