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Charpentier: Messe De Minuit, Noëls / Les Arts Florissants


Release Date: 10/16/2001 
Label:  Erato   Catalog #: 85820   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  Cyril AuvityBertrand ChuberreFrançois BazolaValérie Rio,   ... 
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

You'd think that Marc-Antoine Charpentier's "Midnight Mass", in which the composer ingeniously incorporates 11 carol melodies into the work's liturgical context, would be far more popular as a choice for Christmas performances both in churches and in concert. Its economical scoring for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, and its very attractive sonorities and relatively undemanding technical requirements make it not only extremely listener-friendly, but invite performance by a wide range of singers and instrumental ensembles. It's a charming work--and a very effective one that engages its musical and textual forces to maximum impact. On this recording, the performers insert several of Charpentier's "Noëls sur les Read more instruments" among the vocal/choral sections, a nice touch that gives us an opportunity to enjoy these delightful little orchestral carol arrangements from the period. I have to admit that this cleanly articulated, rhythmically vibrant, and luminously recorded version from William Christie and his Les Arts Florissants rivals my previously most favored reading from George Guest and the Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge (Chandos) from 1988, which seems to be no longer available.


However, the thing that really sells this disc is the inclusion of one of Charpentier's Christmas oratorios, In Nativitatem Domino Canticum. Again, it's puzzling as to why such works aren't more often presented: no, it's not Messiah or Bach's Christmas Oratorio, but it's full of wonderful music--great tunes, colorful orchestration, lovely choral sections--that never falters in its presentation of the story that focuses on the angels' annunciation followed by the awakening and journey of shepherds to Bethlehem. Christie and his reliable vocal and instrumental collaborators really capture the alluring, enchanting atmosphere inherent in these scores, features that remind us how perfectly Charpentier reflected the elegant simplicity of his subject. [11/16/2001]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Messe de minuit pour Noël, H 9 by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  Cyril Auvity (Countertenor), Bertrand Chuberre (Bass), François Bazola (Bass),
Valérie Rio (Soprano), Laurent Slaars (Tenor), Anne-Marie Jacquin (Soprano),
Jean-François Lombard (Countertenor), Nicola Wemyss (Soprano), Thibaut Lenaerts (Countertenor),
Jean-Yves Ravoux (Tenor)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa ?1690; France 
Date of Recording: 12/2000 
Venue:  Grande Salle, Cité de la Musique, Paris 
Length: 23 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
2.
Noëls pour les instruments, H 534: no 1, A la venue de Noël by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Date of Recording: 12/2000 
Venue:  Grande Salle, Cité de la Musique, Paris 
Length: 1 Minutes 23 Secs. 
3.
Noëls pour les instruments, H 534: no 3, Joseph est bien marié by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Date of Recording: 12/2000 
Venue:  Grande Salle, Cité de la Musique, Paris 
Length: 1 Minutes 43 Secs. 
4.
Noëls pour les instruments, H 534: no 4, Or nous dites, Marie by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Date of Recording: 12/2000 
Venue:  Grande Salle, Cité de la Musique, Paris 
Length: 1 Minutes 18 Secs. 
5.
Noëls pour les instruments, H 534: no 6, Une jeune pucelle by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Date of Recording: 12/2000 
Venue:  Grande Salle, Cité de la Musique, Paris 
Length: 1 Minutes 22 Secs. 
6.
In nativitatum Domini canticum, H 416 "Usquequo avertis" by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  François Bazola (Bass), Jean-Yves Ravoux (Tenor), Jean-François Lombard (Countertenor),
Laurent Slaars (Tenor), Cyril Auvity (Countertenor), Bertrand Chuberre (Bass)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa ?1685 
Date of Recording: 12/2000 
Venue:  Grande Salle, Cité de la Musique, Paris 
Length: 27 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: Latin 

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