Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 – 1704): Messe de minuit pour Noël (Mass for the First Mass of Christmas)

Charpentier wrote his Messe de minuit pour Noël (Mass for the First Mass of Christmas|Christmas Midnight Mass) sometime in the early 1690s. It was written for Christmas midnight Mass in the main Jesuit church in Paris and combines traditional French carols with Italianate contrapuntal writing. Each section of the Mass is based upon a different carol melody:

  • Joseph est bien marié → Kyrie
  • Or nous dites. Marie → Christe
  • Une jeune pucelle →last Kyrie
  • Les bourgeois de Châtre & Ou s’en vont ces gais bergers →Gloria
  • Vous qui désirez sans fin, Voici le jour solennel de Noël, & A la venue de Noël → Credo
  • O Dieu, que n’étois-je en vie →Sanctus
  • A minuit fut fait un réveil →Agnus dei. 

It’s a charming and cheerful piece of music – surprisingly relaxing, that’s characterised by alternation between the soloists and the choir and some very subtle instrumental accompaniment. Enjoy  :-).

mfi


Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 – 1704): Messe de minuit pour Noël (Mass for the First Mass of Christmas)



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