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Program Notes Charpentier

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704) was one of the most important composers of the French Baroque period. He was born in Paris and studied music with his father, a choirmaster. He later went to Rome to study with Giacomo Carissimi, one of the leading composers of Italian Baroque opera.

Charpentier returned to Paris in 1663 and quickly established himself as a leading composer of sacred music. He wrote over 100 motets, as well as several large-scale works for choir and orchestra, including the Te Deum and the Messe de Minuit. He also wrote a number of operas, including Médée and Actéon.

Charpentier's music is characterized by its expressive melodies, its rich harmonies, and its dramatic use of rhythm and counterpoint. He was a master of combining French and Italian musical styles, and his music helped to shape the development of French Baroque opera.

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