The few years spent in Italy in his youth to perfect his musical studies left a lasting impression on Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s sensibility. In the Rome of 1665, one could hear music that was demonstrative, colorful and profound.
Returning to France in 1669, after having immersed himself for several years in Italian music in all its diversity, Marc-Antoine Charpentier moved away from the King’s music, and entered the service of the very religious Mademoiselle de Guise for twenty years. However, he was nonetheless much appreciated by Louis XIV and tried to become the assistant master of the Chapel: suspecting the methods in force and the influence games for this eminently coveted position, he finally called in sick. It is far from the spheres of power, but nevertheless to its glorification, that he composes the very famous Te Deum H146, most probably written to celebrate the Victory of Steinkerque of 1692. This powerful fresco, whose prelude opens with the martial rhythms of timpani and trumpets, symbolizes in itself the Great Century of the arts, but also of the conquests of Louis XIV.
The Te Deum is one of Charpentier’s great sacred works, with a considerable number of soloists, mixed choir, string orchestra, wind instruments and organ.
Valentin Tournet, direction