Print Shortlink

Charpentier, Marc-Antoine (1643-24th February 1704)

He was a Baroque composer born in or around Paris, France, with his father being a master scribe for influential French families.   His high standard of education was possibly through the assistance of Jesuits and when he reached eighteen he entered the Parisian law school.

He travelled to Rome in the late 1660s where he studied music with the Italian composer Giacomo Carissimi.  On his return to France it is thought he worked as house composer for Marie de Lorraine, Duchesse de Guise, and remained in her employ until her death in 1688.  During these years he would compose many religious works and also make mass settings.

Having to find new employment he went to work with Moliere after he and Jean-Baptise Lully had gone their separate ways and at the same time worked as a music teacher for Philippe, Duke of Chartres and Maitre de Musique at the Jesuit Church of St. Louis, Paris.

In 1698 he was appointed Maitre de Musique a la Sainte Chapelle and he would remain in this position until his death.

His many compositions include operas, a ballet, masses, oratorios, works for one or two voices or instruments which he termed “air a boire” which are similar to cantatas, a Te Deum, pastorals, Christmas and incidental theatre music.

In the modern day his works can be heard on many recordings and is featured in at least 10 movies and television programmes.

He died in Paris in 1704 when he was 60 years old.

Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella recordings
Leroy Anderson & His Orchestra
Decca B0003552-02 (CD: A Leroy Anderson Christmas)

Deborah Henson-Conant
Golden Cage (CD: The Gift)
Harp– Deborah Henson-Conant

Mannheim Steamroller
American Gramaphone Records AG 1984 (CD: Christmas)

Robert Shaw Chorale 
RCA 6429 – 2 – RG (CD: A Festival of Carols)
(Arrangers – Robert Shaw/Alice Parker)