In Memoriam Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Presented by the Institute of Sacred Music
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
121 Wall Street, New Haven
Free and open to the public, tickets not required.
The Yale Schola Cantorum, under the direction of Simon Carrington, will present works of 17th century French composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier in a concert on Wednesday, February 25, at 8 pm at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in New Haven (121 Wall St.). The concert marks the 300th anniversary of the composer’s death on February 24, 1704. The Yale Collegium Players, under the direction of Robert Mealy, will also perform. Soloists will be Jay Carter, haute-contre; Charles Kamm, tenor; Richard Lalli, baritone; and members of Schola Cantorum.
Charpentier (1643-1704), recognized today as one of the leading composers of his time, wrote over 500 works of exceptional beauty, variety and craftsmanship. He likely spent his formative years during the 1660s in Italy where he became familiar with the music of Italian composers such as Carissimi, which had a profound and long-lasting influence on Charpentier’s stylistic development, particularly in his treatment of text and in his often audacious harmonic writing. Under the patronage for many years of the wealthy and influential Guise family, Charpentier provided both sacred and secular music for their household use, and composed music for religious establishments frequented by the Guise princesses. He later served as Maître de Musique at two churches, including the prestigious appointment at Sainte-Chapelle, which he held until his death.
The concert by the Yale Schola Cantorum features sacred choral and instrumental music from throughout Charpentier’s career, and highlights the extraordinary breadth of feeling and diversity of style found in the rich repertoire of this great and sometimes overlooked composer. The program includes the mini-oratorio (in Latin) Le Reniement de St. Pierre, which describes Peter’s threefold denial of Christ, and whose concluding weeping chorus, after the cock crows, has been described as one of the most hauntingly beautiful pieces in all choral music.
Dr. Jane Gosine, a leading Charpentier scholar from Memorial University, Newfoundland (Canada) will present a pre-concert talk at 7:30 pm at the Beinecke.