Charpentier, Marc Antoine
CHARPENTIER, MARC ANTOINE
Baroque composer noted for his oratorios; b. Paris, c. 1634; d. Paris, Feb. 24, 1704. He was a versatile and artistic man who had intended to become a painter, but he studied music in Italy with carissimi and became the leader of the Italian camp in the war between French and Italian tastes. His career included posts with the Princesse de Guise and the Duc d'Orléans (later regent), then at the Jesuit College, and finally, in 1698, at Sainte-Chapelle.
A fecund composer, Charpentier produced both sacred and secular forms, including Masses, motets, Leçons de ténèbres, a Magnificat, a Te Deum, cantatas, many theater works (an opera, Medée, was produced in Paris in 1693), songs, and occasional pieces, in addition to the two dozen oratorios (Histoires sacrées ), of which La Reniement de St. Pierre (The Denial of St. Peter) is best known. Although the grand motet was to become the great form of the "spiritual concerts" of the next century, the motets of M. R. de Lalande, J. J. de Mondonville, and others owe much to Charpentier's oratorios, works of rare delineation and power.
Bibliography: p. pineau, ed., Musique d'Église des XVII e et XVIII e siècles, ser. A. of Repertoire de musique religieuse et spirituelle, ed. h. expert (Paris 1913). c. crussard, Un Musicien français oublié, Marc-Antoine Charpentier (Paris 1945). r. w. lowe, L'Oeuvre dramatique de Marc-Antoine Charpentier (Paris 1964). h. w. hitchcock, The Latin Oratorios of Marc Antoine Charpentier (Doctoral diss. microfilm; University of Michigan 1954); "The Latin Oratorios," Musical Quarterly 41 (1955) 41–65. Histoire de la musique, ed. roland-manuel, 2 v. (Paris 1960–63) v. 1; v. 9, 16 of Encyclopédie de la Pléiade. c. stainer et al., Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. e. blom, 9 v. (5th ed. London 1954) 2:187–189. j. duron, "Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Mors Saülis et Jonathae-David et Jonathas, de l'histoire sacrée à l'opéra biblique," Revue de Musicologie, 77 (1991) 221–268. w. h. hitchcock, "Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Mémoire and Index," Recherches sur la Musique française classique, 23 (1985) 5–44; Marc-Antoine Charpentier (Oxford 1990). d. oglesby, "Marc-Antoine Charpentier," in International Dictionary of Opera, ed. c. s. larue 2 v. (Detroit 1993) 241–243. j. s. powell, "La Sérénade pour Le Sicilien de M. A. Charpentier et le crépuscule de la comédieballet," Revue de Musicologie, 77 (1991) 88–96. g. sadler and s. thompson, "Marc-Antoine Charpentier and the Basse Continue," Basler Jahrbuch für Historische Musikpraxis, 18 (1994) 31–45.