Meditations pour le Careme

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Program: #05-16, Air Date: 04/11/05

All of the music on this program is from a live concert given at the Holland Festival of Early Music at Utrecht 2004 featuring the Ensemble Pierre Robert conducted by Frederic Desenclos.


As Albert Edelman wrote in the introductory text:

With all the attention going out to Biber because of the 300th anniversary of his death, Ensemble Pierre Robert focuses on Marc-Antoine Charpentier, who also died three centuries ago. After his death Charpentier’s music sank into oblivion and was not rediscovered until the twentieth century. During his lifetime Charpentier was very popular with a select group. On this programme he is accompanied by an unknown contemporary, Daniel Danielis, a Fleming who for most of his life was a music master at the cathedral in Vannes. Danielis’ music was not published during his lifetime, but surprisingly a number of his compositions can be found in various manuscripts, such as the collection Caeleste Convivium, compiled by Sébastian de Brossard. With modest means - only three voices and basso continuo - Danielis succeeds in setting the most wonderful texts for the Last Supper to music in an extremely effective manner. In an unusually rich language - his poems are unique even for the very devotional style of those days - the poet invites us to the Last Supper, stimulating all of the senses. While Danielis’ texts are rejoicing, the subject of Charpentier’s Méditations sur le Carême (Reflections for Lent) is reserved and reflective. We do not know whether Charpentier wrote his Méditations sur le Carême for a church service, neither do we know exactly when the pieces were composed. The listener is guided past a number of edifying examples, starting with the destroyed Jerusalem, the main part consisting of scenes from the last days of Jesus’ life. The reflections conclude with the story of Abraham and Isaac: trust in God will bring salvation. However, the text ends just when God is about to intervene in the awful offering. The dark days before Easter are not over yet...

Broadcast of this program is made possible with the generous support of RNW, Radio Netherlands World Service.

1.Marc-Antoine Charpentier 1643-1704
Méditations pour le Carême

2.Daniel Danielis 1635-1696
Propter nimiam charitatem
Ornate aras
Ad fontes amoris

Composer Info

Marc-Antoine Charpentier 1643-1704, Daniel Danielis 1635-1696