M-A Charpentier: Vespres à la Vierge

COMPOSERS: M-A Charpentier
LABELS: Naxos
WORKS: Vespres à la Vierge
PERFORMER: Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé Niquet
CATALOGUE NO: 8.553174 DDD
Marc-Antoine Charpentier (d1704) was keen on religion. This lively but slightly raw recording collects together his finest pieces for the late afternoon service of Vespers. Beatus vir comes as a shock with its manic declamation of ‘he shall gnash with his teeth’, but Laudate pueri exults and soothes. Salve regina is the musical highpoint, with a simply breathtaking purple passage of harmony at ‘Ad te suspiramus’. The version here, in its control but not its pliancy, surpasses the earlier one by Michel Corboz (Erato). Anthony Pryer

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