|Death: ||Feb. 24, 1704|
Composer. He is considered France's outstanding 17th Century creator of religious music. His "Te Deum" (1690) and "Missa Assumpta est Maria" (1702) are enduring masterpieces of the High Baroque era. Charpentier was born in Paris. His parents wanted him to become a lawyer but in 1667 he went to Rome to study music with Giacomo Carissimi, who found him an excellent pupil. Upon his return he was hired by Moliere to write incidental music for his plays, beginning with "Les Facheux" (1672). This aroused the jealousy of Jean-Baptiste Lully, Moliere's former collaborator and the most powerful musician in France, who then stymied Charpentier's hopes of winning a place at the court of Louis XVI. He settled for lesser employment as house composer to the Duchesse de Guise and at the Parisian Church of St. Louis, and continued writing for the stage, though none of his six operas was successful; only one, "Medee" (1693), survives. Not until 1698 was he given an important post, as music director of the King's private chapel, La Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. He died six years later, having produced some of his greatest music for that church. Like the Italian-born Lully, Charpentier infused French music with the warm sensuality of the Neopolitan manner. His theatre music, particularly the overtures and dances, is robust and lively without losing its poise. The sacred pieces show him working on a higher level of inspiration, achieving depths of passion and profundity few contemporary composers approached. Over 500 of his opuses are extant, among them the incidental music to Moliere's "The Hypochondriac" (1673), the ballet "Polyeucte" (1679), the oratorio "David et Jonathas" (1688), a Christmas Mass, a Magnificat, and many cantatas, hymns, Psalm settings. (bio by: Bobb Edwards)
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Sep 14, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21556447
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