MP3 New Trinity Baroque, The Canterbury Choir, dir. Predrag Gosta - Charpentier: "Messe de Minuit" / Handel: Organ Concertos
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CLASSICAL: Traditional, CLASSICAL: Orchestral
Marc-Antoine Charpentier composed his "Messe de Minuit" around 1694 for a Christmas Midnight Mass celebration at the Jesuit Church of St. Louis in Paris, where he held a post of matre de musique. He adapted eleven French noels to fit the sacred text of the Messe, following the custom of singing folk-song-like Christmas carols during the celebration of the Midnight Mass in France, which dates from the 16th century. The use of Noels in French music was also a regular practice in the organ repertoire.
Charpentier has already composed instrumental carols, pastorales and oratorios on Christmas themes, but the idea of basing the whole Mass on French carols was something new. The use of music of profane origin (such as Christmas carols) with sacred texts puts "Messe de Minuit" in the genre of the parody mass.
Charpentier also composed new material which he combined with the folk-song-like carols (e.g. "Et in terra pax" in "Gloria," and "Et incarnatus est" in "Credo"). Vocal-instrumental parts often alternate with solo organ pieces (e.g. in "Kyrie"). The noels for organ, which are performed between the Kyrie movements, were composed by Andre Raison who was the organist at the Church of St. Louis at the time when Charpentier held the post of music director. Charpentier also notes in the score that instrumental music should be performed during the Offertory. He suggests which music to use, but he leaves to the performer the final choice. Francois Couperin's "Offertoire sur les grands jeux," which takes a prominent place in his 1690's Mass for the Parishes, is an ideal choice.
Handel composed his organ concertos to be performed in the intermissions of his operas. They are compiled in opp. 4 and 7, each one containing six concertos, three more published independently. "The Cuckoo and the Nightingale" is one of the most popular, called so because of its second movement which imitates a dialogue between the cuckoo and the nightingale. The other two concertos are examples of Handel's artistry to adapt and combine: the last movement of his Concerto in g minor is based on the movement from Georg Muffat's Second Sonata in g minor from "Armonico Tributo" (published in 1682). Several other movements are based on music from Handel's other works, adapted for organ and orchestra. (Predrag Gosta)
About the Ensemble:
New Trinity Baroque is recognized as one of USA's leading baroque orchestras and early music ensembles. Founded in London in 1998, the group was initially established as an ensemble of international musicians, and since then it continues to maintain this presence through working closely with both U.S. and international artists. Led by the young conductor and harpsichordist, Predrag Gosta, the ensemble's home base is Atlanta, where it continues its mission by presenting over 30 concerts and educational events each season. The members of the ensemble perform on period instruments, specializing in music of the 17th and 18th centuries. The group's performances range from chamber to orchestral, from cantatas to operas, and its styles from Renaissance to Classical. Its concerts were presented in many cities throughout the USA and Europe, including New York, Boston, London and Belgrade.
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