Charpentier: Messe de Minuit pour Noël; Te Deum

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
There are recordings, notably those by American-French conductor William Christie, that capture the sumptuous quality of Marc-Antoine Charpentier's choral music better than this one does, but this release by Canada's Aradia Ensemble is nevertheless worth considering. Its pairing of the splendid "Te Deum" and the uniquely folk-like "Messe de Minuit pour Noël" Midnight Mass is attractive, for one thing. And the performance of the Messe de Minuit, which was popular long before Charpentier's name or even Vivaldi's was well known, is an unusual one. Relying on a tradition of interpolating regional popular carols into the mass, the Aradia Ensemble and conductor Kevin Mallon ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
There are recordings, notably those by American-French conductor William Christie, that capture the sumptuous quality of Marc-Antoine Charpentier's choral music better than this one does, but this release by Canada's Aradia Ensemble is nevertheless worth considering. Its pairing of the splendid "Te Deum" and the uniquely folk-like "Messe de Minuit pour Noël" Midnight Mass is attractive, for one thing. And the performance of the Messe de Minuit, which was popular long before Charpentier's name or even Vivaldi's was well known, is an unusual one. Relying on a tradition of interpolating regional popular carols into the mass, the Aradia Ensemble and conductor Kevin Mallon select, among other pieces, a carol in the Native Canadian Huron language, known in Canada simply as the "Huron carol." Its text is a fascinating mix of Christian and Native American concepts. The carols are underlaid by organ pedal points. The performance of the entire mass has a zippy lightness, and it may be that this performance comes close to the spirit of what Charpentier's audiences would have expected. The recording is not uniformly successful: the same light approach applied to the "Te Deum" fails to bear out the assertion of musical territory announced by the wonderful percussion passage at the beginning, and the soloists are not of the caliber that would have been heard at the great Parisian churches where Charpentier worked. In some passages they get lost in the airy but not very precise acoustic environment of Toronto's Grace Church on the Hill. Still, the distinctive qualities of this album definitely outweigh any faults one may find.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/13/2005
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313105465
  • Catalog Number: 6110054

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Te Deum, motet for 8 voices, chorus & orchestra, H. 146 - Marc-Antoine Charpentier & Kevin Mallon (22:07)
  2. 2 Dixit Dominus, motet for 4 voices, chorus & orchestra, H. 204 - Marc-Antoine Charpentier & Kevin Mallon (8:58)
  3. 3–8 Messe de minuit, for 5 voices, chorus, instruments & continuo, H. 9 - Marc-Antoine Charpentier & Kevin Mallon (28:45)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kevin Mallon Primary Artist
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