Sofia Gubaidulina, composer

Sofia Gubaidulina, composer
Sofia Gubaidulina

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Te Deum – Seraphic Fire, The Sebastians, Patrick Dupré Quigley

Charpentier's Te Deum, written in the royal orbit of Louis XIV, is a marvelous work, not only for its blaze-of-glory majestics, but its solo and ensemble sections. Countertenor Reginald Mobley and tenor Stephen Soph sang a lovely "Te per orbem terrarium", and bass James Bass, and sopranos Jolle Greenleaf and Molly Quinn rendered a tenderly pretty "Fiat misericordia tua". But what made the whole thing stand out was its thorough understanding of the French Baroque idiom. This was a Charpentier Te Deum that sounded natural and fluent. Not once did it sound labored or under academic supervision. It ebbed and flowed, clicked and purred like an elegant machine, illuminating its beseeching text with directness and humanity but at the same time sparing no sonic expense to bring out its regal splendor.


Marc-Antoine Charpentier composed his grand polyphonic motet Te Deum in D major, H.146, between 1688 and 1698, during his stay at the Jesuit Church of Saint-Louis in Paris, where he was musical director. The work is written for the group of soloists, choir, and instrumental accompaniment. Charpentier authored six Te Deum settings, although only four of them have survived. The instrumental introduction, composed in the form of rondo, precedes the first verset, led by the bass soloist. The choir and other soloists join gradually. Charpentier apparently intended to orchestrate the work according to the traditional exegesis of the Latin text. The choir thus predominates in the first part (praise of God, heavenly dimension), and individual soloists in the second part (Christological section, secular dimension). The composition is scored for five soloists (SSATB) and choir (SATB), accompanied with an instrumental ensemble of 2 flutes or recorders, 2 oboes, 2 trumpets, timpani, 2 violins (2 violins for the bass solo "Te deum laudamus"), 2 violas, and basso continuo. After the work's rediscovery in 1953 by Carl de Nys, the instrumental prelude was chosen as the theme music preceding the broadcasts of the European Broadcasting Union. After over sixty years of use notably before the Eurovision Song Contest, the prelude, as arranged and directed by Louis Martini and Guy Lambert, has become Charpentier's best-known work.


Το Te Deum του Μαρκ-Αντουάν Σαρπαντιέ, το οποίο γράφτηκε μεταξύ των ετών 1688 and 1698, ανακαλύφθηκε εκ νέου το 1953 από τον Βέλγο μουσικολόγο Carl de Nys (1917-1996). Το έργο έγινε πολύ γνωστό όταν, το 1954, το πρώτο μέρος του (Prélude) επιλέχθηκε ως βασικό θέμα στις μεταδόσεις της EBU (European Broadcasting Union). Πρόκειται για ένα μεγάλο πολυφωνικό μοτέτο σε Ρε μείζονα, γραμμένο για πέντε σολίστ (δύο σοπράνο, άλτο, τενόρο και μπάσο), τετραμερή χορωδία και ορχηστρικό σύνολο αποτελούμενο από δύο φλάουτα, δύο όμποε, δύο τρομπέτες, τύμπανο, βιολιά, δύο βιόλες και μπάσο κοντίνουο το οποίο εκτελείται από τσέλο και εκκλησιαστικό όργανο αλλά μπορεί να ενισχυθεί και από τσέμπαλο, θεόρβη, μπάσα φλογέρα ή φαγκότο.

Το έργο ξεκινά με ένα θριαμβικό πρελούδιο. Η μελωδική φράση στο Te Deum laudamus αποτελείται από μία μπάσα αφήγηση, ενώ ακολουθεί μια πομπώδης διπλή χορωδία που οδηγεί στην προσευχή Te aeternum Patrem, όπου υπάρχει μίμηση των σολιστικών φωνών. Τόσο το στοχαστικό Te ergo quaedumus για σόλο σοπράνο, όσο και το Dignare, Domine, για σοπράνο και μπάσο, έχουν έντονες λυρικές στιγμές που προλειαίνουν το έδαφος για το πομπώδες φινάλε In te, Domine, speravi, για άλτο, τενόρο, μπάσο και χορωδία.

Ο Μαρκ-Αντουάν Σαρπαντιέ έζησε από το 1645 μέχρι το 1704. Το 1698 έγινε αρχιμουσικός της Sainte-Chapelle στο Παρίσι, για την οποία έγραψε πολλά από τα σπουδαιότερα έργα του. Εκτός από συνθέτης, ο Μαρκ-Αντουάν Σαρπαντιέ υπήρξε επίσης σημαντικός θεωρητικός της μουσικής. 

Το Te Deum σε Ρε μείζονα, H.146, του Μαρκ-Αντουάν Σαρπαντιέ, ερμηνεύουν δύο από τα γνωστότερα αμερικανικά μπαρόκ σύνολα, το φωνητικό Seraphic Fire και το οργανικό The Sebastians. Διευθύνει ο Αμερικανός μαέστρος και διευθυντής του πρώτου συνόλου, Patrick Dupré Quigley. Η συναυλία δόθηκε στην ιστορική επισκοπική εκκλησία της Αγίας Τριάδας στο Μανχάταν της Νέας Υόρκης, στις 11 Νοεμβρίου 2015.

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704)

♪ Te Deum, H.146 (1688-1698)

i. Prélude
ii. Te Deum laudamus
iii. Te aeternum Patrem
iv. Pleni sunt coeli et terra
v. Te per orbem terrarum
vi. Te devicto mortis aculea
vii. Judex crederis
viii. Te ergo quaedumus
ix. Aeterna fac cum Sanctis
x. Dignare, Domine
xi. Fiat misericordia
xii. In te, Domine, speravi

Seraphic Fire
The Sebastians

Conductor: Patrick Dupré Quigley

Trinity Church, New York, November 11, 2015

(HD 720p)

Entering into their 15th season performing throughout South Florida and on national tours, Seraphic Fire is regarded as one of the preeminent professional vocal ensembles in the United States. Led by Founder and Artistic Director Patrick Dupré Quigley, Seraphic Fire brings top ensemble singers and instrumentalists from around the country to perform repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant and Baroque masterpieces, to Mahler and newly commissioned works by this country's leading composers. Two of the ensemble's recordings, Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem and A Seraphic Fire Christmas, were nominated for 2012 Grammy awards, making Seraphic Fire the only choral ensemble in North or South America to be nominated that year, and the only classical ensemble in the world to be nominated for two separate projects.

During its 15th Anniversary, Seraphic Fire puts South Florida at the center of artistic innovation with eight new world-premiere choral works by established and emerging American composers. The season also features appearances with The Cleveland Orchestra, collaborations with Grammy-winning organist Nathan Laube and violinist Matthew Albert, and a guest appearance by conductor Elena Sharkova.

Recognized as "one of the best excuses for living in Miami" (el Nuevo Herald) because of its "vivid, sensitive performances" (The Washington Post), Seraphic Fire's artistic accomplishments have translated to chart-topping album sales. The ensemble's September 2014 release, Reincarnations: A Century of American Choral Music, soared to No.6 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart and the ensemble's Grammy-nominated recording of Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem debuted at No.7 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart.


The Sebastians are a dynamic and vital musical ensemble specializing in music of the baroque and classical eras. Lauded as "everywhere sharp-edged and engaging" (The New York Times), the Sebastians have also been praised for their "well-thought-out articulation and phrasing" (Early Music Review) and "elegant string playing... immaculate in tuning and balance" (Early Music Today). I Care If You Listen praised the ensemble's "beautifully-nuanced playing and thoughtful expressivity" in their début album, calling the recording a "technical and timbral tour-de-force".

Winners of the Audience Prize at the 2012 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition, the Sebastians were also finalists in the 2011 York International Early Music Competition and the 2011 Early Music America / Naxos Recording Competition. They have participated in the Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop with L'Arpeggiata, and have performed at Music Matters (LaGrua Center in Stonington, CT), Friends of Music at Pequot Library (Southport, CT), Juilliard in Aiken (Aiken, SC), in the Twelfth Night Festival and Concerts at One at Trinity Wall Street (New York), and on the Early Music in Columbus series (Ohio).

The Sebastians début CD, Night Scenes from the Ospedale (January 2015), pairs Vivaldi concerti from L'Estro Armonico with newly composed interludes by Robert Honstein. I Care If You Listen praised the "beautifully-nuanced playing and thoughtful expressivity" in the recording, calling the album a "technical and timbral tour-de-force". The group's second CD, "The Sebastians a 2: Virtuoso Music of the Holy Roman Empire" (September 2015), explores the rich baroque repertoire of music for violin and harpsichord written by composers from modern-day Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

In 2015-2016, the Sebastians continued their residency at All Angels' Church and concluded their two-year collaboration with lauded choral ensemble Seraphic Fire in Miami. In addition to concerts with Seraphic Fire throughout Florida, the ensembles traveled to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City. In February 2016, the group explored forgotten cantatas of Christoph Graupner in collaboration with baritone Michael Hix and Acis Productions. The season included performances on the Renaissance & Baroque Society of Pittsburgh and Yale Collection of Musical Instruments series as well as performances at St Barnabas Episcopal Church, Greenwich; Collinsville Congregational Church; St John's Episcopal Church, Tulsa; and an innovative concert at St Bartholomew's Church in NYC where the Sebastians' performances of Bach complemented works by contemporary composer Andy Akiho.

This season, in addition to performances in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Seattle, the Sebastians present a year-long celebration of their namesake, J. S. Bach, in New York City, featuring Bach's Brandenburg Concerti; Vivaldi's Four Seasons with a newly-commissioned companion work by Tawnie Olson; Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin as an installation piece; a program exploring the Musical Offering; and a spectacular production of Bach's St Passion in collaboration with TENET.


More photos

See also

Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Instrumental Music – Les Dominos, Les Agrémens, Le Choeur de Chambre de Namur, Florence Malgoire (Audio video)

Marc Antoine Charpentier: Messe et Motets pour la Vierge – Le Concert des Nations, Hespèrion XXI, Jordi Savall

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