A masterpiece of French music, Charpentier’s Te Deum was a song of thanksgiving flourishing with the military fortunes of Louis XIV, king of France, who was leading his country in a protracted war.
But, curiously, it was not the triumphant nature of the Te Deum that attracted Herve Niquet director of Le Concert Spirituel to this piece.
I love the intimacy of Charpentier, he says, “something which can be found when you look at the performance history of Charpentiers music in some of its original settings, such as the house of the Duchess of Guise or the Sainte Chapelle, where it is clear that detail, vocal and compositional virtuosity, rather than symphonic magnitude, were to the fore.
Charpentiers genius is such, however, that it perfectly express the grandeur and poetry indispensable for works like the Te Deum.
This recording by Le Concert Spirituel is a truly original version of this memorable music that achieves an amazingly fine balance between intimacy and symphonic fireworks.