Charpentier: In nativitatem Domini canticum, H. 416
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- Composer: Marc-Antoine Charpentier
- Editor: Joel Schwindt
- Format: Vocal Score
- Instrumentation: SATB Choir, Orchestra
- Work: In nativitatem Domini canticum, H. 416
- Work Language: Latin
- ISMN: 9790006540006
- Size: 7.5 x 10.6 inches
- Pages: 35
- Urtext / Critical Edition
Charpentier composed "In nativitatem Domini canticum " during his period as maître de musique at the church of St Louis in Paris (around 1690). It is in the tradition of the oratorios of Carissimi and his contemporaries, but is more easily described as a "Grand Motet" or "Histoire sacrée", a genre in which Charpentier excelled. The work was probably intended for performance during mass on Christmas Day and thus had a liturgical function as was customary during the period of Louis XIV in Paris.
The text presents the Christmas story in three sections: the chorus of the faithful, the actual story of the birth of Jesus and the adoration of the shepherds in the fields. The music reveals a subtle mixture of French and Italian styles with dramatic elements.
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