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Lully – Charpentier : Te Deum


  • Monday December 5th 2023
  • Royal Chapel
  • 8pm | 1h10 without intermission
Accueil Lully – Charpentier : Te Deum 2023


  • Amélie Raison Soprano
  • Anaïs Bertrand Alto
  • Paco Garcia Treble counter
  • Cyril Auvity Tenor
  • Victor Sicard Baritone
  • Le Poème Harmonique Choir and orchestra
  • Vincent Dumestre Conductor


With his Te Deum, the Superintendent of the King’s Music signed a considerable score, setting an “official” genre for a century. It was on September 9, 1677, in the Chapelle de Fontainebleau, that Lully conducted his Te Deum, composed for the christening of his own eldest son, in the presence of Louis XIV, the child’s godfather. The work is a masterpiece of musical architecture, requiring trumpets and timpani. The Te Deum remained the most-performed religious work of its time: a princely wedding, a military victory, the king’s recovery… 1677 was the year of Lully’s most sumptuous creations, composed for a monarch at the height of his glory, including the tragedy Atys, which became the “Opéra du Roy”. Of the dozen or so performances of the Te Deum conducted by Lully, history only records the one in the Eglise des Feuillants, which led to the composer’s death in 1686: it was while beating time that, carried away by his zeal, he pierced his foot with the tip of his cane. Lully died of gangrene on March 22, 1687, but his aura remained intact until the end of the monarchy.

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Charpentier is the Angel of French Baroque music, but he took advantage of the few years he spent in Italy in his youth to strengthen both his sense of pageantry and his sensitivity. In Rome, we heard music that was demonstrative, colorful and profound, with a large ensemble spread out over the church space. On the French side, as early as 1661, Lully had raised the Grand Motet to the level of a monumental work: Louis XIV’s superintendent of music went on to produce several masterpieces requiring all the musical forces available. It was in this Pompe Versaillaise vein that Charpentier wrote the Te Deum that was to make his name in the twentieth century: performed for the military victory at Steinkerque in 1692, probably in the church of Saint-Louis-des-Jésuites, where Charpentier was Maître de Chapelle, this work glorifying the King’s Arms was a great success, but was never performed in front of Louis XIV. Since its rediscovery, this powerful fresco, whose prelude opens with the martial rhythms of timpani and trumpets, has come to symbolize the Grand Siècle of Louis XIV’s arts and conquests.


Concert dedicated to the memory of Joëlle Broguet, Founder of ADOR – les Amis de l’Opéra de Royal

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Te Deum – Plain chant

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704)
Te Deum

Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687)
Te Deum

The Royal Opera of the Château de Versailles

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