‘Even good Homer nods’: Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Remarques sur les Messes a 16 Parties d’Italie and his copy of Beretta’s Missa Mirabiles elationes maris

Sadler, Graham (2015) ‘Even good Homer nods’: Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Remarques sur les Messes a 16 Parties d’Italie and his copy of Beretta’s Missa Mirabiles elationes maris. Bulletin Charpentier, 5 (1). pp. 3-28. ISSN 1141-9822

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Abstract

Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s voluminous legacy of autograph manuscripts includes an annotated full score of the Missa Mirabiles elationes maris by Francesco Beretta, followed by a three-page critique: “Remarques sur les Messes à 16 parties d’Italie” (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Rés. Vm1 260). For many years it was assumed that Charpentier copied out this four-choir Mass as a learning experience before composing his own Messe à quatre chœurs, H.4. More recently Jean-Charles Léon has noted fundamental differences in the compositional techniques of the two works, undermining the notion that Beretta’s Mass was a model for Charpentier’s. This conclusion is supported by Patricia Ranum’s study of Charpentier’s music paper, where the Beretta score is shown to postdate H.4 by perhaps as much as ten years.

Against the background of such research, this article examines in detail Rés. Vm1 260, exploring the implications of Charpentier’s copying process and presenting evidence that the score was prepared with the possibility of performance in mind. It situates the copying of the Beretta within the context of Charpentier’s absorption of Italian influence, now known to have continued long after the composer’s youthful studies in Rome. Finally, the “Remarques sur les Messes à 16 parties d’Italie”, which have hitherto excited remarkably little comment, are analysed in detail and related to annotations in the score – a study which in turn illuminates aspects of Charpentier’s own voice-leading technique.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: W300 Music
Divisions: UoA Collections > UoA35: Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts
Depositing User: Graham Sadler
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2017 10:29
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2017 10:29
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4770

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