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CHARPENTIER. Judith. Pages & Chantres de Versailles, Schneebeli

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On this live recording from the Chapelle Royale at the Chateau de Versailles, Olivier Schneebeli and Les Pages & les Chantres du Centre de musique baroque de Versailles illuminate Marc-Antoine Charpentier's admirable synthesis of Italian chiaroscuro and the radiant grace of the French Baroque. The disc presents two of the composer's Histoires sacrées - Judith sive Bethulia liberata and Caedes Sanctorum Innocentium. Stimulated by his years of training in Rome, these works represent a kind of "sacred theatre." They deploy unprecedented vocal and instrumental invention to portray major episodes from the Old and New Testaments, focusing on their emotional and psychological aspects.

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