A French composer-fixer has died, at 83

The composer Jacques Charpentier, a student of Messiaen, wrote more than 150 scores and was organist of Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet in Paris.

His day job, from 1958 on, was as a senior bureaucrat in the Ministry of Culture, deciding on musical proposals and careers. In 1978 he moved south to become director of music for the city of Nice.

He married the mezzo-soprano Danielle Vouaux-Charpentier.

Jacques Charpentier died on June 15 at his home, near Carcassonne, aged 83.

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  • The piece in the video sounds like a fluent Messiaen, more like André Jolivet, and in the tradition of French exotism. It has great musicality and expression, and lacks the static boredom of much of Messiaen.

    But I think this is a more representative work, showing how Messiaen’s early organ works could be taken into another direction, a more dramatic direction::

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdI20SBFdbY

  • Jacques Charpentier is most well-known for his spectacular and very interesting set of 72 Etudes Karnatiques (1957-1984). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7LFm2Wfu4Y. He spent 18 months in India (1952-1953). Tony Aubin taught him composition in the Paris Conservatoire National de musique, while Olivier Messiaen gave him there lessons and advices about the philosophy of music. Devoted, in this respect, to the development of the musical life in France, with administrative functions in the Ministry for Culture, Jacques Charpentier did not compose and publish as much as he was able to do. And this is a great loss. Either his Symphonie brève (1958) or his Prelude pour la Genèse (1967) are written in more conventional ways. Charpentier was also much interested in the gregorian music for which he founded a center for research in the Abbaye de Sénanques.He died on june 15th in Lézignan-Corbières…. RIP.

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