Each year, from 1684 to 1686, Marc-Antoine Charpentier offered a Christmas pastorale to his patron, Marie de Lorraine. After the death of the boy Louis-Joseph, the last male heir of the line, the figure of the Christ-Child occupied a central place in the devotions of the Guise family.
The pastorales and antiphons written in this context and recorded here are at the intersection of the sacred and secular genres, of the popular and the learned. They evoke the mystery of birth with a profoundly moving blend of naïveté and gravity.
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