Te Deum Prelude

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1634-1704) can be considered the pre-eminent French composer of his generation. He studied both painting and composition in Italy, under Giacomo Carissimi. Returning to France, he took up the post of  music master to the dauphin, although he was later usurped by Lully. He collaborated with Molière, working for the Theatre Francais until 1685. He then returned to court and was music director to the Princesss de Guise, composition teacher to the Duke d’Orleans and wrote music for the dauphin’s chapel. His Te Deum, of which the Prelude has become well known (particularly in Europe, where it is used as the Eurovision signature tune) is one of many pieces he wrote for important state and religious occasions.