Note: these pages were first published in the late 1990s, and they were several years old at the time. During the past decade, new findings have sometimes led to other conclusions. Try, therefore, to compare the pages listed below with my later writings.
These charts draw a distinction between the content of the two numbered and chronologically parallel series of autograph notebooks that contain his compositions:
As a global assumption (an assumption borne out for the works whose raison d'être has been identified), the so-called "French" or arabic-numbered series contains work done for his fulltime employer, and the so-called "Roman" or roman-numbered series contains outside commissions. You can reach the two sets of notebooks by clicking one of these links:
In replacing these files, I preserved only the central column of the tables that shows the title and "H" of the piece. To it I have added the date (that originally was in the left-hand column), and I evoke the nature of the performing ensemble. For the ensemble and further information on the individual piece, see the tables at the end of the three versions of Catherine Cessac's Marc-Antoine Charpentier.
I have taken the trouble to re-format these files for two reasons. First of all, they may well have been cited in a scholarly article, so I cannot simply toss them away. Secondly, they provide insights into how I tried to make sense of the chronological order of Charpentier's pieces and match my observations with the chronology I had been able to establish for Guise activities.
BLUE = Mlle Marie de Lorraine de Guise, age 55, whose involvement is shown by blue type, just as music for the Virgin, her patron saint (who is generally depicted in a blue gown), will be shown by blue type. (Mlle de Guise was born on August 15, the Ascension, the principal feast day of the Virgin, and she not only was named for the Virgin but was a devotee of the Virgin.) Since Mlle de Guise became somewhat inseparable with her sister, the Abbess of Montmartre, between 1675 and 1680, I am showing Montmartre as blue (sometimes mixed with red when Mme de Guise seems involved). Using blue for Montmartre seems appropriate, because there was a strong devotion for the Virgin at the abbey.
RED = her ward and adolescent nephew, Joseph Louis de Lorraine, the young Duke of Guise; and his young wife, Elisabeth (Isabelle) d'Orléans, a royal princess of the House of Orléans who soon came to be known as "Mme de Guise." Isabelle was the first cousin of both Louis XIV and his brother, "Monsieur," Duke of Orléans. Activities involving her will also be shown in red type, to suggest her royal status. References to Mme de Guise's mother, Marguerite de Lorraine, Dowager Duchess of Orléans, appear in maroon.
PURPLE = King Louis XIV, the Queen, and their son, the Dauphin. Mme de Guise was very close to these cousins. Their regal status is suggested by purple type.
FUCHSIA = the theater, first Molière (an old family "friend" of the Charpentiers) and then his successors. Works written for them appear in this flashy fuchsia type.
The Jesuits , the Theatines and the fathers of the Mercy are indicated by rather "florid" types that suggest their florid worship services. By the early 1670s, Charpentier clearly had begun working for the Jesuits; and then in 1675 Mme de Guise obtained a chapel in the Theatine church.
OLIVE = the Infant Jesus. After 1675, both princesses became involved in projects that are named after the Holy Child. This rather sad color suggests the Mount of Olives.
TEAL = M. Du Bois, director of the Guise Music, Latinist, and sometime friend of Port-Royal, where Charpentier's sister was a converse nun. To suggest the modesty of this convent, references to Du Bois and Port-Royal will be in teal, a somber variant of the greens and turquoise I use for the other two religious houses.
GREY = one of two prelates: Gabriel de Roquette, bishop of Autun, described by sources as Mlle de Guise's "Tartuffe." He exerted considerable influence over Mlle de Guise throughout these years. Roquette does not appear to have commissioned any music, although it is possible that his close friend, François Harlay de Chanvallon, Archbishop of Paris, may have done so.