Charpentier composed “ In nativitatem Domini canticum ” during his period as maître de musique at the church of St Louis in Paris (around 1690). It is in the tradition of the oratorios of Carissimi and his contemporaries, but is more easily described as a “Grand Motet” or “Histoire sacrée ”, a genre in which Charpentier excelled. The work was probably intended for performance during mass on Christmas Day and thus had a liturgical function as was customary during the period of Louis XIV in Paris.

The text presents the Christmas story in three sections: the chorus of the faithful, the actual story of the birth of Jesus and the adoration of the shepherds in the fields. The music reveals a subtle mixture of French and Italian styles with dramatic elements.

For the first time this work, prepared by the acknowledged Charpentier expert Joel Schwindt , is presented in a scholarly-critical edition where all sources have been consulted.

A detailed foreword and critical commentary provide detailed information which fulfil all the criteria of an Urtext edition.

- First Urtext edition of this work
- An important addition to the repertoire for Christmas
- Straightforward, clear piano reduction
- Foreword (Ger/Eng) and critical commentary (Eng)