Guillaume Minoret (1650-1720)
Missa pro tempore Nativitatis
The CMBV choir Les Pages & Les Chantres brings back to life a long-forgotten Christmas mass peppered with traditional seasonal tunes written by Guillaume Minoret, sous-maître at the Royal Chapel and in charge of training the Pages choirboys.
Appointed sous-maître at the Royal Chapel alongside Lalande, Collasse and Goupillet for the famous music contest of 1683, Guillaume Minoret composed several grands motets plus a gorgeous Christmas mass featuring popular traditional tunes familiar to audiences at the time. Although less well-known than masses by Charpentier or Brossard (constructed along the same lines), Minoret’s is utterly charming, its pastoral naivety ideal for Christmas time.
Unsurprisingly, this composer who was in charge of training the Royal Chapel Pages, showsgreat mastery here. Contemporary audiences may try to spot the tune of Où s’en vont ces gais bergers hidden in a Kyrie, or the poignant Or, nous dites Marie concealed in the Christe, or else Une jeune fillette a theme tune which marked the entire baroque era which can be glimpsed like a symbolic trick of mirrors in the Agnus Dei. In addition to this Mass there will be Christmas music by Lalande played on musettes (pastoral instrument par excellence). The CMBV’s wonderful programme, ringing with the sound of musette and oboe, is waiting to be discovered!