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Texas Early Music Project
13915 Burnet Road, Suite 402 
Austin, TX 78728
(512) 377-6961

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TEMP is a performing ensemble and not a presenting organization or an agency. Please do not contact TEMP about hosting other early music groups.
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13915 Burnet Road, Suite 402
Austin, TX 78728
United States

(512) 377-6961

Founded in 1987 by Daniel Johnson, the Texas Early Music Project is dedicated to preserving and advancing the art of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical music through performance, recordings, and educational outreach. 

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Explore more than 700 years of musical transformation

Filtering by Tag: Charpentier

On the Second Day of Early Christmas I gave myself a present!

Danny Johnson


Day #2 of TEMP's 12 Days of Christmas


I’m a big fan of nostalgia. I think it’s good any old time of the year, not just at Christmas time, Halloween, or Super Bowl Sunday! So when I was researching “new” music for this year’s Early Christmas concerts, I found myself thinking back to the mid-eighties (see photo) when a lot of my core early music interests really galvanized. Yes, I know, I was still in grade school, but still….

Anyway, I had never been a fan of the French Baroque; it seemed so snooty and high-falutin’—and then in ’83 or ’84, I heard William Christie’s group Les Arts Florissants and their recording of Charpentier’s Christmas Pastorale and I thought that it was so un-snooty and really entrancing that I should—gasp—consider changing my mind. And then I got to work with Mr. Christie in England in 1985 and he brought two of his singers to the workshop for an intimate concert; the baritone was great but the soprano, Agnès Mellon, reduced a roomful of Brits and Americans to tears in a matter of seconds. No, the song wasn’t a noël; it was a very gentle, non-assuming air de cour by Michel Lambert. (Yes, students of mine, it was that air de cour.) I realized that her singing on the Pastorale album (and subsequent albums as well) played a large part in changing my mind about the French Baroque, as did William Christie. Enjoy this teaser video!

Back to the present: So I gave myself the gift of scheduling excerpts from the Pastorale for this year’s Xmas concert. And, in a way, it’s my gift to you, this gift of about 7 minutes of joyous, high-falutin’ but very un-snooty and very beautiful French Baroque music for Christmas, with chorus & orchestra & with solos by Jenifer Thyssen and Meredith Ruduski. (And thank you, Agnès Mellon, wherever you are! Your Atys rocked my world.)

Joyeux Noël, y'all!

Join us for An Early Christmas In 11 days!

Click to buy tickets for our Christmas concerts on Dec. 11, 12, & 13!

Click to buy tickets for our Christmas concerts on Dec. 11, 12, & 13!

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