As I mentioned in the title, the "Nuit" instrumental interlude is worth the price of this disc, however, this recording is a real winner on every level and no lover of Baroque music should be without it.
Many people, perhaps most people, will recognise the Rondeau from the Te Deum. I think it was used during the World Cup, or was it the Olympics, some years ago. Minkowski's Les Musiciens du Louvre use a bass natural trumpet here, along with the regular clarini, and the affects/effects here are very powerful. The Te Deum is a grand work and full of M-A Charpentier's great creativity and vision. I think he was one of the very greatest Baroque composers - up there with Biber, Purcell, Corelli and Rosenmüller in his own age.
The Midnight Mass is a beautiful work, again one familiar to many because of its associations with Christmas and its use of Christmas carol melodies. The Messe de Minuit is scored for voices, recorders and strings and it offers a perfect contrast to the Te Deum with its trumpets, timpani, oboes, bassoons and strings.
The soloists are Early Music regulars and many will be interested in hearing what Magdalena Kozená was like back in 1997, when this recording was made. In some ways, I think she was better then, before she was coaxed into a solo career by DG/Universal. Maybe they thought she was too beautiful and luxurient looking to be a mere ensemble singer in Baroque sacred music and a part player in French Baroque opera?
This recording sounds very impressive through a big sound system. A "audiophile" CD.