Kept under the thumb of the Sun King’s tyrannical master of music, Marc-Antoine Charpentier is only now receiving his due.

Professional musical life has been beset by jealousies, petty grievances, and unfounded gossip for over three centuries. When musicians began gaining power in courtly and civic positions in the 17th century, the more envious and ambitious intrigued and machinated in order to promote their own interests or shore up their own reputations. One of the most ruthless was...

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