1. Part One

  2. Part Two

  3. Part Three


Part One

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe


Across the Channel

Some European courts were inspired by the French motet, notably Charles II of England, first cousin of Louis XIV. In the early 1660’s the English King promoted a new musical genre, the symphony anthem, which produced excellent musicians like Henry Purcell, a foremost English composers from the latter half of the 17th century.

Henry Purcell, composer and organist in Charles II’s royal chapel, was indubitably the most famous baroque musician in England. He died at the early age of 36 but left a rich legacy of music ranging from opera to religious works.

Henry Purcell

Henry Purcell


Find out more

During the Age of Enlightenment the Royal Chapel repertoire slowly made its way to Paris and the French provinces. How was it received? Researcher Bénédicte Hertz explains….


Part Two

An abrupt end came in 1789


Giroust, the last chapel master

Louis XVI ascended the throne in 1774 with the revolution already looming. François Giroust was one of the chapel masters of the new King. He was the son of a Paris candlemaker. He started his career as master of music at Orléans cathedral where he was much appreciated by his superiors. Aged 38 he arrived at the Royal Chapel in the spring of 1775, the year the young King was crowned.

10th August 1792, Paris laid siege to the Tuileries Palace and the King was removed from his office. With no King there was no King’s Music.


Find out more

After 13 years of silence, chapel music rose from the ashes at the turn of the century, not at Versailles but in the Tuileries Palace in Paris. Who were the new faces in the Royal Chapel in the 19th century?


Part Three

The Royal Chapel, a living environment


Thanks to the researchers and musicians at the CMBV and its choir Les Chantres & Les Pages, the public can enjoy the Royal Chapel’s vast musical repertoire and its stream of latest discoveries.

The CMBV in Versailles is a true centre for French baroque music and it promotes the spread of the Royal Chapel repertoire worldwide.


Laurent Brunner

A living chapel

One can listen to music in the Royal Chapel in Versailles 310 years after it was built! Laurent Brunner, director of Château de Versailles Spectacles, organises concerts in the Sun King’s palace all year round.

Find out more

What is it like to be a Page or a Chantre at the Royal Chapel in 2020? Arthur and Eva describe their experience…