Author Topic: Eustache du Caurroy  (Read 750 times)

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Offline deprofundis

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Eustache du Caurroy
« on: February 02, 2020, 07:00:15 PM »
Remain a great composer, not very know are talk about, in term of Importance in Huguenot matrix but left us  good works to listen here is what I found in my huge library, I have old Bnf stuff of is and two albums

Eustache Du Caurroy Musique de la chapelle d'Henry IV  double album and it's fabulous on Triton records, ensemble Les Chantres de Saint-Hilaire, One interested in obscure renaissance should investigated this gentlem.

Eustache Du Caurroy Requiem on CRD, ensemble: choir of the new college Oxford.

So we have two very good offering of him

Anyone into Eustache Du Caurroy, how come he is a minor actor in music of renaissance is music captivating, moving and I could go on and on, just listen to his work, what a composer of choice.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2020, 08:40:36 PM by deprofundis »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Eustache du Caurroy
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2020, 12:01:57 AM »

Harnoncourt and others recorded the five fantasies on La Jeune Fillette. Jordi Savall recorded those and 18 more. But other fantasies are much rarer on record. I can find

I, XVIII, VI and XX from Chant 1750. Organ

An unnumbered one from Musee International de la reforme, treated in two different ways. Ensemble.

XXIV, IX and XIII from August Wenzinger at Schola Cantorum Basilensis. Ensemble of viols

XXXVII and XXXIV from Denis Raison Dadre -- very beautiful, this one. For organ and recorders, I'm not totally sure.

An unnumbered one from Earl Christy. Lute

An unnumbered one from Pera Ensemble Istanbul. A string instrument and a plucked instrument, and rather nice too.

IV from Dominique Visee. Recorders I think.

XXXII from Les Escapades. String Ensemble

Three unnumbered ones from Banchetto Musicale. Viols.

XXXIX from Glen Wilson, harpsichord, and he does it very seriously, unsmilingly

These are Glen wilson's notes on de Caurroy

Long after I had already compiled the program for this disc, it occurred to me that I had better take another look at my copy of the “Œuvres Complètes” by Eustache du Caurroy (1549–1609), a handsome book of 42 strictly imitative/contrapuntal 3- to 6-voice fantasies in open score which had been gathering dust in my library for longer than I care to recall. I am very glad I did, for it yielded an education in French contrapuntal mastery in the style of the Italian ricercar at a time when such efforts were few and far between. They were, as far as we know, the first such to be printed in France since Musicque de Joye. Du Caurroy stood at the pinnacle of his profession as surintendant de la musique to the court of Henri IV. His Requiem was performed at the funeral of Le Bon Roi Henri after his assassination by a Catholic fanatic who hated Henri’s ideas about religious freedom, and it continued to be performed at the funerals of French monarchs.

This great repository of learned composition was published posthumously at the instigation of the composer’s nephew in 1610 (Ballard, Paris), but was undoubtedly created for the most part before 1600. Titelouze, the main link in keyboard music between the old and the new centuries, praises du Caurroy’s profound studies, and builds on his work. The 42 fantasies, since they appeared in part-books, are always consigned to the realm of ensemble music. But we have already seen in Musicque de Joye one example of such publications being intended as well for intabulation and performance by keyboardists; there are dozens of similar examples. Furthermore, there actually exists a contemporary manuscript in open score for keyboard of the fantasies in four voices; and a remark by the composer’s nephew in his preface to the edition of 1610 suggests performance on “instruments which have almost all their consonances tuned imperfectly, such as usage has determined and the greatest masters of the profession have deemed necessary”. This, alongside a further analogy involving “good temperament” (keyboard tuning), points towards the use of the keyboard not only as an alternative, but even as the primary medium.

As a final argument for intabulation of such works, I will cite Charles Guillet’s set of 24 Fantasies (two cycles of the twelve modes, natural and transposed), also published by Ballard in 1610. They appeared in part-books like those of du Caurroy, but are, according to the preface, expressly intended for keyboard performance. I have left Guillet out of this recording because he was from Bruges in Flanders, but it is interesting to note that he wrote one of the dedicatory poems for du Caurroy’s set.

The complications involved in printing music of this complexity on two staves, or even in open score, simply made part-books the easy way out. They in no way preclude keyboard performance, while allowing distribution over the music desks of a consort; and du Caurroy’s pieces, at least as far as I have tried them out, are playable as keyboard solos, which surely says something about them. I put this thesis to the test by choosing the second-biggest (and the most beautiful) of the 6-part fantasies for the recording. (The longest of them is an endless, largely theoretical exercise on the hexachords.) The last work in six parts that I wrestled with was Bach’s masterpiece from the Musical Offering. Du Caurroy cannot compete at that level, but he is more than worthy of serious study and performance; one finds a sense of drama and gesture that is rare enough in 16th-century contrapuntists, and which is reflected in his nephew’s description of the fantasies as “the free exertions of a forthright soul”.

Almost all of the fantasies have a Latin cantus firmus in long notes, which are noted in subtitles. The present work (number 39) is one of the six (including the book’s first) that are based instead on Calvinist/Huguenot or “Geneva” psalm melodies, only two of which are specified in the print. The tremendous religious tension that led to the king’s murder is surely behind this reticence. Henri might say that “Paris vaut une Messe”, and convert superficially to Catholicism, but his surintendant seems to have wanted to play it safer. The four major themes of our Trenteneufiesme Fantasie are developed progressively from one to the next, after the Italian manner of the variation ricercar. Emerging triumphantly at the end is the melody used for several Psalms. Nr. 32 would be especially appropriate for the philandering King: “Blessed is the man whose trespass is forgiven”.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 01:15:14 AM by Mandryka »
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