Author Topic: Titelouze´s temple  (Read 3886 times)

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Offline (: premont :)

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Titelouze´s temple
« on: March 11, 2014, 03:34:12 PM »
Jean Titelouze lived from ca. 1563 to 1633. He was a composer, organist  and sought-after organ consultant. From 1586 to his death he was principal organist at the Cathedral  in Rouen, Fr. His only surviving works are twelwe organ hymns and eight Magnificat settings. All of this was published during his tenure in Rouen.  These were the first liturgical works to become published in France since the works published by Attaignant almost a hundred years earlier.

Titelouze was a learned and inspired master of counterpoint, comparable to the greatest of his age. His works often bring J.S. Bach to my mind, particularly the Canonic  variations and the Art of Fugue, except for Bach´s more advanced harmonic writing. Titelouze´s  organ works have been sadly neclected by recording artists until recently, but it deserves to get better known. It is at the same time very exhausting  and uplifting music to listen to.

My first encounter with Titelouze´s music was in 1966 , when I stayed in Genève during the summer to brush up my high-school French. At an inaugural recital of the then new and great P.G.Andersen / Metzler organ of the  Cathedral St. Pierre an organist named Francois Desbaillet played the Ave Maris Stella hymn by Titelouze.  This was a splendid experience, and returning to my home country I eagerly looked for recordings of Titelouze´s works, but the only recording of a few hymns by Michel Chapuis from 1964 was unavaible. This can be heard at you tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO67JO8rLSE

Fortunately the Vox Organ encyclopedia released three years later included four hymns by Titelouze, played by Xavier Darasse. Organ music by Jehain Titelouze (four hymns: Ave Maris Stella, Urbs Hierusalem, Exultet Coelum & Ad Coenam) played by Xavier Darasse on the baroque Lepine organ in the cathedral of Sarlat; Dordogne FR. The playing style of Darasse is magnificent and intense almost trancendental - a great experience. Imagine something between Walter Kraft and René Saorgin.

André Isoir recorded four hymn´s for Calliope somewhere in the 1980es. Like his countryman Chapuis his playing is often rushed and earth-bound.

In 1990 Jean-Charles Ablitzer recorded all the twelve hymns for Harmonic records. This can only be had as a costumer CD at special request from the director of the label, but the Ave Maris Stella hymn can be heard at you tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di1jy7FhL00

Within the last few years two recordings of the hymns have been released:
By Yves-G. Prefontaine on the Julien Tribuot organ (1699) de l´église Saint-Martin de Seurre (restored by Bernard Aubertin 1991), label Atma.
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Jean-Titelouze-1563-1633-Hymnes-de-lEglise/hnum/8366888

By Marcus Goecke on the Guillaume Lesselier organ (1630-31) de l´église Saint Michel, Bolbec, FR. (restored 1997) This organ was originally built for a church in Rouen (not the Dom), and it is likely that Titelouze being the local authority was consulted and also played the organ. Label Marc-Aurel:
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Jean-Titelouze-1563-1633-Hymnes-de-lEglise/hnum/3184017

Recently all the organ works (the hymns and the Magnificat settings) have been recorded by Robert Bates also on the Lesselier organ, Bolbec for Loft.
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Jean-Titelouze-Orgelwerke/hnum/4008979

All the three last mentioned recordings are outstanding, but I think the recording for Loft by Bates is to be preferred. It seems to me, that he has been inspired much by the style of Xavier Darasse, and his playing is imposing and often transcental. And the recorded sound is second to none. An orgy in sound.



As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Titelouze´s temple
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2014, 11:24:59 PM »
An orgy in sound.

Une partouze de Titelouze.  :)

Do you know this poem dedicated to Titelouze by Gerbais Habert?

MONSIEVR TITELOVZE

Quelque glorieuse couronne
Qu'aujourd'huy la France te donne
Pour les miracles de ton art:
Ouoy que Dieu mesme prenne part
Aux délices, dont tes merueilles
Chatouillent si bien nos oreilles,
lors qu'en la douceur de tes airs
Tu fais voir a tout l'Vniuers
Oue tu peux disputer aux Anges
L'honneur de chanter ses louanges.
Modère un peu ta vanité.
Et crains que son bras irrité
Sur toy ne lance le Tonnerre,
Quand il voîd que dessus la terre.
Par tes accords délicieux
Tu nous fais gouster par auance
Les plaisirs que pour récompense
îl nous reseruoif dans les Cieux.


C'est chouette, non? "Tu nous fais goûter par avance les plaisirs que pour récompense il nous réserve dans les cieux."

One recording I've been enjoying recently is by Luc Beausejour, of the Magnificat (5eme), the CD called "L'orgue en Nouvelle France"




Apart from that, I've tried Isoir and Ablitzer and  Chapuis without much success. I found a recording of a hymn by André Marchal a bit more stimulating, but the sound is terrible. I've  had more luck with Bates and Prefontain. I'd  like to hear Darasse -- I know his recordings of French music on INA, which I think are exceptional. On the whole I've found Titelouze quite challenging -- more so than Atteignant or Caurroy. I expect it's a question of perseverance and finding the right performances -- I remember feeling the same about Frescobaldi's  Fiori Musicali until I heard Alessandrini.   

« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 04:00:28 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Titelouze´s temple
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2014, 02:36:29 PM »
Une partouze de Titelouze.  :)

Do you know this poem dedicated to Titelouze by Gerbais Habert?

MONSIEVR TITELOVZE

Quelque glorieuse couronne
Qu'aujourd'huy la France te donne
Pour les miracles de ton art:
Ouoy que Dieu mesme prenne part
Aux délices, dont tes merueilles
Chatouillent si bien nos oreilles,
lors qu'en la douceur de tes airs
Tu fais voir a tout l'Vniuers
Oue tu peux disputer aux Anges
L'honneur de chanter ses louanges.
Modère un peu ta vanité.
Et crains que son bras irrité
Sur toy ne lance le Tonnerre,
Quand il voîd que dessus la terre.
Par tes accords délicieux
Tu nous fais gouster par auance
Les plaisirs que pour récompense
îl nous reseruoif dans les Cieux.


C'est chouette, non? "Tu nous fais goûter par avance les plaisirs que pour récompense il nous réserve dans les cieux."


No I did not know it, thanks for charing this nice poem.


Quote from: Mandryka
One recording I've been enjoying recently is by Luc Beausejour, of the Magnificat (5eme), the CD called "L'orgue en Nouvelle France"




Apart from that, I've tried Isoir and Ablitzer and  Chapuis without much success. I found a recording of a hymn by André Marchal a bit more stimulating, but the sound is terrible. I've  had more luck with Bates and Prefontain. I'd  like to hear Darasse -- I know his recordings of French music on INA, which I think are exceptional. On the whole I've found Titelouze quite challenging -- more so than Atteignant or Caurroy. I expect it's a question of perseverance and finding the right performances -- I remember feeling the same about Frescobaldi's  Fiori Musicali until I heard Alessandrini.

I have not heard the Beausejour recording of the single Magnificat, but I have identical low-grade experiences with Chapuis, Isoir and Ablitzer as you.

Maybe Darasse´s recording will be the turning point for you as it was for me, see PM.
As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Titelouze´s temple
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2016, 11:44:21 AM »
 Titelouze's preface to the reader in his edition of the hymns here. He seems to want to say that the temperament of an organ makes it better for contrapuntal music than voices, but I don't follow his argument yet.

http://clanfaw.free.fr/titelouze.pdf

Very much enjoying Préfontaine, not least for the singing, but mostly for the sound of the organ and a certain candid and forthright eloquence about his way of playing the music. The second CD especially.

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen