sábado, 17 de enero de 2015

The Choir Project al día | 17-I-2015

Jean Maillard [fl. 1538-70]: In pace à 6.
The Marian Consort.
Unknown french master.

      Marie-Alexis Colin and FRank Dobbins wrote about Maillard:
«French composer. Most of his works were published in Paris, probably indicating that he was resident there for at least part of his life. His name is mentioned in the Prologue to Rabelais’ Quart livre [de] Pantagruel [1548], and by Ronsard, in the Preface to Le Roy & Ballard’s Livre de meslanges (1560). These citations, taken with the evidence of a portrait of a middle-aged composer printed in 1565, as well as the content and pattern of his publications, suggest that he was born in about 1515. His publication of the coronation motet Domine salvum fac regem in 1553 and the dedication of his two motet collections of 1565 to King Charles IX and the Queen Mother, Catherine de’ Medici, respectively, suggests a link with the French court; the few surviving records of the royal chapel and household do not mention his name. Several men named Jean Maillard are traceable in Paris between the 1540s and 60s, among them Jehan Maillard, poet and scrivener to François I and then Henry VIII; he published Le premier recueil de la muse cosmopolitique, which contains a polyphonic paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer. Another Jean Maillard, mentioned by Bèze and Henri Estienne as Dean of the Faculty of Theology in the University of Paris, died in about 1567. However, none of these men is definitely identifiable with the composer; nor can he be positively associated with the later musicians Gilles Maillard of Thérouanne, who was living in Lyons in 1584, or Pierre Maillart of Valenciennes.

     The absence of his name in Le Roy & Ballard’s new collections after 1571, together with the appeal to Catherine de’ Medici in the preface to the Modulorum … secundum librum [1565] for ‘the return of the most refined graces, hidden or banished from your France … during these stormy times’ may signify that Maillard harboured Protestant sympathies that caused him to be excluded from the Catholic court and capital. Even though his output of predominantly Latin sacred music, including a collection of 25 motets, two masses and two Magnificats copied in ultra-Catholic Spain (E-Bc 682), suggests an ecclesiastical career, more than a hint of protest can be gleaned from his setting of three chansons spirituelles – including Hélas mon Dieu ton ire by the Huguenot poet Guillaume Guéroult – and of a paraphrase of Psalm xv [Qui est-ce qui conversera] by Marot [RISM 155318].

     Maillard’s six surviving masses include a requiem for four voices, a Missa Virginis Mariae» paraphrasing the plainchant melodies of the Mass of the Virgin, three four-voice parody masses on chansons by Cadéac or Lupi Second [Je suis déshéritée], Certon [M’amie un jour], Sermisy [Missa pro vivis, based on O combien est malheureux] and one based on a motet by Richafort [Ego sum qui sum]. Of his 86 motets, 44 are for four voices, 32 for five, nine for six and one for seven voices; more than half of the motets are freely composed and the others based on plainchant melodies, presented usually in long note values in the superius, but occasionally in the tenor, or paraphrased with successive motifs treated in imitation. His five-voice Exaudi Domine uses an ostinato from Josquin’s Faulte d’argent, while one of his two four-voice settings of Inviolata integra combines the chant for the sequence with those of three different antiphons. Like other French composers, Maillard generally used short melodic motifs of limited range in close imitation; he also occasionally employed canonic devices, most effectively in the six-voice motet Fratres mei elongaverunt and the four-voice Congregati sunt inimici nostri. He fairly frequently employed techniques of word-painting, as in the Cecilian responsory Cantantibus organis and the Easter sequence Victimae paschali laudes.

     Most of his chansons set either courtly epigrams of four or eight lines by poets such as Marot, Saint-Gelais, Scève and Sainte-Marthe, or anonymous anecdotal narratives; these works are very much in the style of the 1540s established by Sermisy, Sandrin, Janequin and Certon. Occasionally he turned to older forms [as in the rondeaux Du mal que j’ay and Ceste belle petite bouche]. His earliest works were printed simultaneously by Moderne in Lyons and Attaingnant in Paris; his later pieces appeared in Le Roy’s collections, including two five-voice pieces in the retrospective Meslanges of 1560.

     Three of the motets appeared in the lute intabulation by Adrian Le Roy [155124] before their partbook publication in 15537. Many of the chansons were also arranged for lute, guitar, cittern and vihuela in publications by Gerle, Le Roy, Phalèse and others between 1546 and 1578; Goudimel based a mass on the chanson Tant plus je mets, Palestrina a mass on Eripe me, while Lassus parodied other motets and chansons.»

      Eric Rice wrote about this piece:
«Maillard’s impressive In pace for six voices was likely composed for use at Compline. The name “Compline” is from the Latin completus [“completed”], a reference to the end of the day; the service seems to have grown out of collective prayers said before going to bed. Many of the prayers and other texts recited during compline are supplications for God’s protection during sleep, and four psalms deemed particularly pertinent are chanted in Compline services: 4, 90, 30, and 133 [Vulgate numbering]. The texts of In pace are not drawn from these psalms, but they from others that refer to sleep. The brevity and grammatical incompleteness of the texts suggests that chant — perhaps that of a Paris tradition — may have been performed between sections of this motet.»

      Wonderful piece –pieces based on the the «In pace» are really beautiful, very expressive, calm and deep–. This performance is wonderful –pure British–, with an ethereal sonority. The plain chant is very «operistic», but ther poliphonic parts are fantastic. The young The Marian Consort is a fantastic vocal ensemble. Pay attention to them.

Enjoy it!

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