Spotlight on the Netherlands–Polyphony for Francois I

Program: #08-05   Air Date: Jan 21, 2008

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Paul van Nevel (in typical fashion) has found for his Huelgas Ensemble a stunning body of work--settings by many of the greatest composers of 16th century France (Mouton, Sermisy, Sandrin) in most cases with words by Francis I himself!


We continue our long and fruitful association with our partners at Radio Netherlands in presenting a series of concerts from the 2007 Holland Festival of Early Music at Utrecht.

We the web site provides more in-depth information about the music and performers we hear as well as more information about the festival (

NOTE: Paul van Nevel directs his Huelgas Ensemble in this remarkable concert.

As the Festival asked, "Is Paul Van Nevel early music’s Inspector Morse? While this would take its own investigation, it is definitely thanks to him that many forgotten repertories have come to light because of his diligent research in libraries and archives. This programme features chansons and motets by De Sermisy, Mouton, Sandrin and Villiers, among others. Not only were the pieces all composed at the court of François I of France, for the most part it was the king himself who provided the words for them. Furthermore, this concert befits the Ars audiendi theme because it will exploit the spatial possibilities of the Domkerk. ‘Every space has its own acoustic opportunities’, says Van Nevel in the Tijdschrift Oude Muziek. ‘When you stand in the middle of the church, it sounds radically different from somewhere in the aisle. When singing a capella, we prefer to stand in a closed circle, but in this concert we will experiment and sing the same chanson from different places in the church.’"

Pierre de la Farge active 1539-1546
1 Clamabat autem mulier Cananea, motet à 5 (from: Harmonidos Ariston. Tricolon, Ogdoameron, Lyon, Jacques Moderne, 1547)

Claudin de Sermisy ca.1490-1562
2 O Doulce amour, chanson à 4 – text by François I (from: Trente et une chansons musicales, Paris, Pierre Attaingnant, 1534)

Johannes Mouton ca.1459-1522
3 Illuminare Hierusalem, Secunda pars: Interrogabat magos, motet à 4
(from: Motetti de la Corona, libro secundo, Petrucci, Fossombrone, 1519)

Johannes Mouton
4 En venant de Lyon, chanson à 4, - arranged by Pieter Maessens à 8 & 12
(from: Carmen quatuor voces ex una, Augsburg, 1548)

Claudin de Sermisy
5 Vox in rama audita est, motet à 4 (from: Bologna, Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale, Ms. Q19, nr. 45)

Claudin de Sermisy
6 Voulant amour soubs parler gratieux, chanson à 4 – text by François I
(from: Unziesme livre contenant XXVIII chansons, Paris, Attaingnant, 1542)

Johannes Mouton
7 Sanctus uit Missa sans Cadence, à 3, 4 & 5 (from: Cambrai, Bibliothèque Municipale, Ms. 3, 55’ – 70)

Pierre Regnault Sandrin ca.1490-after 1561
8 Amour si hault, chanson à 4 (from: Superius, tenor, bassus: Sixiesme livre de chansons, Paris, Le Roy & Ballard, 1556; Altus: Sixiesme livre de chansons, Paris, Le Roy & Ballard 1559)

Pierre de la Farge
9 Virgo Maria non est tibi symilis, motet à 6 (from: Harmonidos Ariston..., 1547)

Pierre de Villiers ca.1500-ca.1550
10 Amour et mort, chanson à 4 (from: Premier livre contenant XXV chansons nouvelles, Paris, Nic. du Chemin, 1549)

Pierre de Villiers
11 Regina celi, motet à 6 (from: Quintus Liber Mottetorum ad Quinque et Sex et Septem Vocum, Lyon, 1542)

Pierre Regnault Sandrin
12 Doulce memoire, chanson à 4 - text by François I; Response: Finy le bien - text by Pierre Certon.
(from: Second livre contenant XXVIII chansons nouvelles, Paris, Attaingnant, 1538; Response: Premier livre de chansons eleves en nombre XXX, Paris, Attaingnant, 1549)

Claudin de Sermisy
13 Agnus Dei uit Missa Quare fremuerunt gentes, à 5, 2 & 8. (from: Missa cum quinque vocibus… Paris, Du Chemin, 1556)


Composer Info

Pierre de la Farge active 1539-1546, Claudin de Sermisy ca.1490-1562, Johannes Mouton ca.1459-1522, Pierre Regnault Sandrin ca.1490-after 1561, Pierre de Villiers ca.1500-ca.1550,

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