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Elisabeth Musiquen vol. 12 om315
Jacques Buus (um 1500 - 1564)
Canzoni francese a sei voci
(Venedig 1543)
for six voices
Edited by Christoph Flamm and Lars Opfermann


ISMN 979-0-502342-32-6
softcover, XXIII + 169 pages
incl. VAT plus shipping costs 59,00 EUR

Jacques Buus was born around 1500 in Flanders; from 1541 he was organist at St Mark’s in Venice and later on, from 1550, at the Hofmusikkapelle of Ferdinand I in Vienna, where he died at the end of August 1565.[...] What is known of Buus as a composer before his appointment at St Mark’s is limited to six chansons and one motet, printed in collections by Jacques Moderne in Lyons. [...] His first individual print, which he had partly financed himself, viz., the present six-part French chansons, was dedicated to no one else than Renée of France, Duchess of Ferrara, the daughter of Louis XII and wife of Ercole II d’Este, whose court was considered a safe haven for Protestants in Italy. [...] The French chanson of the sixteenth century was diversified not only geographically, but also in musical style and poetic content. [...] There were chansons for two to eight voices, but the vast majority were set for four voices, alongside a minor special tradition of chansons for three voices. The compositional techniques range from continuous homophony, especially with the Parisian composers, to complex contrapuntal procedures, including canon structures, with the Franco-Flemish composers such as Gombert and Buus. As already indicated, Buus’s chansons show a blend of Flemish influences (imitation and contrapuntal thought, which is, however, less rigorous than in the motets, let alone the ricercari) and French elements (parlando on short note values, rapidly repeated notes, “a humorously swift way of declamation”. [...] The idea of parody is one of the essential characteristics of the French chanson. Texts already set to music were often and even repeatedly taken up by other composers, whose new settings would make reference to existing models by borrowing individual or multiple voices, be they exactly copied or, as mere allusions, more loosely based on the originals. Thus it is not only popular poems, but also certain catchy tunes that are recurring over and over again in this repertoire. Such “smash hits” of the sixteenth century can be found in Buus’s collection of 1543 as well: for instance, the already much-loved Content désir and Vivre ne puis, or Doulce mémoire, which Buus helped popularise even further. [...]


From the preface by Christoph Flamm
Translation: Christoph Erlenkamp




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