What could be heard in Paris, at the Court of King Henry IV,
while Champlain was founding Québec.

Edition of works by

Eustache du Caurroy (1549-1609)

in the musical revision of Marie Claude Desloges

All dictionaries and encyclopedias - not counting those specializing in music - always contain at least a few lines to François-Eustache Du Caurroy (1549-1609).

But he is an unrecognized composer and very little of his vast production is accessible today.

Marie Claude Desloges, in the course of her Doctorate studies (D.M.A.) at the University of Illinois, chose Du Caurroy as the subject of her thesis. The Urbana-Champaign campus of this university had a library richly endowed in music, especially from the French Renaissance (it was at this library that we found many pages of Janequin and Claudin de Sermissy that L'Ensemble vocal Arts-Quebec was able to include in its repertoire) and so the climate was highly favorable to this type of research.

The interest in this subject is twofold because Eustache Du Caurroy was a musician of whom it was said «all the composers in France regarded him as their master » (Mersenne) and because his voluminous work deserves to be better known. Furthemore, he was of an era linking the end of the Renaissance and the beginning of Baroque. A fascinating era, particularly in a historical sense.

Marie Claude Desloges planned to create a critical edition of that material, as well as a performing one, suitable to perform by today's singers, of all the PRECES ECCLESIASTICÆ, of which, to her knowledge, only a few pages had been edited (even the material of Ballard's edition of 1609 is difficult to find: Marie Claude Desloges procured microfilms at the University of Boston... to discover that the tenor part was missing - which my son-in-law Louis St-Onge unearthed at the Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal in Paris.). She wanted to add some secular pieces from another collection, named Mélanges, which had not yet been edited.

She also planned to do an exhaustive analysis of this repertoire, with a view to the rhetoric, the style, etc. Lastly, by a strict method of dating, she would establish a chronology of the works.

The Thesis remains in draft, following the tragic accident which took the life of Marie Claude Desloges in November 1994.

The remainder of this monumental task which she began, namely the transcription of fifteen titles from the PRECES ECCLASTIASTICÆ, will be edited by us.

Yves Courville

(English version by Fran Wright and Cindy Teel)


Historical context | The Renaissance | Biography of Eustache Du Caurroy

The works of Eustache Du Caurroy | The revision of Marie Claude Desloges

Bibliographical references

Last update: June 15, 2011