Pierre de Manchicourt
Aliases: Mancicourt, Manchicurti
Born: c. 1510, Béthune (then County of Artois, Habsburg Netherlands; now Pas-de-Calais, France)
Died: 5 October 1564, Madrid
Few records of Manchicourt's life survive: what we know of his life and work is obtained primarily from publications of his works. The earliest known information indicates that in 1525 he was a choirboy at Arras. By 1539, he was provost at the cathedral in Tours, where he would have had access to a considerable library of the works of the great master, and previous incumbent, Johannes Ockeghem. For at least nine years, from 1545 to 1554, he held the post of maître de chapelle at Nôtre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai; Nicolas Gombert, whose compositional influence is clearly evident in Manchicourt’s later works, was a canon of the Cathedral throughout Manchicourt’s tenure. On the death of the incumbent, Nicolas Payen, in 1559, Manchicourt was appointed maestro de capilla flamenca (master of the Flemish chapel) at the court of Philip II in Madrid, which post he held until his death five years later. He was succeeded in 1565 by Jean de Bonmarché, continuing an unbroken line of Flemish incumbents stretching back to Marbrianus de Orto in 1512.
The fact that Pierre Attaingnant, publisher of the French Royal Court, devoted his fourteenth and final volume of motets in 1539 entirely to Manchicourt's work (an honour he bestowed on no other, and emulated by Flemish publishers Susato and Phalèse in 1545 and 1554 respectively) bears testament to the composer's reputation in his day. Around the time of his death, Manchicourt's highly polyphonic style of composition rapidly went out of fashion — a fate shared with his contemporaries Gombert, Jacobus Clemens and Thomas Crecquillon — as the liturgical reforms of the Council of Trent took hold, marking the transition from the High Renaissance to the less florid Late-Renaissance style of Victoria and Palestrina.
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View the Wikipedia article on Pierre de Manchicourt.
List of choral works
Manchicourt’s sacred works appear in more than fifty printed collections and at least twenty hand-copied manuscripts, dating from 1532 through to the late 16th century. His surviving sacred output consists of nineteen masses, a mass section, a Magnificat, 71 motets and two chansons spirituelles. A further nine sacred works — polychoral psalm settings — are contained in a degraded manuscript in Zaragoza (E–Zvp Armario C-3, MS 14) whose contents are not documented.
Masses, mass section, Magnificat
Manchicourt’s surviving complete masses consist of eighteen settings of the Mass Ordinary and a setting of the Ordinary and Propers of the Mass for the Dead. Most of the former are parody masses, based either on his own motet (three settings) or on sacred or secular works by other Franco-Flemish composers (eleven settings). Two mass settings are based on unidentified models, and the remaining two use Gregorian chant as their basis (likewise the Missa de Requiem). As was common practice, the final Agnus Dei of many of the mass settings includes one or two additional voice parts: such cases are indicated by a number in parentheses.
(1) Despite Grove’s attribution, there appears to be no such motet by Guillaume Le Heurteur among his known works, nor any other surviving setting of Ego flos campi that predates the mass (the only surviving source dates from c.1545–55) and resembles its motifs.
(2) Although Grove states that Nicolas Gombert’s five-voice chanson of the same name is the model, the motifs in the mass more closely resemble Benedictus Appenzeller's four-voice setting: most notably, the opening phrase of the Kyrie — where direct quoting of the model is to be expected — is identical to the opening phrase of Appenzeller’s chanson. Thomas Crecquillon wrote a five-voice mass setting on the same Appenzeller chanson.
Latin sacred motets
The 71 sacred motets attributed to Manchicourt include one with doubtful attribution (^^), one with doubtful attribution to another composer (^), four with unresolved conflicting attribution (?), and two contrafacta of other Manchicourt motets (°).
These two chansons are a French paraphrase of Psalm 130, and appear in one printed source as two parts of a single work:
Summary of sacred works available at CPDL (listed automatically)
Manchicourt's surviving secular output includes three dedicatory motets, and fifty French chansons that appear in at least sixteen publications (including one devoted entirely to Manchicourt's works).
Latin dedicatory motets
Summary of secular works available at CPDL (listed automatically)
Three of the pre-eminent publishers of the mid-16th century each devoted one of their volumes solely to Manchicourt’s works:
- Motettorum, Book 14 (Pierre Attaingnant, Paris, 1539, reprinted 1545) — contains thirteen 4vv, four 5vv and two 6vv motets
- Neufiesme livre des chansons a quatre parties (Tielman Susato, Antwerp, 1545) — contains twenty-eight 4vv and one 5vv chansons
- Cantionum sacrarum liber 5 (Pierre Phalèse, Leuven, 1554, reprinted 1558 and 1560) — contains nine 5vv and five 6vv motets
Two manuscripts that contain only Manchicourt’s works are held in the library of the Benedictine monastery in Montserrat, Catalunya:
- Montserrat, Biblioteca del Monestir, MS 768 ‘Douze messe musicales composees par M.P. de Manchicourt’ (Brussels, c.1545–55) — from the court of Mary of Hungary (daughter of Philip the Fair and Juana of Spain, and Regent of the Netherlands 1531–55); contains twelve of his nineteen masses
- Montserrat, Biblioteca del Monestir, MS 772 ‘Liber quatuor missarum musicalium nec non aliquot carminum ecclesiasticorum Petre de Manchicourt’ (Madrid, c.1560) — possibly copied by the composer himself during his tenure in the Court of Philip II; contains four masses, one 6vv motet, seven 5vv motets and three 4vv motets
Manchicourt's works also appear in the following 16th-century printed collections catalogued at CPDL:
- Motettorum, Book 7 (Attaingnant, 1534) — contains one each 4vv, 5vv and 6vv Magnificat antiphons for Advent
- Excellentiss. autorum liber primus quatuor vocum (Antonio Gardano, Venice, 1539, reprinted 1549) — contains one 4vv motet
- Sacrarum cantionum, liber 2 (Susato, 1546) — contains one 5vv motet
- Sacrarum cantionum, liber 3 (Susato, 1547) — contains two 4vv motets
- Sacrarum cantionum, liber 4 (Susato, 1547) — contains one 4vv motet
- Ecclesiasticarum cantionum quatuor vocum, liber 2 (Susato, 1553) — contains one 4vv motet
- Ecclesiasticarum cantionum quatuor vocum, liber 3 (Susato, 1553) — contains two 4vv motets
- Ecclesiasticarum cantionum quatuor vocum, liber 4 (Susato, 1554) — contains one 4vv motet
- Ecclesiasticarum cantionum quinque vocum, liber 5 (Susato, 1553) — contains three 5vv motets
- Ecclesiasticarum cantionum quinque vocum, liber 7 (Susato, 1553) — contains one 5vv motet
- Ecclesiasticarum cantionum quinque vocum, liber 9 (Susato, 1554) — contains one 5vv motet
- Cantionum sacrarum liber 1 (Phalèse, 1554, reprinted 1555) — contains one 5vv motet
- Cantionum sacrarum liber 2 (Phalèse, 1554, reprinted 1555) — contains one 6vv motet
- Cantionum sacrarum liber 3 (Phalèse, 1554) — contains one 5vv and two 6vv motets
- Cantionum sacrarum liber 4 (Phalèse, 1554, reprinted 1555 and 1557) — contains one 4vv motet
- Cantionum sacrarum liber 8 (Phalèse, 1555, reprinted 1556 and 1558) — contains one 5vv motet
- Sacrarum cantionum quinque et sex vocum, liber 1 (Hubert Waelrant & Jan de Laet, Antwerp, 1554) — contains one 5vv and one 6vv motet
- Tomus secundus psalmorum selectorum quatuor et plurimum vocum (Johann vom Berg & Ulrich Neuber, Nürnberg, 1553) — contains one 4vv motet
- Novum et insigne opus musicum … cantionum sex vocum (Berg & Neuber, 1558) — contains one 6vv motet
- Thesaurus musicus, tomi primi (Berg & Neuber, 1564) — contains his only 8vv motet (and its contrafactum dubiously attributed to Clemens)
- Second livre des chansons a quatre parties (Susato, 1544) — contains five 4vv chansons
- Quatrieme livre des chansons a quatre parties (Susato, 1544) — contains three 4vv chansons
- Sixiesme livre contenant XXXI chansons nouvelles a cinq et six parties (Susato, 1545) — contains his only 6vv chanson
- Treziesme livre contenant XXII chansons nouvelles a six et a huyt parties (Susato, 1550) — contains his only 8vv chanson
- Secundus tomus biciniorum … gallica, latina, germanica (Georg Rhau, Wittenberg, 1545) — contains all seven 2vv chansons
- Seysiesme livre contenant XXIX chansons … a quatre parties (Attaingnant, 1545) — contains one 4vv chanson
- Vingtiesme livre contenant XXVIII chansons … a quatre parties (Attaingnant, 1546) — contains two 4vv chansons