George de La Hèle

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Aliases: Georges, de la Hele, Helle


Born: 1547, Antwerp

Died: 27 August 1586, Madrid


George de La Hèle trained as a chorister at Antwerp cathedral before moving to Madrid in 1560 to sing in the royal chapel of Philip II, under the musical direction of Pierre de Manchicourt. Returning to the Low Countries in the 1570s for university study and subsequent appointments as maestro di capilla at Sint-Romboutskathedraal in Mechelen and Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai, La Hèle was appointed in 1580 to succeed Geert van Turnhout as maestro di capilla at the royal chapel in Madrid. He remained in that post until his death, whereupon he was succeeded by Philippe Rogier (the last in a line of Franco-Flemish incumbents stretching back to Marbrianus de Orto in 1512). Manuscripts containing much of La Hèle's compositional output were destroyed in a fire at the Palacio Real on Christmas Eve 1734, which may go some way to explaining his apparent obscurity in comparison to the more famous bearers of that important royal office. Only eleven works survive (eight masses, two motets and one chanson), all but two of which are contained in a book of parody masses (on motets by Josquin des Prez, Orlande de Lassus, Cipriano de Rore and Thomas Crecquillon) published by Christophe Plantin in 1578.

View the Wikipedia article on George de La Hèle.

List of choral works


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  • Plantin, Octo missae quinque, sex et septem vocum [Antwerp, 1578]

External links