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Ave Maria
   

Ave Maria

Lheritier, Jean

Arr. Olson, Gary

$17.00


  • Ensemble: Brass Quartet
  • Genre: Renaissance
  • Grade: 4
  • Duration: 4.0 minutes
  • Catalog Number: DB-CAN0143

Jean Lhéritier was a little known Sixteenth Century French composer. It is presumed that he was born
in the Département: du Pas-de-Calais, sometimes around 1480. The earliest datable anthologies
containing his music contain mostly compositions of the prominent musicians associated with the
Chapel of the Royal French Court at the beginning of the Sixteenth Century, this it is presumed that his
early education included exposure to Mouton, Josquin, Willaert and others. Although Lhéritier’s style
resembles that of Mouton, there is at least one written record citing Lhéritier as a disciple of Josquin.
The date and circumstances of Lhéritier’s move to Italy are uncertain, but in 1521 he was the
chapelmaster and perhaps the chaplain of the National French Church of St. Louis des Francais, a
church with a small faltering musical establishment which served the French speaking people of
Rome. It has been speculated that this position was incidental to some more compelling reason for
being in Rome. Certainly he was not well paid, receiving a monthly salary substantially less than that
of his predecessors. Perhaps he was a Papal hanger-on to the Court of Leo X. In any case, his name
does not appear in the records of the Papal musical organizations of the time. He received a
substantial raise in 1522, bringing his salary to the level of his predecessors, but nonetheless, he left
this position in the latter part of the year. There is no record of a successor until 1536.


Although his name was increasingly mentioned in contemporary musical sources, no further
documentary evidence locates Lhéritier until 1540. Texts of some of his musical compositions during
this time appear to refer to the struggle surrounding the final attempt at Republican government in
Florence, which occurred between 1527 and 1530. This was indeed a difficult time for the Florentines
as their attempts at Republican government were impeded by hostile forces arranged about the city
walls, and the plague ravaging the population from within.


In 1540, Lhéritier was the Chapelmaster to the Papal Legate of Avignon, the Cardinal of Clermont.
When he joined the Cardinal’s Court is unknown, but presumably there was a longstanding and close
relationship between Lhéritier and the Cardinal. This is attested to by the comfortable income which
Lhéritier accrued from benefices and prebends provided by the Cardinal. As a member of the Sacred
College, the Cardinal travelled significantly, serving to spread the fame of his chapelmaster. On the
death of the Cardinal on March 2, 1541, Lhéritier found it difficult to retain the benefices which had
supported him so well. The Cardinal had provided this contingency, however, and Lhéritier was given
a pension. Although his works were reprinted in various anthologies into the 1560’s, little new
material by Lhéritier appeared following the death of the Cardinal. It appears that Lhéritier went into
some form of retirement. His activities following the death of the Cardinal, his location, and even the
date of his death are unknown. Lhéritier’s collected works have been published, and the archival
research carried out by L.L. Perkins in writing his doctoral dissertation and in writing the introduction
to the collected works represents the best source of information on this little known composer.

 


This work is part of our Denver Brass Signature Series.


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