Guillaume Bouzignac was way ahead of his time. Born (probably) in 1587 he packed a lot of composing between then and his death in (probably) 1643. He was born in Saint-Nazaire-d'Aude, in Languedoc-Roussillon and applied as a boy to study at the Cathedral of St. Juste in Narbonne, reputedly submitting several original compositions in support of his application. The Cathedral accepted his application and he "graduated" in 1604 aged 17. — The motet "O mors, ero mors tua" ("O death, I will be your death") was his "graduation composition". It's a remarkable piece of music with opening dissonances and suspensions that pop into my mind everytime I hear the technique used in 20th Century compositions*.
After "graduating", St. Juste appointed him as assistant master of music. His subsequent career included a posting at the Church of St. André, Grenoble, a lot of travel in Italy and Spain, and appointments as choirmaster at the Cathedrals of Angoulême, Bourges (where he was ordained as a priest in 1624), Tours and Clermont-Ferrand.
For this week's "Saturday Chorale" I've picked a performance of his setting of "Ave Maria" by Les Arts Florissants, Les Pages de la chapelle (Maitrise du Centre du Musique Baroque de Versailles) Conducted by Olivier Schneebeli, I love this recording, it's one of the pieces of music I listen to de-stress. Enjoy :-)
markfromirelandTags: Ave Maria, Bouzignac, Choral Music, French Choral Music, Guillaume de Bouzignac, Renaissance choral music, Saturday Chorale