- Philippe Basiron
Philippe Basiron (Philippon de Bourges) (c. 1449 – just before
May 31, 1491) was a French composer, singer, and organist of the Renaissance. He was an innovative and prominent composer of the late 15th century, and was praised by many of his contemporaries.
He was probably born in
Bourges, and received his early training there, becoming a choirboyat the Ste Chapelle of the Bourges royal palace in October 1458, along with his brother Pierron. Between October 1458 and March 31, 1459the brothers were assigned to the care of Jehan Gaudier, and in 1462 the composer Guillaume Fauguesbecame briefly "magister puerorum" (master of the choirboys); he may have been a formative influence on the young Philippe. The boy's musical gifts were sufficiently distinguished that he had a clavichordpurchased for him in 1462, an extremely rare occurrence for a choirboyof 12 or 13 years old. Ockeghem also visited Bourges that year, but if the boy made his acquaintance then is not known; however the influence, and possibly friendship, of the older composer was to become clear later.
In 1464 he already had a position of authority, being given the responsibility for the musical instruction of the other boys. In 1466 he became vicar-choral, and on February 5, 1469 he became "magister puerorum" himself.
His tenure as master of the choirboys was not without difficulty; several times he was reprimanded by the chapel authorities for failing to keep his charges out of trouble. However, he was the first person to hold the position for five years; in the preceding three years, no less than five separate people had tried and failed to maintain the unruly choir. In 1474 he left Ste Chapelle, but the circumstances are not known. His successor there was
Sometime before 1490 he returned to Ste Chapelle, but since all records from the chapel between 1476 and 1486 are lost, the exact date cannot be determined. Basiron was vicar of a nearby church in 1490, and had to have died shortly before May 31, 1491, since a benefice of his passed to a brother on that date.
Music and influence
Basiron's music was widely distributed in Europe, and was highly praised by his contemporaries. In addition he was precocious: many of his chansons were written in his teens, and probably much more of his early music has been lost. A total of four masses, three motets and six chansons have survived, and also one mass which has an uncertain attribution to him.
Stylistically Basiron's music resembles that of Ockeghem, and is innovative in several ways. He used sequential repetition, and was perhaps the first composer to write a piece in which imitation was the main structural device from beginning to end (the "Regina celi"). He also was capable of creating long movements by juxtaposing sections of varying texture, but without disunity; his "Messa de Franza" is the most famous example.
Ercole I d'Este, duke of Ferrara, heard of Basiron's fame, and asked that his Missa l'homme armé be sent to him. Eloy d'Amervalmentioned Basiron in 1508 as among the "20 great composers of the 15th century"; both Pierre Mouluand theorist Gaffurius praised him highly; and most famously, poet Guillaume Crétin, in his "Déploration sur le trépas de Jean Ockeghem", listed Basiron among the sweetly singing angels in heaven welcoming Ockeghem to join them.
# Missa de Franza (4vv);
# Missa l'homme armé (mentioned as a new composition on March 24, 1484, in Ferrara) (4vv);
# Missa Regina caeli (4vv);
# Missa tetradi pladis (lost; described by
Franchinus Gaffurius) (voicing unknown)
# Missa D'ung aultre amer (4vv)
# Inviolata integra et casta (4vv);
# Regina celi (4vv);
# Salve regina (4vv) (also attributed to
# De m'esjouir plus n'ay puissance (3vv) (Rondeau);
# D’ung aultre amer I (4vv) (uses "L'homme armé" in the tenor);
# D’ung aultre amer II (4vv);
# Je le sçay bien (3vv) (Rondeau);
# Nul ne l'a tele (3vv) (Bergerette, based on "Je ne viz onques la pareille" by
Guillaume Dufay, Gilles Binchois, or Antoine Busnois);
# Tant fort me tarde (3vv) (Rondeau).
*Jeffrey Dean: "Philippe Basiron", Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed September 13, 2005), [http://www.grovemusic.com (subscription access)]
*Martin Picker, "Philippe Basiron," "The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians", ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1-56159-174-2
Gustave Reese, "Music in the Renaissance". New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 1954. ISBN 0-393-09530-4
* 1996 - "Oh Flanders Free. Music of the Flemish Renaissance:
Ockeghem, Josquin, Susato, De la Rue." Capilla Flamenca. Alamire LUB 03, Naxos 8.554516.
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