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Thread: Jean-Henri d'Anglebert (1629-1691)

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    Default Jean-Henri d'Anglebert (1629-1691)




    He was the son of an affluent tradesman from Bar-le-Duc. Nothing is known about the composer's early years and musical education.

    The earliest surviving manuscript with D'Anglebert's music dates from 1650–1659. It also contains music by Louis Couperin and Chambonnières, and possibly originated in their immediate circle. In 1660 D'Anglebert became organist at the Jacobins of Saint-Honoré Street in Paris at the time of the installation of a new organ by Étienne Enocq. In the same year, he succeeded Henri Dumont as harpsichordist to Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, the King's younger brother.

    Chambonnières had had financial problems because of the Fronde but also because Lully was now gaining in prominence. In 1662, Lully was godfather to D'Anglebert's eldest son, Jean-Baptiste-Henri. In the same year, D'Anglebert bought out Chambonnières and became harpsichordist to the king. Couperin had refused the post out of loyalty to his teacher. D'Anglebert did however write a celebrated Le tombeau de M. de Chambonnières.

    In 1689, D'Anglebert published the first book of his Pièces de clavecin. Alongside four original suites for harpsichord, it also includes transcriptions for keyboard of excerpts from operas and ballets by his friend Jean-Baptiste Lully. In his harpsichord music, D'Anglebert forges dense counterpoint and a precise system of embellishments into an elegant, albeit somewhat exceedingly elaborate, idiom.

    His other claim to fame is his table of ornaments which was copied by Bach and was also used by Rameau:

    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Pieces de Clavecin

    5ème Suite : Sarabande. Mézangeot
    5ème Suite : Chaconne du vieux Gautier



    Folies d'Espagne



    Tombeau de Monsieur Chambonnières
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taggart View Post



    He was the son of an affluent tradesman from Bar-le-Duc. Nothing is known about the composer's early years and musical education.

    The earliest surviving manuscript with D'Anglebert's music dates from 1650–1659. It also contains music by Louis Couperin and Chambonnières, and possibly originated in their immediate circle. In 1660 D'Anglebert became organist at the Jacobins of Saint-Honoré Street in Paris at the time of the installation of a new organ by Étienne Enocq. In the same year, he succeeded Henri Dumont as harpsichordist to Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, the King's younger brother.

    Chambonnières had had financial problems because of the Fronde but also because Lully was now gaining in prominence. In 1662, Lully was godfather to D'Anglebert's eldest son, Jean-Baptiste-Henri. In the same year, D'Anglebert bought out Chambonnières and became harpsichordist to the king. Couperin had refused the post out of loyalty to his teacher. D'Anglebert did however write a celebrated Le tombeau de M. de Chambonnières.

    In 1689, D'Anglebert published the first book of his Pièces de clavecin. Alongside four original suites for harpsichord, it also includes transcriptions for keyboard of excerpts from operas and ballets by his friend Jean-Baptiste Lully. In his harpsichord music, D'Anglebert forges dense counterpoint and a precise system of embellishments into an elegant, albeit somewhat exceedingly elaborate, idiom.

    His other claim to fame is his table of ornaments which was copied by Bach and was also used by Rameau:

    That’s Louis Couperin.

    It makes you realise what an interesting life Chambonnières had, I’d like to find out more about him.

    By the way, D’Anglebert also wrote transcriptions for keyboard of lute music by Denis and Ennemond Gaultier, not just transcriptions of theatre music by Lully.

    I think his music is hard to get off the page, and for a long time I rejected the suites as just not very interesting. I think I was probably wrong about that. Good names to explore for D’Anglebert on record are Gustav Leonhardt, Frederick Haas, Arthur Haas, Paola Erdas, Kenneth Gilbert, Laurent Stewart, Brigitte Tramier, Barbara Maria Willi, Yves-G. Préfontaine. I have a friend who thinks that D’Anglebert’s tombeau for Chambonnières is a major summit of French keyboard music.

    Just seeing this thread prompted me to listen to this, which is IMO very successful

    51dQOku2tiL._SX355_.jpg
    Last edited by Mandryka; Jun-26-2018 at 16:06.

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    Jean Henri D'Anglebert
    Louis Couperin
    Cross-eyed
    Not cross-eyed

    Oh and it says Jean Heny D'Anglebert round the outside of the frame.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Le plus grand des clavecinistes français avant François Couperin ». C'est en ces termes que l'éminent biographe de Couperin, Wilfrid Mellers, décrit Jean-Henry d'Anglebert dans le dictionnaire Groves. On connaît peu de choses sur sa vie. Né à Paris en 1628, d'Anglebert devient, avec Louis Couperin, l'élève de Chambonnières. En 1661 il est organiste du Duc d'Orléans; de cett~ époque peuvent dater les cinq admirables Fugues pour orgue,'qui font figure à part dans la littérature française pour cet instrument.

    En 1664 il est nommé Ordinaire de la Musique du Roi. Les Pièces de Clavecin, le .seul recueil qu'il ait publié, datent de 1689, deux années avant sa mort. Cette collection comprend quatre suites, augmentées d'un certain nombre de transcriptions de Lulli, ainsi que les pièces d'orgue précitées, et une courte Méthode pour apprendre la basse continue.

    Trop longtemps sous-estimé en France, l'oeuvre de d'Anglebert est d'une richesse, d'une force d'expression et d'une gravité qui risquent d'étonner l'auditeur pour qui la musique française ancienne est plutôt synonyme de grâce et de légèreté. Ici, rien de « charmant» dans le sens conventionnel du terme (dit-on d'une sonate de Beethoven qu'elle est « charmante.» ?). On sait, d'ailleurs, que J.S. Bach et plusieurs de ses contemporains portaient à ce Maître la plus grande admiration; rappelons que la table d'ornements copiée par Bach à l'intention de son fils Wilhelm Friedemann s'inspire largement de celle de d'Anglebert.

    N'ayant voulu présenter sur ce disque que le visage original du compositeur, j'ai écarté les diverses transcriptions de Lulli (ouvertures, chaconnes, airs et danses), pourtant d'un intérêt instrumental indéniable, pour ne conserver que les pièces essentielles des trois principales suites. Elles commencent par un de ces Préludes non mesurés si caractéristiques de f'école française du 17e siècle, sorte de « musique aléatoire» avant la lettre, où n'interprète doit « composer» le discours musical à partir d'une série· de notes non-rythmées. Ces Préludes de d'Anglebert se signaient par leur force déclamatoire et la hardiesse des harmonies. Puis viennent les quatre danses fondamentales, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande et Gigue, d'une densité polyphonique remarquable. Une somptueuse Chaconne en rondeau, grave et sereine, termine la Suite en sol majeur.

    Chez d'Anglebert, l'art de l'ornementation atteint son apogée. Sa table d'ornements, la plus complète qui soit, comprend plusieurs signes qu'on ne trouve nulle part ailleurs. L'interprète devra donc se soucier d'intégrer parfaitement tous ces « agréments» à la trame mélodique, sans que le rythme fondamental de la danse en soit perturbé. Ces pièces qui, au premier abord, peuvent sembler surchargées, se révéleront alors, après plusieurs auditions, dans toute leur simplicité structurale.
    
    This seriousness, gravité, the polar opposite of charme, grâce, légèreté, that is claimed to be essential to the suites, is something Kenneth Gilbert captures well in his recording of the G minor suite, as does Gustav Leonhardt and Barbara Maria Willi. Same for the other point he mentions, that the ornaments shouldn’t confuse the rhythms. I’m not sure anyone else really does.

    Anyway, this recording seems a major document of French baroque interpretation on record to me, not least because, apart from the side of an LP by Leonhardt, as far as I know at the time nothing else was available to the public.

    R-5975370-1407835689-7650.jpeg.jpg
    Last edited by Mandryka; Jun-29-2018 at 19:46.

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    front3.jpg

    The sleeve reads

    Mr. Leonhardt's performance is as close as possible to what we know of French 17th-century practice. Besides an accurate reading of the ornaments and use of rhythmic alterations, he adds even more ornaments in the repeats. His instrument is a copy of a 1745 Dulcken executed by Martin Skowroneck of Bremen in 1962. Limited by the mechanics of the instrument, Mr. Leonhardt's registration is simple and in the taste of the period. Add to this the fact that the instrument is tuned in meantone temperament, and one realizes that it is truly a historic performance and that the rich-ness of the music speaks for itself without the aid of modern innovations.
    I wonder if this is the only recording of a D'Anglebert suite in meantone. I think that it makes a huge difference, for the good.

    As far as I'm aware, Verlet never recorded any D'Anglebert; I don't know what Gilbert's ideas about temperament were.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Jul-04-2018 at 20:51.

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    In this set, Elizabeth Farr plays the G major and the D major suites on a lautenwerk, which is an instrument with particularly short lived ressonanaces, great transparence, and with a very muscular, encapsulated, emphatic sound. Furthermore she plays digitally, that’s to say with complete expressive independence of the voices.

    When this approach is done well the music becomes an affective drama of mutually responsive voices. I don’t think that Elizabeth Farr does it well. The rhythms are too stiff; one line dominates most of the time, and I think the fault is Farr’s rather than D’Anglebert’s; there isn’t much by way of expression; there isn’t much variety of tempo or touch or texture.

    I’ve been in a discussion with a musician who has worked hard at developing the digital approach on lute harpsichord, and he says that to do it well you need to be a good improviser, presumably because you have to improvise rubato and ornament and articulation in order to create a poetic relationship among the voices. Elizabeth Farr isn’t a good enough improviser to pull it off.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Jul-06-2018 at 15:22.

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