The Ranums' Panat Times
Jesuit papers in Marc-Antoine Charpentier's M¨¦langes:
This Musing refers to
Laurent Guillo's "Les papiers imprim¨¦s
I have hesitated to hypothesize that Charpentier received special commission from the Jesuits prior to 1688, but the possibility has haunted me for years. Thanks to Laurent Guillo's research, it is possible to assert that Charpentier did indeed work for the Jesuits during the early 1680s!
Let me explain how I reached that conclusion. (I hope the exercise that follows will be of help to scholars less familiar with seventeenth-century printing and paper as they affect our understanding of Charpentier's autograph manuscripts.)
Over a decade ago, my research (Vers une chronologie) showed that most of the paper used by Charpentier between early 1688 and early 1698 bears a watermark with a Jesuit-type emblem, a large crucifix. I therefore decided to show this Jesuit paper by a cross: †. My research also showed the scattered presence of paper with that watermark in cahiers that occupy pre-1688 time slots.
Until Laurent Guillo's work on the staves in Marc-Antoine's M¨¦langes, we could talk only of "Jesuit paper," in the singular. And we were confronted with hundreds of sheets of apparently identical paper. Prudently, we assumed that any page of the M¨¦langes copied onto Jesuit paper dated from 1688 or later.
We must learn to think differently, because there turn out to be at least four distinct types of Jesuit paper. Three of them have printed staves. These three categories are quite small and involve only a few cahiers. The fourth category is vast: it consists of pages with hand-drawn staves, and this manuscript music paper is the dominant paper from 1688 to 1698. A scientific measuring of the staves on all these sheets of paper might permit us to subdivide these manuscript pages, thereby permitting us ― perhaps ― to establish a more precise chronology for the 1690s. But at this point, we must restrict ourselves to saying that, during his Jesuit years, Charpentier used primarily manuscript Jesuit "paper," in the singular.
What follows is a first step toward understanding the importance of Laurent Guillo's work on the music staves in Charpentier's manuscripts, and the implications of his research for our understanding of the composer's career. I will look in turn at each of the four categories of Jesuit paper, starting with the hand-ruled paper. This is the step-by-step reasoning I used while musing over Guillo's findings last summer, and it has permitted me to demonstrate that Charpentier had Jesuit paper on his work table in the early 1680s.
Paper with manuscript staves
This is a huge catergory! To give an idea of its vastness, I will list the cahiers in which hand-ruled Jesuit paper is used. (For brevity, I have taken to describing each paper by the letter or number that I gave it back in 1994, followed by a slash and Guillo's PAP-number or the abbreviation "ms" where the paper is hand-drawn: A/75, E/83, d/ms, †/25, and so forth.) The manuscript Jesuit paper is therefore shown as "paper †/ms."
The cahiers with hand-ruled Jesuit paper are: VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, LIV, LV, LVII, LX, LXI, LXII, LXIV, LXV, LXVI, 33 (replacement outer sheets), 39, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58 (with some paper †/70), 59 (idem), 60, 61, 62, 63, "a," "c," "d," and 75 (central sheets).
You will note that this enumeration includes cahiers VI-XI, which Charpentier filed in an early time-slot even though, as C. Jane Gosine has demonstrated so convincingly, he subsequently recopied and reworked the contents while in the employ of the Jesuits. This enumeration also permits us literally to glimpse the moment when Charpentier began to work for the Jesuits full time: this transition occurred around the time he copied cahiers 54 and LIV.
Dating any one of these cahiers is difficult. I attempted to do so back in 2001,(1) but I could not get beyond hypotheses.
Even scrutinizing Charpentier's handwriting for clues does not permit us to date these hand-ruled pages with precision, as we usually can for the pre-Jesuit decades. One general assertion is, however, possible: no hand-ruled Jesuit paper bears Charpentier's earliest G-clefs and C-clefs (Gosine calls them G-1 and C-1). In other words, this hand-ruled Jesuit paper does not appear to have been available to him prior to late 1680, when he abandoned clef G-1 in favor of clef G-2.
This paper was printed by the forme that Guillo calls PAP-25. It appears in cahiers 5, 20, 29, 30, and 40. We will look at each cahier in turn.
Although this cahier occupies an early chronological slot (1672-73), the handwriting reveals that it was recopied later, for the clefs are the type that Gosine calls G-2 and C-2. Most of the paper in this cahier is b/77, but the central sheets are paper †/25. In other words, when the new cahier was made, a sheet of paper †/25 was intermingled with eight sheets of paper b/77. Using the code system I invented for my Musing on "red flags" we can say that the central sheet of cahier 5 is made of paper †/25/G2, while the rest of the cahier is made of paper b/77/G2. In other words, the clef formation shows us that this cahier was recopied after January 1681.
Will cahier 20 permit us to be more precise about that date?
Cahier 20 is made primarily of two papers that appear only in the arabic-numbered series of notebooks: paper d/ms and paper 3/76. A third paper appears as the central sheet of the cahier, and it is the same paper as the central sheet of cahier 5: paper †/25/G2. Gosine notes strong similarities between the hand in cahier 5 and the hand in cahiers 20-22, which contain music written for 1678-79 ― music that was recopied later.(2) Indeed, she argues that the hand in cahier 19 (also made of paper d/ms), like the hand in cahier 20, is considerably more mature than the hand in the surrounding notebooks, where clef G-1 dominates. The date of this recopying/reworking is not clear, however. What is clear is that cahier 20, as we know it, does not date from 1678-79.
Let us move on to cahiers 29 and 30, in hopes that they contain a clue that will permit us to deduce the date when Charpentier used paper †/25.
cahiers 29 and 30
Cahiers 29 and 30 contain works filed away in the 1680 time-slot. The principal paper in both cahiers is G/84. (Or, to make the coding still more precise, the paper is G/84/G1, because it bears the G-clef that Charpentier used until December 1680.) On the other hand, the outer sheet of each cahier is the Jesuit paper under discussion: paper †/25/G2. In other words, at some point after January 1681, Charpentier replaced the damaged outer sheet of these two cahiers. But when?
Cahier 40 tells us far more than the other cahiers do about the dates when Charpentier paper †/25. It is made entirely of paper †/25/G2.
Jane Gosine points out that, in both clef formation and style, this cahier is very close to cahiers 37-38. Cahier 37 is not, however, made of Jesuit paper: it is made of paper G/26, and it clearly dates from 1682. Cahier 38 is made of paper I/26, and it contains a piece for the late Queen, who died in August 1683. Since paper G/26 is also found in cahier XXXV of 1682, and since paper I/26 is found in cahiers XXXVI-XXIX, of 1683, there is every reason to believe that cahiers 37 and 38 do in fact date from late 1682 and mid-to-late 1683. Since cahier 40 occupies a time-slot just posterior to the slots occupied by cahiers 37 and 38, cahier 40 almost certainly dates from the summer of 1684. In other words, Charpentier was using paper †/25/G2 in 1684, while still in the employ of the Guises.
The forme used to create paper †/25 which was also employed to print papers J/25 and K/25 in cahiers 42, XLII, and LXIV (all of which date from 1684) does not appear in the M¨¦langes after that date. Did the forme wear out? I suggest that this detail is significant, because no paper †/25 is found in the M¨¦langes, 1688-98, when Charpentier was working full time for the Jesuits.
To summarize: during the first half of 1682, or thereabouts, Charpentier had been given some paper †/25 to use for the score and partbooks of a Jesuit commission. During the summer of 1684, he used some leftover sheets of this paper to make cahier 40; and around the same time he used that paper to repair or recopy cahiers 5, 20, and 29. In short, there can be little doubt that he was composing for the Jesuits early in 1684, while residing at the Hotel de Guise.
Another printed Jesuit paper, †/39, appears in the M¨¦langes for a very brief time, in cahiers XXXIII and XXXIV. The later of these two cahiers contains music for Androm¨¨de, which opened in July 1682. I presented this paper as a "red flag" in another Musing; but I will present it from a different perspective here.
Most of this cahier is made of paper F/39, but the central pages (fols. 49-51) are made of paper †/39/G2. The contents appear to date from early 1682. Jane Gosine points out that the hand in this cahier (and in cahier XXXIV) dates from the months when Charpentier was changing his G-clef from G-1 to G-2, a process that began in January 1681.
The presence of a sheet of Jesuit paper does not permit us to date cahier XXXIII, however.
This cahier contains music for Androm¨¨de, which opened in July 1682. It is made entirely of paper †/39/G2. Jane Gosine points out that Charpentier reverted briefly to his pre-1682 G-clef on fol. 55 of this cahier, and that throughout these two cahiers the new G-clef is in "its earliest form." In other words, there is no reason to propose a date other than early 1682 for this cahier, and for cahier XXXIII as well.
In short, the evidence provided by paper †/39 therefore strengthens what paper †/25 tells us: while still at the Hotel de Guise, Charpentier was working for the Jesuits. An important distinction between these two papers must be made, however: Paper †/39 dates from the first half of 1682, but paper †/25 was not used until the summer of 1684! Thanks to those few sheets of paper †/39 and paper †/25, it is now possible to assert that Marc-Antoine Charpentier received two separate extraordinary commission from the Jesuits, one in late 1681 or early 1682, and the other in early 1684.
Jesuit paper printed with forme 70 appears in cahiers 27, 58, 59, VII, VIII, and LVIII. Laurent Guillo stresses the uniqueness of this particular forme: "Ce papier n'a ¨¦t¨¦ d¨¦tect¨¦ que dans les M¨¦langes et dans la copie des motets de Lalande faite et sign¨¦e par Philidor l'aîn¨¦ en 1689. ... Donc, la datation de son utilisation dans les M¨¦langes vers 1690-1692 peut ¨ştre consid¨¦r¨¦ comme sûre" (p. 45). "Sure"? The issue merits our scrutiny, in the form of a closer examination of where paper †/70 occurs in the M¨¦langes.
It appears in cahiers 27, 58, 59, VII, VIII, and LVIII.
This cahier is made of paper F/81/G1, but the outer sheets are paper †/70/G2. In other words, the hand on the outer sheet is considerably more mature than the hand on the inner sheets, which contain music for the tenebrae performed at the Abbaye-aux-Bois during Holy Week of 1680.
Once again, an outer sheet of later paper does not permit us to date this modification.
cahiers 58 and 59
These two cahiers date from Charpentier's years with the Jesuits and are filled with what appear to be his "ordinary" obligations. Most pages of these two cahiers are made of paper †/ms/G2; but intermingled with these hand-ruled pages are a few pages with printed staves: paper †/70/G2,C2.
Do these cahiers, as Guillo suggested, date from 1690-1692? Owing to numerous missing cahiers, after late 1687 it quite difficult to date the individual cahiers in either series of notebooks. Back in 2001 I proposed that cahier 58 dates from December 1690, and cahier 59 from the spring of 1691. Working independently, Catherine Cessac proposed December 1690 and early 1691 for the same two cahiers.
This cahier (the 58th in the roman-numeral series of notebooks), presumably contains Charpentier's "extraordinary" commissions. Like cahiers 58 and 59, it seems to date from the early 1690s. Indeed, one would expect the 58th cahier in each series of notebooks (cahier 58 and cahier LVIII) to be more or less contemporary, because for the previous two decades the two series had advanced at exactly the same speed, both series having reached 50 or 51 cahiers by late 1687.
Cahier LVIII is made entirely of paper †/70/G2,C2. In other words, in both paper and hand, this cahier resembles cahiers 58 and 59. Back in 2001, I proposed that cahier LVIII contains works for the spring of 1691; C. Cessac proposed 1690-1691. Indeed, cahier LVIII and cahiers 58 and 59 do seem to be more or less contemporaneous.
If this proposed dating possesses any merits, it suggests that Charpentier used paper †/70 for a relatively short time: from late 1690 to early 1691. The repairs to cahier 27 were presumably made during this brief period.
cahiers VII and VIII
Amid the hand-ruled paper †/ms in cahiers VII and VIII are a few sheets with printed staves. These pages prove to be made of paper †/70. As J. Gosine has argued so convincingly, these cahiers (and cahiers VI, IX, X, and XI ― which are made entirely of paper †/ms) were reworked while Charpentier was in the employ of the Jesuits. She does not propose a date, but the original pieces in cahiers VII and VIII, composed in the early 1670s, clearly were reworked during the brief period when Charpentier was using paper †/70, that is, from late 1690 to early 1691. (The original cahiers VI, IX, X, and XI presumably were also reworked and discarded at this time, but the date of this event remains hypothetical.)
Laurent Guillo's research has enabled us to make a great step forward in our understanding of Marc-Antoine Charpentier's career.
1. The article was written for the Bulletin Charpentier and was reprinted in Marc-Antoine Charpentier, un musicien retrouv¨¦, ed. C. Cessac (Sprimont: Mardaga, 2005), pp. 231-46.
2. "Correlations between Handwriting Changes and Revisions to Works within the M¨¦langes," Les Manuscrits autographes de Marc-Antoine Charpentier, ed. C. Cessac (Wavre: Mardga, 2007), pp. 107-108. (In her illustration, p. 108, should "cahier 22, fol. 60v" read "cahier 20"?)
3. I have wondered, elsewhere, whether he felt free to rework these particular cahiers because they had been Jesuit commissions in the first place. Since the original cahiers were discarded, that question remains unanswered.