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Volume 1, redone Dec. 2014


Volume 1


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1694: Paolo Lorenzani is paid by the Parisian Jesuits

In my recent "Marc-Antoine Charpentier compositeur pour les Jésuites, 1687-1698: quelques considérations programmatiques," Bulletin Charpentier, 2001, [since republished in Marc-Antoine Charpentier, un musicien retrouvé, ed. C. Cessac, 2005], I noted (p. 8) that, after cahier 64, the "ordinary" compositions seemed to leap to the "extraordinary" notebooks (that is, from the so-called "French" notebooks to the "Roman" ones). "En effet," I commented, "tout se passe comme si, par un souci d'exclusivité, les Jésuites avaient fait un nouveau marché avec Charpentier au début de 1694, un marché selon lequel le compositeur aurait promis que, s'il venait à quitter sa tenure à Saint-Louis, il céderait aux révérends pères les œuvres 'ordinaires' qu'il ferait désormais à leur intention."

The other day [that is, circa 2002] I was thumbing through some of the notes I took in Rome over a decade ago. And on a little sheet on which I had taken a few notes from the Livre de comptes de la procure de l'Assistance de France, 1680-1715 (AG, 631/A), even though they seemed to tell us nothing about Charpentier, I saw that in 1694 Paolo Lorenzani was paid 106 livres 9 sous: "Au Sr Paul Lorenzani, 106 L – 9."

Judging from the amount of the remuneration, the Jesuits commissioned a rather important work from the Roman composer in late 1693 or at some point in 1694. The document unfortunately does not reveal whether this commission coincides chronologically with the change that can be discerned in Charpentier's notebooks early in that year. Still, this payment suggests that if the missing cahier 65 did in fact bring a modification in Charpentier's "ordinary" obligations at Saint-Louis, Lorenzani was either involved in the new regimen or else knew how to take advantage of the situation. One thing I can say with reasonable certainty: if there were other payments to musicians in that register, they were such obscure artists that I didn't take notice of them. In other words, the payment to Lorenzani does not seem to be just another link in a long chain of payments to a variety of extraordinary composers, 1680-1715.