The Ranums' Panat Times
Some "red flags" in the flow of papers, 1673-1683
This Musing refers to
Laurent Guillo's "Les papiers imprimés
Written in October 2007
Ever since my Vers une chronologie (1994), where I laid out the broad flow of watermarks in Charpentier's Mélanges, scholars have been aware that papers occasionally diverge from that flow. For example, paper E (which Charpentier used primarily from 1677 to 1680) crops up in cahier 8, which is filed with works composed for 1674. Paper F (which contains works associated with the early 1680s ) is found in cahier XVIII, which contains works for 1675. Paper G (which Charpentier used from 1680 to 1682) is present in cahier 22, which holds works for 1679. In short, recopyings or reworkings have always been a distinct possibility for cahiers 8, 22, and XVIII (and for other cahiers as well). These three cahiers can therefore be considered "red-flag" cahiers: for that reason I show them in red in the chart below.
Laurent Guillo's and Jane Gosine's recent presentations of printed staves and handwriting changes in the Mélanges permit us to look at these red-flag cahiers in a new way. Guillo's evidence reveals that all paper E comes from the same printing batch, but that the staves on papers F and G vary. And Gosine's evidence about clef formation (at http://www.sscm-jscm.org/jscm/v12/no1/gosine.html) can permit us to establish more precisely the date when a given sheet of paper was used.
The Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles will soon be combining the Ranum-Guillo-Gosine evidence (I supposed it can be called "the RGG evidence" for short?) and will be making this data available on its site. To suggest how useful this combined evidence will be for scholars, I am summarizing here a little exercise I did last summer at Panat, during a week of seemingly endless rain. I pulled together the RGG evidence for the period 1673-1683. (I focused only on the principal papers, and I eliminated miscellaneous papers that would obscure the original chronological pattern.) I then looked closely at those three red-flag cahiers, as they are situated within the intertwined pattern of papers and printed staves shown in my Musing about Laurent Guillo's findings when linked to my own.
As in my other Musings prompted by Guillo's article, papers are identified by their Ranum letter or number, followed by a slash and the Guillo PAP number: E/83, F/39, G/26, for example. In addition, for this particular Musing I found it very helpful to add a second slash followed by Jane Gosine's G- or C-clef numbers: E/83/G1,C1 although I think that omitting the evidence about the C-clef and reducing that coding to G/26/G2 would usually suffice. I list the paper first, because paper brands constitute the broadest facet of the RGG data; I list the PAP number next, because it represents a considerably narrower facet of the data and serves to subdivide the paper brands; and I show the clef last, because this information is the narrowest facet of all and suggests a rather wide time-slot for the date of copying.
Here is what I found.
Paper E/83 is the principal paper employed by Charpentier in cahiers 15-23, that is, from the spring of 1677 to late 1679 or early 1680. On all of this paper Charpentier used the pre-1681 clefs that Gosine calls G-1 and C-1. In other words, we can describe all the E/83 paper in the Mélanges as being paper E/83/G1,C1 although, as I said, I think we can usually omit the evidence about the C-clef as redundant and simply say: paper E/83/G1.
What does the presence of paper E/83/G1 tell us about the red flag I placed on cahier 8, which in theory contains works composed for 1674? Well, it strongly suggests that Charpentier recopied that entire cahier at some point between 1677 and 1680. (We cannot of course rule out the possibility that he waited at least three years to finish his personal copy of the Messe pour plusieurs instruments, H.513, which begins in cahier 7. A delay of that sort would, however, be quite atypical for Charpentier.)
But we are not quite finished with paper E/83/G1, which is also found in cahier 22, where it juxtaposes some paper G. It is because of this paper G ― or to be precise, paper G/26 ― that I highlight cahier 22 in red in the chart below.
Paper G proves to have a variety of staves, some manuscript, some printed. Among these sub-groups of paper G is paper G/26, which is found in cahier 22 (cahier 22 occupies a time-slot for 1679). Paper G/26 also appears in cahiers 36 and 37, of 1682, and in cahier XXXV as well, which likewise contains works for 1682. Thus we can propose, as a working hypothesis, that cahier 22 was recopied in 1682. Jane Gosine's work confirms this dating indeed, her evidence permits us to move from hypothesis to certainty. That is to say, in cahier 22 the clefs on paper G/26 are the type that Charpentier began to use in early 1681. The variant of paper G that is found in cahier 22 can therefore be described as paper G/26/G2. (The central sheets of cahier 22, fols. 93-96, are the very same paper E/83/G1 discussed above, which was used from the spring of 1677 to early 1681: thus the core of cahier 22 clearly is older than the outer pages.)
In other words, there is no reason to doubt that folios 90-92 of cahier 22 date from 1682. [Actually, I have begun to doubt this: see my brief Musing on cahier 22 and paper G/26] This means that cahier 22 underwent some sort of modification in 1682, when Charpentier saved a few pages of an early piece for the Dauphin's musicians, the Pièches (we have seen that these sheets, perhaps preserved for sentimental reasons, are made of paper E/83/G1, as is the paper in the immediately neighboring cahiers, shown in bold black type). Around these old, central pages he then put three different sorts of paper G, one of them with manuscript staves and two with printed staves: paper G/ms/G2, paper G/82/G2, and the red-flagged paper G/26/G2.(1) (I have "green-flagged" these papers in the chart below.) At that point Charpentier set about recopying the new outer sheets of the original cahier 22, taking care to make the new pages flow smoothly into and past its old heart, made of paper E/83/G1.
Another red-flagged paper is F/39. It is found in cahier XVIII, which contains music for Circé, which opened in March 1675. This paper F/39 can be described as paper F/39/G1. It clearly was copied out prior to late December 1680, when Charpentier began changing his G-clef and moved quickly from Gosine's G-1 clef to her G-2 clef. But when did Charpentier copy cahier XVIII?
Paper F/39 is also found in cahier 28, which dates from early 1680; and it is also found in cahier XXXIII, which dates from early 1682. In other words, paper F/39 is found both before and after the change in G-clefs! So next we must ask: "Are the G-clefs the same in cahiers 28 and XXXIII? Or are they different?"
It so happens that, in cahier 28, paper F/39 bears the early G-clef: it can therefore be described as paper F/39/G1. In other words, we can be very certain that the Lenten music on these pages was copied out prior to December 1680. To be still more precise, it was copied out during the first half of 1680, when Charpentier had not yet modified his G-clef. On the other hand, the clefs in cahier XXXIII are Gosine's G-2 and C-2. In short, this is paper F/39/G2, and it clearly post-dates January 1681. It therefore post-dates by roughly five years the first performance of Circé. Indeed, these sheets of paper F/39/G2 almost certainly date from early 1682, just as cahier XXXIII's time-slot suggests.
What does this new evidence about paper F/39 teach us? First of all, it strongly suggests that the music for Circé in cahier XVIII was recopied early in 1680, and that this cahier is therefore the close contemporary of cahier 28. In addition, it suggests that Charpentier was using paper F/39 from early 1680 to early 1682, and that cahier XXXIII itself dates from early 1682.
As the chart below suggests, cahiers XXXIII and XXXIV reveal something else something very important for our understanding of Charpentier's career. Not only were some of the pages in cahier XXXIII printed by forme 39, the totality of cahier XXXIV was also printed by that forme. Yet I found two very different brands of paper in cahier XXXIII, so different that they could not possibly be confused: there is some paper F (F/39) in cahier XXXIII, but there is also some paper with the Jesuit watermark that I show by a cross: paper †/39. (I "blue-flagged" this paper in the chart below.)
In other words, circa 1681, the Jesuits apparently left some of their paper at a print shop (probably in Paris); and this Jesuit paper was printed with forme 39 perhaps accidentally, perhaps intentionally. Be that as it may, the printer seems to have given the Reverend Fathers a bundle containing a mixture of paper F/39 and paper †/39(2); and by early 1682 some of this printed Jesuit paper turned up on Marc-Antoine Charpentier's work table. I will therefore conclude by looking at paper †/39, to see what it can teach us.
We will begin by looking at cahiers XXXIII and XXXIII as a whole. First of all, Jane Gosine the acknowledged expert on the handwriting in the Mélanges during Charpentier's Jesuit period does not suggest that either cahier was recopied during the 1690s, when the composer was in the Reverend Fathers' employ. In fact, she points out that although Charpentier momentarily reverted to his pre-1681 G-clef on fol. 55v of cahier XXXIV, throughout cahiers XXXIII-XXXIV he used his new clef G-2. Disregarding this lapse, we can can therefore describe the paper in cahiers XXXIII-XXXIV as paper †/39/G2.
In short, there is no reason to think that cahiers XXXIII and XXXIV do not date from 1682. The implications of this fact are, of course, stunning: Charpentier was being supplied with Jesuit paper as early as the summer of 1682! This in turn means that he was composing occasional pieces for the Reverend Fathers while in the employ of the Guises.
.... which leads us to another Musing about the presence of Jesuit paper in Charpentier's earlier notebooks, now in preparation.
But first, a brief conclusion to this Musing:
When "the RGG evidence" is combined into a
code, it may permit us to determine, with considerable precision, the date when
Charpentier replaced some pages of an existing cahier or
copied/recopied/reworked an entire cahier. The evidence is already available to
those who have the time and courage to assemble it, cahier by cahier and page by
page: there is my on-line presentation of the
papers in the French cahiers and the
papers in the Roman cahiers; there is Laurent Guillo's article in the
Actes of the 2004 conference on the Mélanges, and there is Jane
Gosine's on-line presentation of Charpentier's musical clefs. Once this evidence
is merged and presented in a coherent way on the CMBV site, dozens of exercises
like the one I have just described will be immensely facilitated. I look forward
to that day, and I anticipate some wonderful discoveries by a whole new
generation of Charpentier scholars who can put the RGG data to good use.
1. In other words, Charpentier used the same brand of paper, paper G, which presumably was purchased at the same shop; but two different formes had been used to print the staves, and some of the paper was not printed but had been hand-ruled. At any rate, that is how I interpret the presence of three types of paper G in a single cahier. Why this occurred remains a matter of speculation.
2. One wonders whether Charpentier realized this and used the non-Jesuit paper F/39 for his personal archives, but copied the scores and parts onto the paper †/39 so that it would bear Jesuit mark, and then employed the left-over Jesuit sheets of paper in cahiers XXXIII and XXXIV.