Sermisy, Claude de

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Celebrated Renaissance polyphonist, often called Claudin; b. c. 1490; d. Paris, 1562. A cleric (1508) and later canon at Sainte Chapelle (153362) and Notre Dame de la Ronde, Rouen (to 1524), he sang in the French royal chapel before 1515, and became its sous maître in 1532 under Cardinal François de Tournon and its director before 1554. During the Spanish occupation he lent his Paris house to refugee canons from Saint Quentin for deliberations (1559). His admirers included the Duke of Ferrara, recipient of his motet Esto mihi, and Certon, who composed a déploration for him. He composed 13 Masses, some 80 motets, Lamentations, a Passion, and about 160 chansons, frequently transcribed or quoted in fricassées. The principal poet for his texts was Clément Marot. His sacred works portray their texts reverently, in spite of a trace of chanson patterns (e.g. his brief and simple polyphonic Masses). In the realm of the predominantly homorhythmic lyrical chanson, he is unexcelled.

Bibliography: g. g. allaire, The Masses of Claudin de Sermisy (Doctoral diss. microfilm; Boston U. 1960). i. a. cazeaux, The Secular Music of Claudin de Sermisy, 2 v. (Doctoral diss. microfilm; Columbia U. 1961). j. haar, ed., Chanson and Madrigal, 14801530 (Cambridge, Mass. 1964). g. reese, Music in the Renaissance (rev. ed. New York 1959). Histoire de la musique, ed. roland-manuel (Paris 196063) v.1. c. stainer and m. l. pereyra, Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians ed. e. blom, 9v. (5th ed. London 1954) 7:709710. g. g. allaire, "The Masses of Claudin de Sermisy" (Ph.D. diss. Boston University, 1960). j.-p. ouvrard, "Du narratif dans la polyphonie au 16th siècle, Martin menoit son pourceau au marché : Clément Marot, Clément Janequin, Claudin de Sermisy," Analyse Musicale 9 (1987), 1116. d.m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music 826 (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1996). n. slonimsky, ed., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Eighth Edition 1686 (New York 1992). r. stevenson, "Claudin de Sermisy" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 17, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980) 171177.

[i. a. cazeaux]