News from Salut! Baroque | August 2023

Farewell to Hans-Dieter Michatz

Hans-Dieter Michatz has been a regular presence for most of Salut’s 28 year history. His knowledge, versatility and passion from more than half a century of pioneering historically informed performance practice have been wonderfully inspiring.

But all good things must come to an end. Hans has decided to retire from performing, so this will be his last concert with us. I’m sure you will all join with us in thanking Hans for his beautiful and exciting performances.

In Hans’ own words: “After celebrating a long and joyful collaboration with Salut! Baroque, this will be my last appearance with the ensemble. It is with much gratitude towards Sally, Tim, Monika and the many contributing musicians, as well as to the loyal and enthusiastic audiences, that I take my leave. Special thanks for the support, Salut – and the Sydney Consort – provided during challenging times when focal dystonia forced me to abandon flute playing and to re-focus on the recorder!”

It has been a great pleasure to have worked with Hans on so many different projects.

Join us to farewell Hans at our August concert Corelli’s Magic.

CD: From Paris to Versailles

We are very excited to launch our 11th CD. From sublime soprano voices in Leçon de Ténèbres by Couperin and Charpentier to the wild ride of Royer’s harpsichord solo Le Vertigo, our CD showcases the glorious music that began with Louis XIV’s desire to impress the world with French culture. In the following article, Tim takes a wander through Paris to discover the lives of our CD composers.

«Le Parnasse françois»

by Tim Blomfield

From 1708, Évrard Titon du Tillet (1677-1762), wishing to celebrate the French poets and musicians under the reign of Louis XIV, set about creating a monument surrounded by a garden. It was to bear a resemblance to Greek mythology: the allegorical monument was to represent Mount Parnassus, with Louis XIV as the figure of Apollo at the summit, playing the lyre, with successive tiers of worthies, as one descended the Mount.

It wasn’t until 1718, three years after the dedicatee’s death, that anything materialised. Due to the projected expense, Titon du Tillet had to abort the project as such. All was not lost, however, as he then reverted to carrying on with it in a written form. In 1727, he published “a Description of the Parnasse françois” followed by “an alphabetical List of the Poets and Musicians gathered on this monument”.

Fortunately for us, this published monument remains; one can be certain that the actual monument, should it have been fully realised, would have been destroyed in 1789. Of particular interest to us and our forthcoming CD, From Paris to Versailles, Titon du Tillet tells the tales of Jean-Baptiste Lully (who is not represented on this CD but without whom it is difficult to imagine what French music of the 17th & 18th centuries might have been), Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Marin Marais, Michel Pignolet de Montéclair and François Couperin. And the ones who didn’t ‘make the cut’: Jean-Philippe Rameau, Jacques-Christophe Naudot, Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer and Michel Corrette.

Bearing in mind that these were once all real men who lived, breathed and died, when and where did they do that?

Marc-Antoine Charpentier was born in Paris in 1643 and spent his childhood in the Saint-Séverin district (the Quartier Latin). After a stint in Rome, Charpentier was appointed Maître de musique at Église Saint-Louis & Saint-Paul in the Marais; his Tenebræ services were performed there. He also became Composer to Marie de Lorraine (Louis XIV’s cousin). She offered lodgings in an appartement of her Hôtel de Soubise, in the Marais district (now the National Archives). Charpentier’s final appointment was as Maître de musique at Sainte-Chapelle, Île de la Cité, where he was buried.

Marin Marais was born in Paris and baptised on the day of his birth, 31 May 1656, at Église Saint-Médard, near the Abbaye Sainte-Geneviève du Mont. In 1667, Marin became a choirboy at Église Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois – the parish church for residents of the Louvre, which was under the patronage of the Sun King. From 1706, Marais resided in rue Bertin-Poirée. For teaching purposes, he rented a room in rue du Batoir (Quartier St André/ Faubourg Saint-Germain). He died in 1728 at home in Faubourg Saint-Marceau and was buried at his parish church of Saint-Hyppolyte in the 13th arrondissement.

Michel Pignolet de Montéclair was baptised on 4 December 1667 at Andelot in the Champagne region, the youngest of nine children. In 1687, he came to Paris as a bass violin player in the Opèra orchestra and lived on Île de la Cité, at 16 rue des Marmousets (now rue Chanoinesse, next to Notre Dame Cathedral in the 4th arrondissment). Amongst his pupils were the two daughters of his friend, François Couperin. In rue Saint-Honoré, Montéclair founded a sheet music publishing business which became the most successful in Paris. He died in 1737 in Domont, Val d’Oise (now on the northern outskirts of Paris) where he was buried.

François Couperin was born in 1668 in the Organist’s house, rue du Monceau Saint-Gervais in the Marais district in the 4th arrondissment. As organist at Église Saint-Gervais, a position he inherited on the death of his father, he continued living with his mother at the Organist’s house. Then we find him in an appartement in the rue Saint–François; (1716) on rue des Foureurs opposite «Les Carneaux»; (from 1717) rue de Poitou au Marais; (From 1724) in an appartement in the rue Neuve des Bons-Enfants (a marble plaque identifies this residence). He died in 1733 and was buried in Saint-Joseph cemetery, on the site of present-day №140 rue Montmartre, in the 2nd arrondissement.

Jean-Philippe Rameau was born in 1683 and baptised at the Église Saint-Étienne in Dijon where his father was organist, before moving to Paris around 1722. In 1726, at Église Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois, Rameau married the 19-year-old Marie-Louise Mangot. From 1731, Rameau conducted the private orchestra of his wealthy patron, Alexandre-Jean-Joseph Le Riche de La Pouplinière, who provided the Rameaux with an apartement in rue Neuve des Petits-Champs, then from 1739, in rue de Richelieu and in rue des Bons-Enfants; (1749) rue Saint-Honoré opposite the Caffé de Dupuis; (1751) rue Richelieu opposite the Bibliothèque du Roi (now the Bibliothèque Nationale). Until 1738, Rameau was organist at the Convent of Saint-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie near current-day Hôtel de Ville in the 4th arrondissment. He was buried in Église Saint-Eustache after suffering from “putrid fever” in 1764.

Jacques-Christophe Naudot was born about 1690 and died in Paris in 1762. On a marriage document of 1719, he is simply titled “music master”. He lived in rue Dauphine, “at the first baker’s house on the right just after you cross the Pont neuf”, in the 6th arrondissement. In 1737 he joined the Sainte-Geneviève and Coustos-Villeroy Masonic lodges and was briefly incarcerated with three other brothers during the protestant persecutions of the 1740s, in the For-l’Évêque prison, located on the site of today’s №19 rue Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois.

Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer was born in Turin in 1703 and came to Paris in 1725 where he died on 11 January 1755. He had an apartment in rue Sainte-Anne near the rue des Orties in the 1st arrondissement. He was buried in Église Saint-Roch, not far from where he lived.

Michel Corrette was born in Rouen and baptised on the day of his birth, 10 April 1707, at Église Saint-Vincent. His father, Gaspard, was his prodigious son’s first organ teacher, and realising that by age 13 there was nothing more he could teach young Michel, the decision was made to move to Paris. In 1720, the Correttes moved into an apartment in rue Sonnerie in the parish of Saint-Eustache. By 1722, the family was living on the Quai de la Ferraille (now the Quai de la Mégisserie) from where the spire of Sainte-Chapelle can be seen across the river. In 1733, Michel married Marie-Catherine Morize at Église Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois. They moved to rue Montorgueil, then rue d’Orleans Quartier Saint-Honoré, then rue Saint-Honoré, opposite Église de L’Oratoire, adjoining «La Ville de Constantinople». Michel Corrette died at home: 628 rue de la Chanverrerie, Quartier Montorgueil in the old 4th & 5th arrondissements, aged 87.

Remarkably, while many of the named streets and places in Paris remain, others are only traceable by referring to old city maps. This is due either to Louis XVI’s cleanup campaign of all the Paris cemeteries, the demolition of some churches prior to and during «La Terreur», or to Napoléon III’s commission (1853) to Baron von Hausmann to demolish vast swathes of mediaeval housing and create wide avenues, parks and vistas.

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