Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/532

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��of the I4th century, we are justified in believing that it fulfilled its purpose perfectly.

A great change, however, took place during the Pontificate of Clement V. (1305-1314), who, in the year 1305, transferred the Chair of S. Peter to Avignon, leaving his Primicerius and Schola Cantorum behind him, in Kome. Too much oppressed by political arid ecclesiastical troubles to devote his time to the regulation of details, Pope Clement naturally left the manage- ment of his Chapel to underlings, who suffered the Music to degenerate to a very unsatisfactory level. His successor, John XXII. (1316-1334), issued in 1323 the well-known Bull, 'Docta sanc- torum,' for the purpose of restraining his Singers from corrupting the simplicity of Plain Chaunt, either by subjecting it to the laws of Measured Music, or by overloading it with ornamentation. It is doubtful whether the provisions of this Bull were fully carried out after the decease of its author, whose immediate successor, Bene- dict XII. (1334-1342), was too fond of splendid Ceremonial to raise any strong objection to the Music sung by the twelve Choral Chaplains who officiated in his private Chapel, on the score of its elaborateness. Indeed, the management of the Choir employed by Benedict and his succes- sors, at Avignon, differed altogether from that of the Roman Schola, which was still carried on under the Primicerius. In Rome, the Choris- ters were taught on the old traditional system, almost from their infancy. At Avignon, the most welcome recruits were French and Flemish Singers, who had already earned a brilliant repu- tation. Now, in those days the best Singers were, for the most part, the best Composers also ; and in the Low Countries the Art of Composition was rapidly advancing towards a state of perfec- tion elsewhere unknown. It followed, therefore, that the Choir at Avignon contained some of the greatest Musicians in Europe, and was indebted to them for Faux-Bourdons, and other Poly- phonic Music, scarcely ever heard at that period except in the Netherlands.

Ini377PopeGregoryXI.(i37o-i378) returned to Rome, and carried his Choir with him. The contrast between the rival Schools now became more apparent than ever : yet, by some means, they amalgamated completely. The probability is, that Gregory himself united them, forming the two Choirs into one body, which was no longer called the Schola Cantorum, nor governed by a Primicerius, but was henceforth known as the Collegio dei Cappellani Cantori, and placed under the command of an Ecclesiastic who held the appointment for life, and bore the title of Maestro della Cappella Pontificia. The precise year in which this change took place cannot be ascer- tained ; though it is certain that the new title was borne by Angelo, Abbat of S. Maria de Kivaldis, in 1397 twenty years after the return from Avignon. After this, we hear of >no other Maestro till 1464, when the appointment was conferred upon Niccola Fabri, Governor of Rome, who held it for two years. From 1469 onwards the list includes the names of fourteen Ecclesias-


tics, of whom all, except the last, were Bishops. The most celebrated of them was Elziario Genet, of Carpentras,'Vescovoinpartibus'(i5i5-i526?); called, from his birthplace, Carpentrasso. [See LAMENTATIONS.] The last of the series was Monsignor Antonio Boccapadule (1574-1586), whose relations with the reigning Pope, Sixtus V. (1585-1590), were disturbed by a misunderstand- ing, particulars of which will be found at pp. 640-641 of vol. ii. That the Pope was highly incensed at the spirit of insubordination shewn by his Cantori Cappellani on this occasion is well known : and it was probably on this account that, instead of appointing a successor to Mon- signore Boccapadule, whom he somewhat uncere- moniously deposed, he issued, Sept. r, 1 586, a Bull (' In suprema '), by virtue of which he conferred upon the College the right of electing, from among their own body, an Officer, to whom was com- mitted the duty of governing the Choir, for three, six, or twelve months, or in perpetuity, accord- ing to the pleasure of the Electors. 1 It was clear that the Maestri so elected must necessarily be deprived of many of the privileges enjoyed by the Ecclesiastical Dignitaries who had preceded them : but, by way of compensation they were invested with all which were not inseparable from the status of a Bishop ; and these were still farther increased, by Pope Clement XIII, in the Bull 'Cum retinendi,' Aug. 31, 1762.' It was ultimately arranged that the Election should take place annually, and this custom has ever since been strictly observed. The first Maestro so chosen was Giovanni Antonio Merlo, who served during the year 1 587. Since his time, the Election has always been fixed for Dec. 28 : and, for very many years, it has been the invari* able custom to elect the principal Bass.

The Flemish Singers, having once obtained a recognised position in the Choir, soon began to exercise an irresistible influence over it, and, through it, over every other Choir in Christendom. Among the first, of whom we have any certain account, was Guglielmo Dufay, the Founder of the older Flemish School, whose name is men- tioned, in the Archives of the Chapel, as early as 1380, three years only after the formal settle- ment of the College in Rome ; whence it has been conjectured that he first sang at Avignon, and after wards accompanied Pope Gregory XI. to Italy. Dufay died in 1 43 2 , leaving many talented pupils. Among the brightest ornaments of his School, who sang in, and composed for, the Pon- tifical Chapel, were Egyd Flannel, surnamed

  • 1'Enfant,' Jean Redois, Bartholomseus Poignare,

Jean de Curte, surnamed 'Mon Ami,' Jakob Ragot, and Guillaume de Malbecq. A little later, these were succeeded by Jean Gombert, Antonio Cortit, Lambert de Beanon, and, greatest of all, Josquin des Pre's. In the early half of the 1 6th century, the names of Italian, French, and Spanish Singers, bore a more creditable propor- tion to those of the Netherlanders ; honourable mention being made of Giov. Scribano, Pietro Perez, Costanzo Festa, Elizario Genet, surnamed

1 BainI, L p. 272, Note 375.

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