This research project hopes to gain insights into how the religious music was organised and deployed in French chapter choir schools. They reflected ecclesiastical power and prestige through their music, but also echoed the faith of the common people. The project researches into how musicians were trained under the Ancien Régime. Most came from such choir schools, which were actually music conservatoires long before their time. The project thus explores the fundamental issue of the craft of musicians.
Choir School Music in France: the Tours-168 and Deslauriers manuscripts
2019 / 2020 academic year
The Tours-168 and Deslauriers manuscripts of sacred music are rare testimonies of the music practiced in French choir schools in the 17th century. This ambitious national heritage publishing project also serves to showcase children’s choirs.
The manuscript in Tours and the Deslauriers manuscript housed in France’s national library are rare examples of early 17th century sacred music, as most of the repertoire disappeared after the French Revolution. Their exceptional musical value is matched by their historical interest. The CMBV has been working on the publication of these works since 2012 is preparing a first edition of these collections under the supervision of Jean Duron. The digital publication will be released in instalments on the Philidor portal, the CMBV research department website. Content is arranged per musical work, with a detailed descriptive datasheet and musical transcriptions in PDF and MEI format. This will be enriched with musical and scientific input – studies, restorations and iconographies produced by the research team.
As well as publishing this exceptional repertoire and in order to give it the recognition it deserves, the CMBV will be offering French youth choirs and choir schools the chance to record pieces from the manuscripts in 2020 - 2022. These recordings will add to the remarkable work done by Les Pages & Les Chantres, the CMBV choir school directed by Olivier Schneebeli, whose third session takes place in March 2020.