Monthly Archives: June 2015

Costeley – D’un gosier




D’un gosier mache-laurier


Guillaume Costeley


Musique de Guillaume Costeley, 1570


(text on site here)
(blog entry here)
(listen to the score here)
(recorded extract not available)


Almost hymn-like in its approach, this setting maps closely onto the style of Protestant psalm-setting being taken up in France at this time. Costeley chooses a very-clearly secular text, to avoid positioning himself either side of the religious divides (Huguenots vs Catholics) in France at the time which were shortly to lead to the Wars of Religion, while at the same time demonstrating that he can write in this style if needed. Note the strongly repetitive style (2 identical lines, then another 2 with a repeat of the final line; and then 2 more ‘stanzas’ repeating exactly the same music) and that there are only 3 bars where any deviance from strict homophony is allowed, and even there it is minimal. Suitable for singing by relatively unschooled groups – such as Protestant congregations or (we might assume in this context) family groups who want to sing something manageable – but it would appear not interesting enough for modern professional groups to record!

[PS it’s just come to my attention that Henry Expert died in 1959, therefore his transcriptions are under copyright until 2029. (I’d been working on 1920s+70 years – wrongly!) I am working through those scores for which I can make my own transcription now, and replacing them as I can; but will be taking down all the Bertrand and most of the Costeley settings shortly as I don’t have access to all the original partbooks for these at the moment.]


D'un gosier_0001D'un gosier_0002
D'un gosier_0003