On the richly travelled medieval road from Paris to Lyon, the city of Troyes, in Champagne, was probably the most important stop. The town was a major administrative and religious centre: it boasted a cathedral, several collegiate churches (at one of which, St John's, King Henry V of England married Catherine of Valois in 1421) and a great number of parish churches.The rich archives of these various establishments are kept today in the Archives départementales de l'Aube at Troyes, but do not appear to have been scrutinized by music historians since the appearance, more than 100 years ago, of Abbé Arthur Prévost's Histoire de la maîtrise de la cathédrale de Troyes (1905). Renewed examination in the summer of 2006 has brought to light several documents of more than passing interest to the history of music.Johannes Ockeghem held a canonry in absentia at Troyes Cathedral between 1457 and 1467, though it seems that the chapter was not especially happy to be able to count the composer among their number, and was looking for ways to encourage him to resign. Josquin visited Troyes on at least two occasions, in 1499 and 1501, and Antoine Brumel had done the same in 1497. There is reason to believe that these visits were more than overnight lodgings en route to other destinations. There appears to have been a tradition of singers' meetings in the residence of the choirmaster of Troyes Cathedral - meetings of the kind that must have prompted, at much earlier dates, the composition of works like Compre's Omnium bonorum plena and Josquin's Illibata Dei virgo nutrix.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Johannes ockeghem
- Josquin des prez, Antoine Brumel
- Loyset compre