Personalities | Clément Janequin | Renaissance | Classical

(Kla-man’ Zhan-kan’) c. 1485–1558
French composer

Janequin’s failure to procure a stable and lucrative job may have been due to the fact that he spent most of his career outside Paris, the centre of French culture. Nevertheless, he became the principal exponent of the narrative chanson, a form popular in the mid-sixteenth century. These songs are often relatively long and have texts bursting with active imagery that lends itself to musical mimesis. A famous example is ‘Le chant des oiseaux’ (‘The Song of the Birds’), which consists largely of an ornithological survey, with the music imitating types of birdsong.

Recommended Recording:
Le chant des oyseaulx, Ensemble Clément Janequin (dir) Dominique Visse

Introduction | Renaissance | Classical
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