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Pierre Certon

Biography

Born: 1510; France   Died: February 23, 1572; Paris, France  
Very little is known of the early life of sixteenth century French composer Pierre Certon. He may have been a pupil of composer Josquin Desprez, though there is little concrete evidence to support such an assertion; certainly Certon could not have been much more than 10 or 11 years old at the time of Josquin's death in 1521. Certon first figures into the factual historical record with an appointment as matins clerk at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, Read more in October 1529. Certon's headstrong nature seems to have caused something of a strain between himself and his superiors, and when he was indicted in 1530 for initiating sporting activities within the Cathedral courtyard (and for missing the holy service) only the pity of the administration saved the young musician from being thrown in prison.

In 1532 Certon relocated to the Sainte Chapelle, where he remained until his death 40 years later. Although hired as a clerk, from November 15, 1536, Certon was officially in charge of the choirboys as well; as the years went by he assumed further musical duties within the diocese without ever abandoning his primary role as master of choristers. Toward the end of his life he was awarded a number of titles, mostly honorary, which indicate the esteem in which he was held by Church and court, and in 1570 -- just two years before his death -- he became the third composer to earn the title "Composer of Music for the King's Chapel" (though the implications of this title are only partly understood).

In addition to his sacred duties, Certon participated in a number of secular musical activities throughout his life, and developed friendships and contacts with figures as diverse as composer Claudin de Sermisy (Certon's Déploration in memory of Sermisy, composed sometime after Sermisy's death in 1562, remains a powerful work) and the printer Hubert Jullet (of whose daughter Certon became the godfather).

From Certon's respectable output, eight masses, a magnificat, a wide array of motets, and almost 300 chansons survive. Six of the eight masses use the common sixteenth century technique of parody (the reworking of material from a pre-existing piece into a new musical structure), while the motets tend to combine canonic or ostinato use of cantus firmi with music paraphrased from various chansons. Certon's earliest chansons are composed in a rather melodically fragmented way, while towards the end of his life (and especially in the 1570 collection Les meslanges) a more homophonic texture involving as many as seven or eight voices begins to take shape. Read less
Browse 1-21 of 21 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Chansonnettes, Frisquettes, Joliettes & Godinettes / Doulce Memoire
    Label: Zig Zag   Catalog: 339 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Émile Carrara,  Anonymous,  Claude Gervaise,  Pierre Certon  ... 
    Conductor:  Denis Raisin-Dadre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Doulce Mémoire
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  • 2.
    La Royalle: Music For Kings & Courtiers
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34111 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert de Visée,  Adrian Le Roy,  Francesco Corbetta,  Grégoire Brayssing  ... 
    Performer:  Gordon Ferries
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  • 3.
    Renaissance & Danses Baroques
    Label: Loreley   Catalog: 49 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Pierre Phalèse,  Pierre Attaingnant,  Pierre Certon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Barok Ensemble
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  • 4.
    Then - Renaissance Airs And Dances / Stockholm Chamber Brass
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2017 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francisco de la Torre,  Tylman Susato,  Carlo Gesualdo,  John Dowland  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Chamber Brass
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  • 5.
    Ah Vita Bella!
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 5637953891 Release Date: 08/23/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Orazio Vecchi,  Francesco Patavino,  Pierre Certon,  Thomas Ford  ... 
    Performer:  Serenata of London,  Melissa Kelly,  Colleen Russell,  Dan Morgan
    Conductor:  Roxanne Dungereaux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Serenata
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  • 6.
    Music For The Queen Of Scots  / The Flautadors
    Label: Deux-elles   Catalog: 1144 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Anonymous,  Étienne du Tertre,  Pierre Certon  ... 
    Performer:  Corrina Silvester
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Flautadors
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  • 7.
    Just Songs! /	Die Singphoniker
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 801 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kurt Weill,  John Dowland,  Berry Gordy,  Hubert Waelrant  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Die Singphoniker
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  • 8.
    Roland De Lassus: Bonjour Mon Coeur
    Label: Ricercar   Catalog: 290 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Orlando de Lassus,  Jean de Castro,  Bernhard Schmid,  Andries Pevernage  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capilla Flamenca
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  • 9.
    Chansons A Plaisir - Le Roy, Morlaye, Arcadelt, Sermisy, Etc / Fires Of Love, Et Al
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34063 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Adrian Le Roy,  Claude de Sermisy,  Anonymous,  Thomas Crecquillon  ... 
    Performer:  Gordon Ferries,  Jonathan Hugh Jones,  Frances Cooper,  Marcus Claridge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fires of Love
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  • 10.
    The King's Singers Collection
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 07063 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Paul McCartney,  John Lennon,  Walter Jurmann,  Werner Richard Heymann  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gerhardt,  Manuel Barrueco,  Nancy Hadden,  Goff Richards  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers,  Consort of Musicke
    CD: $34.99
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  • 11.
    Les Plaisirs Du Palais / Visse, Ensemble Clement Janequin
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 5908224 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Decapella,  Adrian Le Roy,  Mittantier,  Eustachius Barbion  ... 
    Performer:  Eric Bellocq
    Conductor:  Dominique Visse
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clément Janequin Ensemble
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  • 12.
    Psaumes Et Chansons De La Réforme / Visse, Janequin Ensemble
    Label: Harmonia Mundi Musique D'abord   Catalog: 1951672 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francois du Caurroy,  Claude de Sermisy,  Loys Bourgeois,  Pierre Certon  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Marc Aymes,  Eric Bellocq,  Dominique Visse,  Bruno Boterf  ... 
    Conductor:  Dominique Visse
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clément Janequin Ensemble
    On sale! $9.98
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  • 13.
    Century Vol 9 - Chansons & Madrigals Of The Renaissance
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908171 Release Date: 12/13/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Byrd,  Clément Janequin,  Loyset Compère,  John Dowland  ... 
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Dominique Visse,  Michel Laplénie,  Philippe Cantor  ... 
    Conductor:  Dominique Visse,  William Christie,  René Jacobs,  Erik Van Nevel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Clément Janequin Ensemble,  Les Arts Florissants  ... 
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  • 14.
    The King's Singers Madrigal History Tour / Rooley, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 85714 Release Date: 05/04/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Dowland,  Giaches de Wert,  Anonymous,  Phillippe Verdelot  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Rooley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consort of Musicke,  King's Singers
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  • 15.
    Musik In Luzern: A-cappella-chormusik
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 991/92 Release Date: 10/26/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Marianne Meystre,  Traditional,  Anonymous,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    On sale! $46.98
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  • 16.
    Merit - Cum Jubilo - Certon, Wuorinen, Duruflé, Et Al
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4798 Release Date: 06/22/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tomás Luis de Victoria,  John Dunstable,  Thomas Tallis,  Maurice Duruflé  ... 
    Conductor:  Harold Chaney
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Ignatius of Antioch Choir
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    Praetorius: Dances From Terpsichore / Färnlöf, Westra Aros
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553865 Release Date: 12/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Orazio Vecchi,  Adriaen Valerius,  Pierre Certon
    Performer:  Lena Hellström-Färnlöf
    Conductor:  Bertil Färnlöf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bourrasque Gamba Ensemble,  Westra Aros Pijpare
    On sale! $9.99
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  • 18.
    A Concert Of Early Music / Morrow, Musica Reservata London
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 96 Release Date: 08/25/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Raimbaut de Vaqeiras,  Walter Frye,  Hayne van Ghizeghem,  Caspar Othmayr  ... 
    Performer:  Jantina Noorman,  John Dudley,  Edgar Fleet,  David Thomas
    Conductor:  Michael Morrow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Reservata
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 19.
    The Artistry Of Clas Pehrsson
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 135 Release Date: 04/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Guillaume de Machaut,  Guillaume Dufay,  Anonymous,  Pierre Certon  ... 
    Performer:  Jörgen Rörby,  Solveig Faringer,  Clas Pehrsson,  Cecilia Peijel
    CD: $21.49
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  • 20.
    La Rocque'n'roll - Popular Music Of Renaissance France
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 90177 Release Date: 09/28/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Francois du Caurroy,  Adrian Le Roy,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Mary Anne Ballard,  Chris Norman,  Ronn McFarlane,  Larry Lipkis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Consort
    On sale! $16.99
    CD: $11.99
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  • 21.
    Mary's Music / Scottish Early Music Consort
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 529 Release Date: 11/18/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Orlando de Lassus,  William Byrd,  James Lauder,  Andrew Blackhall  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Hindmarsh,  Fiona Milne,  Lorna Anderson,  John Kitchen  ... 
    Conductor:  Warwick Edwards
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Early Music Consort
    CD: $18.99
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