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C. Samoyault-Verlet: Les facteurs de clavecins parisiens: notices biographiques et documents (1550–1793)(Paris, 1966)
M. Jürgens: Documents du minutier central concernant l'histoire de la musique (1600–1650)(Paris, 1967–74)
M. Benoit: ‘L'apprentissage chez les facteurs d'instruments de musique à Paris, 1600–1660, 1715–1774’, RMFC, xxiv (1986), 5–106
P.M. Ranum: ‘A Sweet Servitude: a Musician's Life at the Court of Mlle de Guise’,EMc, xv (1987), 347–60
C. Cessac: Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, une femme compositeur sous le règne de Louis XIV(Arles, 1995)
HANS KLOTZ/CATHERINE CESSAC
Jacquet de Berchem.
See Berchem, jacquet de.
Jacquet de La Guerre, Elisabeth
(b Paris, bap. 17 March 1665; d Paris,27 June 1729). French harpsichordist and composer. She came from a family of master masons and musicians (see Jacquet family), and from the age of five played the harpsichord and sang at the court of Louis XIV. Noticed by Madame de Montespan, she stayed for three years in her entourage. On 23 September 1684 she left the court to marry the organist Marin de La Guerre. Their son, as precociously gifted as his mother, died at the age of ten.
In Paris Elisabeth Jacquet gave lessons and concerts for which she was soon renowned throughout the city. Her first compositions were dramatic works, of which only the libretto of Jeux à l'honneur de la victoiresurvives. Her first publication, Les pièces de clavessin … premier livre, dates from 1687. In 1694 her only tragédie en musique, Céphale et Procris, was performed at the Académie Royale de Musique with little success, but the prologue was revived in 1696 at Strasbourg, where Sébastien de Brossard had founded an academy of music. In 1695 Brossard made copies of her first trio sonatas and those for violin and continuo. Only in 1707 did she publish her six Sonates pour le viollon et pour le clavecin and the Pièces de clavecin qui peuvent se jouer sur le viollon, followed later by her two collections of Cantates françoises sur des sujets tirez de l'Ecriture to texts by Antoine Houdar de Lamotte, and by three secular Cantates françoises. Whereas all her other works were dedicated to Louis XIV, this last was addressed to the Elector of Bavaria, Maximilian II Emanuel. Le raccommodement comique de Pierrot et de Nicole is a duet which went into La ceinture de Vénus, a play by Alain-René Lesage performed at the Foire St Germain in 1715. Elisabeth Jacquet's last work seems to have been a Te Deum sung in August 1721 in the chapel of the Louvre in thanksgiving for the recovery of Louis XV from smallpox.
Elisabeth Jacquet was the first woman in France to compose an opera, and she is also remembered for her innovative work in the Italian genres of cantata and sonata, as well as for her music for accompanied keyboard. The Pièces de clavessin of 1687 are remarkable for their balanced structures and their préludes non mesurés. Her sonatas, both manuscript and printed, are conspicuous for their variety, rhythmic vigour and expressive harmony, as well as for certain innovative features in the violin writing. Her 12 sacred cantatas show a fine balance between a style appropriate to the genre and the restraint required by the subject; no other composer of the time handled the genre so consistently. The secular cantatas are characterized by dramatic qualities and a quest for formal freedom. In Le Parnasse françois Titon du Tillet devoted a long and appreciative notice to her, and her portrait is shown in a medallion with the motto ‘I contended for the prize with the great musicians’.
Les jeux à l’honneur de la victoire, ballet, c1691; lost, lib F-Pn
Céphale et Procris (tragédie lyrique, prol, 5, Duché de Vancy), 15 March 1694 (Paris, 1694)
Cantates françoises sur des sujets tirez de l’Ecriture, livre I, S, vn ad lib, bc (Paris, 1708/R in The Eighteenth-Century French Cantata, iii (New York, 1990))
Cantates françoises, livre II, 1, 2 S, B, fl ad lib, vn ad lib, bc (Paris, 1711/R in The Eighteenth-Century French Cantata, iii (New York, 1990)); 1 cant., Jephté, ed. in Borroff
Cantates françoises, S, vn, fl/ob, bc (Paris, c1715R in The Eighteenth-Century French Cantata, xiii (New York, 1990)); incl. Le raccommodement comique de Pierrot et de Nicole [perf. as part of Le ceinture de Vénus, Paris, Théâtre de la Foire St Germain, 1715]
La musette, ou Les bergers de Suresne (Paris, 1713); attrib. by Brossard
Te Deum, 1721, lost
Songs in Recueil d’airs sérieux et à boire, xxvii, xxx (Paris, 1710–24); Nouveau recueil de chansons choisies, iv (The Hague, 1729); Le théâtre de la Foire (Paris, 1721); Les amusemens de Mgr le Duc de Bretagne (Paris, 1712): all listed in Wallon