Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

Jacquet of Mantua [Colebault, Jacques]

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Jacquet of Mantua [Colebault, Jacques]

(b Vitré, 1483; d Mantua, 2 Oct 1559). French composer active in Italy. He was one of the leading composers of sacred polyphony between Josquin and Palestrina. He was known simply as Jacquet (Giachetto, Iachettus), and has often been confused with Jacquet de Berchem. Details of his early years are lacking, but he was doubtless related to the French singer Antoine Colebault, called Bidon, a favourite of Leo X. Papal records of 1519 identify him as singer to the Modenese house of Rangoni, whose service he probably entered some years earlier. Several north Italian manuscripts compiled around 1520 contain a group of his motets. Twice he won support from the Este family: in 1516 and 1524 from Sigismondo and in 1525, along with Willaert, from Duke Alfonso I. Jacquet and Willaert later jointly set psalms for double chorus. About 1526 Jacquet turned his sights on Mantua, whose musical life he would dominate for the next 30 years. He was granted citizenship in 1534 and from then until 1559 he was titular maestro di cappella of Mantua Cathedral. His status was unusual, however, in that he had direct responsibility not to the cathedral or court but rather to a single patron, Ercole Cardinal Gonzaga (1505–63), Bishop of Mantua, papal legate to Charles V and ultimately president of the Council of Trent. His correspondence often conveys esteem and affection for the composer. Jacquet’s first wife died in 1527; he remarried before 1540. His income was inadequate for the support of his family and he died in debt, leaving his wife and daughter destitute. Notified of their plight, Ercole awarded them a pension.

In response to his patron’s zeal for the Counter-Reformation, Jacquet specialized in religious music almost to the exclusion of the secular. He was prolific and one of the most widely published and admired composers of his time. Scotto and Gardane undertook collected editions of his sacred works. Aspice Domine, most famous of the motets, was known in over 40 sources, including seven instrumental intabulations. He won recognition from the music-loving Medici popes Leo X and Clement VII. Theorists from Lanfranco and Vanneo to Artusi and Cerone praised his works and ranked him with Gombert and Willaert. His influence was felt long after his death. Younger composers such as Ruffo, Vaet, Monte, Palestrina, Lassus and Merulo drew models from his works.

In all his sacred music Jacquet appears less the innovator than the skilled craftsman alert to the new currents of his time. Smoothly arched melodies, symmetry of phrase, careful balance of all parts and an overall grace and fluency reveal him a worthy successor to Mouton. Early works retain features of the preceding generation: predominantly four-voice texture with voice-pairing, fauxbourdon-like progressions, broad melismas, multisectional structure, occasional homophonic passages and reliance on traditional ‘constructivist’ techniques. As he matured, he turned increasingly to pervading imitation as the generating principle. Sectionalism gives place to a supple, unbroken rhythmic flow; purely chordal writing is rare and melodies are more syllabic and closely reflect word accent. The full sonority of five-voice writing dominates.

Among his most significant works are his masses. His technique changed gradually over several decades. At first (e.g. Missa ‘Si bona’), he used fairly literal quotation of the model with various rearrangements of its elements and comparatively little free material; later (e.g. Missa ‘Anchor che col partire’), he employed highly sophisticated variation of the model and extensive use of free material. Among the imitation masses, the Missa ‘La sol fa re mi’ owes its conception to the earlier mass of the same title by Josquin, and the ‘tribute’ masses for Duke Ferdinand of Calabria and Duke Ercole II of Ferrara are both indebted to Josquin’s noted soggetto cavato mass, Missa ‘Hercules dux Ferrariae’.

The motets show even more clearly Jacquet’s stylistic change and also demonstrate the nature, scope and diversity of function of the motet in his time: liturgical and extra-liturgical pieces for services, occasional tributes to princes of church and state, and completely secular motets for courtly diversions. Among the earliest, Sufficiebat nobis looks back to methods of the past, quoting Hayne’s Mon souvenir in the superius twice, first in normal values, then in diminution. In Sancta Trinitas the top line of a four-voice motet by Févin finds an imposing new eight-voice setting. Noteworthy among the motets on plainsong tenors is a Proper cycle for the Assumption. Dum vastos, an extraordinary tribute to Josquin, weaves in its second part phrases from that master’s best-known motets. Hesperiae ultimae celebrates a state visit to Mantua by Philip II of Spain, and Enceladi (later expanded into a mass) salutes the Gonzagas and their highly prized horses. The vast majority, however, use sacred texts, usually an antiphon, responsory, gospel or hymn. Structurally, half the motets are cast in two parts of roughly equal length, often with motivic relationships between the parts and occasionally, as in a responsory, a common ending for both. Among the rest, the single-movement type dominates; the three-part motet is rare.

Jacquet’s most productive period occurred between 1520 and 1540, the years in which most of the masses and motets were composed. Later his attention gradually shifted to works in less elaborate style. The cathedral’s final payments to him were for vesper hymns (1556) and psalms in fauxbourdon (1558). The hymns resemble the motets but are generally shorter and simpler in style. A posthumous collection provides for the alternation of plainsong and polyphony in successive stanzas. The polyphonic stanzas paraphrase the plainsong model and strict canon occurs frequently. The Magnificat settings also paraphrase chant, sometimes in imitation over a cantus firmus in long notes, other times alternating imitation of the chant with imitation of free motives. The psalms composed in collaboration with Willaert, in which two four-voice choruses alternate, are antiphonal rather than true polychoral settings. In the two passions Jacquet seems to have followed the example of Sermisy in distinguishing turba from narrative by a change in the number of voices (from five to two). Even here, however, Jacquet avoided strictly chordal writing, setting each short movement contrapuntally in motet style.


Editions: Jacquet of Mantua: Collected Works, ed. P. Jackson and G. Nugent, CMM, liv (1971–86) [J i–vi]Treize livres de motets parus chez Pierre Attaingnant, ed. A. Smijers and A.T. Merritt (Paris and Monaco, 1934–64) [S]Trésor musical, ed. R.J. van Maldeghem (Brussels, 1865–93/R) [M]


Il primo libro de le messe, 5vv (Venice, 1554) [1554]

Messe del fiore … libro primo, 5vv (Venice, 1561) [1561]

Acquiesce Domine, 5vv (on his own motet)

Alla dolc’ombra, 5vv, 1561, J iii (on Rore’s madrigal)

Altro non è il mio amor, 5vv, 15422 (on Verdelot’s madrigal)

Anchor che col partire, 5vv, 1554, J i (on Rore’s madrigal)

Ave fuit prima salus, 4vv, 15404, J vi (on Mouton’s motet)

Chiare dolc’e fresch’acque, 5vv, 1554, J i (on Arcadelt’s madrigal)

De mon triste deplaisir, 4vv, 15404, J vi (on Richafort’s chanson)

Deus misereatur, 5vv, 15422 (on Sermisy’s motet)

Enceladi Coeique soror, 5vv, 1561, J iii (on his own motet)

Ferdinandus dux Calabriae, 5vv, 15403, J vi

Hercules dux Ferrariae, 5vv, 15403, J vi

In die tribulationis, 5vv, 1554, J i (on his own motet)

In illo tempore, 4vv, 15404 (on Mouton’s motet), J vi

La fede non debbe esser corrotta, 5vv, 15551

La sol fa re mi, 5vv, I-TVd 23

Peccata mea, 5vv, 1554, J i (on Mouton’s motet)

Quarti toni sine nomine, 5vv, 1561, J iii

Quam pulchra es, 4vv, 15423 (on Mouton’s motet)

Rex Babilonis, 5vv, 15551 (on his own motet)

Si bona suscepimus, 5vv, 15422 (on Verdelot’s motet)

Surge Petre, 6vv, Missa ad imitationem moduli ‘Surge Petre’ (Paris, 1557) (on his own motet)

Missa ‘Vado ad eum’, 5vv, 1561, J iii (on Rore’s motet)

2 untitled masses, 5vv, I-Mc S Barbara 156


Celeberrimi maximeque delectabilis musici Jachet … motecta quatuor vocum (Venice, 1539) 2/1544, 3/1545 [1539, 1544, 1545]

Jacheti musici … motecta quinque vocum (Venice, 1539) [1539b]

Primo libro di motetti di Jachet a cinque voci (Venice, 1540) [1540]

15329; 153410; 15352; 15355; 15383; 15384; 15385; 15393; 15395; 153910; 153913; 15406; 15413; 15414; 15426; 154210; 15435; 15436; 15446; 15493; 15497; 15498; 15502; 155416; 15586; 15591; B-Bc A27088; I-Bc Q19; RvS.Borr.E.II.55–60


Acquiesce Domine, 5vv, 15591; Adonai Domine Deus, 4vv, 15385, J iv; Alleluia surrexit Dominus, 4vv, 15385, J iv; Alma redemptoris mater, 5vv, 15329, J v; Aspice Domine quia facta est, 5vv, 15329, J v; Assumpta est Maria, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Audi dulcis amica mea, 4vv, 15385, J iv; Ave apertor caelorum, 5vv, 15406; Ave Maria alta stirps, 5vv, 1545; Ave Maria gratia plena, 3vv, 15436; Ave Maria gratia plena, 5vv, 1539b; Ave mater matris Dei, 5vv, I-Bc Q19; Ave quam colunt angeli, 5vv, 15497; Ave regina caelorum, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Ave regina caelorum, 6vv, 15493; Ave virgo gratiosa, 6vv, 154210, ed. in CMM, iii/4 (1952)

Caelorum candor splenduit, 4vv, 1539a, J iv; Caligaverunt oculi mei, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Cantantibus organis, 4vv, 1539a, J iv; Cantate Domino … laus ejus, 3vv, 15436; Cantate Domino … quia mirabilia, 3vv, 15436; Cantate Domino, 4vv, 15426; Cantate Domino et benedicite, 3vv, 15436; Confirmatum est cor, 5vv, 1540

Decantabat populus, 5vv, 15413; Descendi in hortum meum, 6vv, 153410, S viii; Divitias et paupertatem, 6vv, 15584; Dixit autem Dominus servo, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Domine bonum est, 4vv, 15385; Domine exaudi orationem meam, 5vv, 15395; Domine non secundum peccata nostra, 6vv, 15352, S x; Domine secundum actum meum, 5vv, 15497

Ecclesiam tuam Deus, 4vv, M xvii; Emendemus in melius, 5vv, 1540; Estote fortes in bello, 5vv, 1540; Fratres ego enim accepi, 4vv, 15385, J iv; Gaudeamus omnes in Domino, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Genuit puerpera regem, 4vv, 1545; Haec dies, 5vv, 1539b, J v

Inclita sanctae virginis, 5vv, 1539b, J v; In die tribulationis, 5vv, 15384; In Domino confido, 4vv, 1539a, J iv; Ingresso Zacharia, 5vv, 15413; In illo tempore erat, 4vv, 1539a, J iv 78; In illo tempore … modicum, 4vv, 153913, J iv 1; In illo tempore … non turbetur, 5vv, 15395; In illo tempore respondens, 6vv, 15493; In illo tempore stabant, 4vv, 1544; In lectulo meo, 3vv, 15436; In te Domine speravi, 5vv, 1539b, J v; In tua patientia, 4vv, 15435; Iste est discipulus, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Isti sunt dies, 4vv, 1545

Laudate Dominum, 5vv, 1540; Levavi oculos meos, 4vv, 153910; Liberator animarum, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Locutus est Dominus, 5vv, 15383; Lux fulgebit, 5vv, B-Bc A27088; Mirabile misterium, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Murus tuus dilecta nostra, 6vv, 15393; Nigra sum sed formosa, 5vv, 1540; Noe, noe, hodie salvator, 4vv, M xvii; Nunquam super terram, 5vv, 15384

O clemens, o pia, 3vv, 15436; O Dei electe, 5vv, 1539b, J v; O dulcis Jesu, 4vv, 1545; O Jesu Christe, 4vv, M i; O lampas ardens, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Omnes sancti tui, 4vv, 1539a, J iv; Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, 4vv, 1539a, J iv; Optimam partem elegit, 5vv, 1539b, J v; O pulcherrima inter mulieres, 3vv, 15436; O quam praeclara sunt, 5vv, 1539b, J v; O sacrum convivium, 4vv, 1539a, J iv; O vos qui transitis, 4vv, 1539a, M xvii

Pater noster, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Plorabant sacerdotes, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Praeparate corda vestra, 4vv, 153910; Praesul sanctissime Augustine, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Puer qui natus est, 4vv, 15385, J iv; Quam pulchra es, 3vv, 15436; Recumbentibus undecim, 5vv, 15502; Repleatur os meum, 5vv, 15384, J v; Retribuere dignare Domine, 4vv, 1539a, J iv; Rex Babilonis, 5vv, 155416

Salve virgo virginum, 4vv, 1539a, J iv; Salvum me fac Domine, 5vv, 15382, J v; Sancta Trinitas, 8vv, I-Rv S.Borr.E.II.55–60; Sancti per fidem, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Scindite corda vestra, 5vv, 15395; Si bona suscepimus, 5vv, 15497; Si ignoras o pulchra, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Spem in alium, 4vv, 1539a, J iv; Spiritus Domini replevit, 5vv, 15413; Stephanus servus Dei, 4vv, 1539a, J iv; Stetit angelus juxta aram, 5vv, 1540; Sufficiebat nobis, 5vv, I-Bc Q19; Surge Petre, 6vv, 15355, S xiii

Tibi soli peccavi, 4vv, 1539a, J iv; Tribularer si nescirem, 5vv, 15446; Unum cole Deum, 4vv, 15385, J iv; Vado parare vobis locum, 5vv, 1540; Veni dilecte mi, 4vv, 1544; Veni Sancte Spiritus, 4vv, M xvii; Videns Dominus flentem, 5vv, 1540; Virgo ante partum, 3vv, 15436; Virgo prudentissima, 5vv, 1539b, J v; Visita quaesumus Domine, 4vv, 15385, J iv

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