By D’Anglebert’s time, the allemande had found its way into the repertory intended for a seated audience. Michel de Pure speaks of “some allemandes, sarabandes, and other dances that have more the majesty of vocal music than the vigor of the dance . . . the complex harmonies, while pleasing to the ear, only inhibit the feet.”1 These pieces are meant for instruments such as lute or theorbo, on which they can be played “for the quiet and serious entertainment of a seated audience.” In a letter to Henri Du Mont in 1655, Constantijn Huygens refers to his allemandes, saying: “I have written some pieces less lively than the sarabandes or gigues.”2
The allemande in the seventeenth-century French keyboard suite resembles that of the French lutenists. It is marked by a pseudopoly-phonic texture with points of imitation, irregular phrases, ambiguous phrase structure, and broken chords (style luthé). With a few exceptions, the allemande is ceremonious and formal. Some were intended to be played even more slowly than usual; e.g., Denis Gaultier’s tribute to a deceased acquaintance, which is identified in one source as Allemande grave and in another as Tombeau.3 Louis Couperin instructed the performer of his Allemande in D major that “it is necessary to play this piece very slowly.” The disjunct movement and syncopation of his Allemande grave in F major contrast with the smoothly flowing lines of most allemandes. Chambonnieres prescribed Lentement for his Allemande dit [e] L’Affligée; the music itself does not require a slower tempo, but its title (“The Afflicted”) describes its Affekt.
On the other hand, Lebègue and D’Anglebert have allemandes marked gaye and gayement respectively. In both instances, the texture is thinner than the average allemande, and a faster tempo is desirable. These pieces may reflect English influence, for Thomas Mace (1676) describes Allmaines as “very Ayrey, and Lively; and Generally of Two Strains, of the Common, or Plain-Time.”4 While the Italian allemanda could have widely varying tempi (Arcangelo Corelli’s Sonata da camera of 1685 includes allemandes marked Largo, Adagio, Allegro, and Presto), most of the French composers continued to conceive this dance in a stately style. Sébastien de Brossard (1705) describes the Allemanda as a “Symphonie grave, ordinarily with two beats, often with four” [symphonie referred to any instrumental piece]; and Jacques Ozanam (1691) states that the allemande has four slow beats.5 Conventional French keyboard allemandes of this period are written in common time (with the quarter note equivalent to the half note of 3/2 time), indicating a leisurely pace. The faster allemande became more common in the eighteenth century, so in 1768 Jean Jacques Rousseau speaks of two types: one is gravement, but the other, patterned after a popular dance in Switzerland and Germany, is performed with a great deal of gaiety.6 D’Anglebert’s traditional allemandes are serious pieces that convey the image of a “content spirit enjoying good order and calm,” as Johann Mattheson described this dance form.7
D’Anglebert’s four allemandes from the Pièces de clavecin are only slightly longer than previous examples, but the almost continuous sixteenth-note motion gives the impression of even greater length. The phrase structure of the allemandes in G major, G minor, and D minor (like that of earlier allemandes) is irregular and ambiguous, with a constant interplay of motives. For example, all the voices of the Allemande in G major have important roles in producing an intricate fabric (see Ex. 8).
In contrast, D’Anglebert’s spirited Allemande in D major (marked Gayement) is constructed of an accompanied melody skipping about from one voice to another. The light, buoyant texture results from the accompanying voices having longer notes than the voice with the melody. His Allemande in C major, with a thin homophonic texture, features a continuous melody in the soprano voice. Since its structure resembles that of Lebègue’s Allemande gaye in G minor, D’Anglebert probably would have marked the piece gayement if he had published it.
The allemandes of D’Anglebert’s successors also demonstrate this newer style and tempo. While Louis Marchand’s first allemande in Pièces de clavecin, 1702, is traditional, the one in the 1703 suite employs the faster 2 time signature and the melody in the soprano voice throughout. Two allemandes in Gaspard Le Roux’s Pièces de clavessin (1705) are marked gaye (C time) and another two grave (2 time). Curiously, his time signatures for fast and slow movement seem reversed. Rameau wrote magnificent allemandes in both the older, pseudopolyphonic form (C time) and in the simpler style (2 time). François Dagincour, in Pièces de clavecin, 1733, opened his first ordre with a fast allemande in 4/8 time, followed by one in the traditional manner in C time. Old and new elements are intertwined in the superb allemandes of François Couperin. While in many instances he retains the style luthé and pseudopolyphony of the earlier common-time allemande (e.g., the beautiful L’Exquise from his fourth book, 1730), Couperin ventures into the sphere of the faster allemande with L’Ausoniéne (Ordre 8), to be played Légérement et marqué (4/8 time), and Le point du jour (Ordre 22), to be played D’une legereté modérée (2/4 time).
The courante was a favorite dance at the court of Louis XIV. Long afterward people fondly remembered the time when the Sun King “danced the courante better than anyone at court, giving it an infinite grace.”8
Seventeenth-century French keyboard courantes shift frequently between 3/2 and 6/4 time, but most employ a time signature of 3 with six quarter notes per measure. Courante rhythmic patterns may be combined in various ways to produce phrases of varying lengths that follow no prearranged sequence or form, so it is rare to find two successive measures of identical rhythm.9 The rhythmic ambiguity, blurred contours, and irregular phrase lengths of the courante make it a distinctive dance of the period.
Although it was originally identified with a fast tempo, Curt Sachs notes that the “lively courante had become a danse très-grave” by the mid-seventeenth century in France; and Pierre Rameau (1725) mentions that “the Courante was formerly very fashionable; it is a most solemn dance that suggests a nobler style than the others. . . . ”10 Jacques Bonnet (1723) refers several times to “the gravity and nobility of serious dances . . . among others . . ., the courantes of France.” Describing the balls of the court, Bonnet says that only danses graves & sérieuses, where the beautiful grace and nobility of the dance appeared in all its glory, were played while the king was in attendance. After the wedding of the Due de Bourgogne (1697), one could see the noble and serious dances (like the Bocanne, the Canaries, the Passepied, and the Duchesse) being discarded year by year: “They have scarcely kept the Branle, the Courante and the Menuet.”11 This passage implies that the canaries, passepied, and menuet, dances all identified with a more rapid tempo at this time, were also performed as slow dances at the height of the “old court.” In the play Le Grondeur by Brueys and Palaprat (1691), after fast dances including the menuet, gavotte, and rigaudon, the character Lolive suggests a slow dance to his victim, M. Grichard:
LOLIVE: Vous voulez peut-être une danse grave et sérieuse?
M. GRICHARD: Oui, sérieuse, s’il en est, mais bien sérieuse.
LOLIVE: Eh bien, la courante, la bocane, la sarabande?12
The French courante spread its influence to Germany, where Johann Gottfried Walther (1732) substantiates the slow tempo: “The tempo . . . that courantes . . . require is the most solemn of all.”13 Johann Mattheson (1739) calls the courante the “lutenist’s masterpiece, especially in France . . . on which his effort and art can be employed advantageously.”14 D’Anglebert transcribed several splendid lute courantes by Ennemond Gaultier, whose pseudopolyphonic texture resembles that of some clavecin courantes.
With Lebègue’s first book (1677), a distinction is made between a courante grave and the piece that follows, a courante gaye. Aside from another courante grave, the remainder of Lebègue’s courantes are unmarked. D’Anglebert does not indicate a tempo for his numerous courantes and doubles, all of which are written in a uniform, more homophonic style. The fine, newly discovered Courante in A minor (see Appendix 2) employs the same stylistic elements found in all his other courantes. The beauty of D’Anglebert’s melodic lines is enhanced by a slow tempo and well-defined rhythm.
Subsequently, the clavecin courante tended to decline in popularity. Rameau’s courantes sometimes use sequences and other regular groupings (in contrast to the earlier courante’s continual change of rhythmic pattern), as do some courantes of Couperin le grand. The latter’s courantes encompass a marvelous variety, such as the one from Ordre 1, which offers an alternate melodic line even more highly embellished than the original. The superb courante from Rameau’s 1728 collection exemplifies particularly well an old form in more modern dress.
The courante continued to be identified as a slow dance in France; e.g., Montéclair’s Principes de musique (1736) gives a Courente à la maniere Françoise—Grave. The contrast between the French and the Italian styles of this dance can be seen in the Quatrième concert from François Couperin’s Concerts royaux, which includes both a Courante Françoise in 3/2 time (marked Galamment) and a Courante a I’italiéne in 3 time (marked Gayement). With rare exceptions, the courante seems to have enjoyed a more uniform character than most of the other dances in France.
The sarabande was transformed from the fiery Spanish zarabanda, which was brought to France near the beginning of the seventeenth century, to a slow dance favored in the French musical scene by the end of the century.15 In 1630 Voiture writes of violins playing a sarabande so fast and gay that “everyone rose up joyfully, and, by skipping, dancing, flying about, pirouetting, and leaping, arrived home.”16 Daniel Devoto remarks that the sarabandes of Denis Gaultier and Chambonnieres “still do not possess the solemnity of the later sarabandes, although they are not as undisciplined and noisy as those of the preceding period.”17
Although it is uncertain when the slow French sarabande, with its more complex rhythmic devices, began to develop, Mersenne gives examples of two types of sarabande in Harmonie universelle (1636).18 In 1657 Henry Du Mont marked an instrumental sarabande Gayement (Meslanges, II), but in 1668 de Pure referred to the “majesty” of allemandes and sarabandes (see p. 148, above). Pierre Richelet (1680) defines the sarabande as “a type of danse grave” but gives another side of the dance when demonstrating the use of the word in a sentence: “The violins will play a very lively sarabande.”19 Furetière (1690) describes the sarabande as having un mouvement gay & amoureux,20 and in England, Thomas Mace (1676) says that it has “the Shortest Triple-Time . . . more Toyish, and Light, than Corantoes.”21
In 1703, Brossard compares and contrasts the sarabande and menuet: “One can best understand the sarabande as a kind of menuet whose movement is grave, lent, serieux & c.”22 Similarities exist among the forms of sarabande, menuet, and chaconne (e.g., uniform phrase structure), but one distinguishing characteristic is tempo. According to Michel L’Affilard (1705),
When [3/4 time] is played gravement, as in the sarabande and the passacaille, one beats slowly in three equal quarter notes. The chaconne is beat in the same manner, but more quickly. Menuets have two unequal beats [half note and quarter note] because of their liveliness.23
At the turn of the century, then, the sarabande seems to be identified primarily with a slow tempo, although both types continued to be used. In 1736, Montéclair’s Principes de musique gives two contrasting sarabandes: one marked Grave and the other Sarabande legere—Mouvement de Chacone—Gay.
The thin, transparent texture of many early clavecin sarabandes suggests a tempo that is perhaps Moderato to Allegretto. Sarabande texture is normally homophonic, so Louis Couperin’s attractive Sarabande en canon represents an exception. Also of interest are the rhythmic stresses: those of the trailing voice fall on a different beat from those of the leading voice.
On the other hand, some of Couperin’s sarabandes represent a contrasting style with a more complex texture, including dotted eighth notes, smaller note values, more figuration, and an accented second beat. A striking resemblance exists between some dotted-note motives in his Sarabande in A minor (Curtis edition, p. 13) and D’Anglebert’s sumptuous Sarabande grave. The melody of this sarabande reappears in G. F. Handel’s Saraband in D minor (Suite 4, Suites de pièces pour le clavecin, 1733).
Couperin’s works (found only in manuscript) date from a period before the common use of tempo marks, but stylistic evidence suggests that several of his sarabandes require a slow tempo. Chambonnières’s Sarabande grave from the Bauyn Manuscript (reworked as a gaillarde in his edition of 1670, No.34) also exemplifies the slow sara-bande. The stereotypical dotted-eighth and sixteenth-note pattern found in D’Anglebert’s Sarabande grave is seen again, but before the downbeat in the manner of the slow gaillarde. Among Lebègue’s sarabandes, one is marked fort grave, six are marked grave, and the four unmarked sarabandes suggest a faster tempo. Although the four expressive sarabandes in La Guerre’s c.1687 book contain no tempo marks, they appear to have characteristics of the slow sarabande.
All D’Anglebert’s sarabandes are marked Lentement, with the exception of the Sarabande in D major. (The manuscript sarabandes in A minor and C major lack tempo marks.) Since both Lebègue and D’Anglebert were careful to mark unusual tempi, these marks may imply that the standard keyboard sarabande tempo was still assumed to be more rapid (although a slow tempo for sarabandes in general must have been well known by 1680, in view of Richelet’s description above). Some of D’Anglebert’s slow sarabandes are set in a low register and are constructed with a thick texture that at times consists of five-or six-note chords. On the other hand, his Sarabande in D major, utilizing a thinner texture and a higher register, moves comfortably at a tempo similar to that of the chaconne. The absence of a tempo mark may suggest a resemblance to the early, faster clavecin sarabande. The fact that probably all but one of D’Anglebert’s sarabandes were intended to be marked lentement indicates that the keyboard sarabande was undergoing a change in tempo and character, one that culminated in the sarabandes of Bach and other eighteenth-century composers. With his richly figured sarabandes, D’Anglebert was a prime exponent of this form.
The newly discovered Sarabande in A minor, a lovely piece with a tendre character, includes a double; while the Sarabande in C major, attributed to D’Anglebert, has little in common with his other work and would appear to date from his youth.
The dual nature of the sarabande continued into the eighteenth century. The sarabande in Marchand’s 1702 book, with dotted eighth notes, accented second beats, and abundant ornamentation, suggests a slower tempo than does the one in his 1703 book. Le Roux’s edition (1705) also includes sarabandes of both types, some marked grave, some gaye. The two sarabandes in Rameau’s Premier livre (1706) are light and transparent; but the majestic, richly ornamented sarabande in his 1728 book requires a slow tempo. Most of François Couperin’s sarabandes are weighty pieces much in the D’Anglebert tradition; e.g., Les Vieux Seigneurs (Ordre 24) is termed a Sarabande grave and marked to be played Noblement. On the other hand, Les Sentimens (Ordre 1) is marked Tres tendrement.
It appears that the seventeenth-century slow sarabandes were written in two styles, so that their character could be either noble or tendre. Players must resolve for themselves the manner of performance of the unmarked sarabandes. For example, my inclination is to regard D’Anglebert’s sarabandes in G major and A minor (and possibly the second sarabande in D minor) as having an Affekt of tendre, but those in G minor and D minor (grave) one of noble.
The gigue is found in many different styles and in both duple and triple meter. The lutenists cultivated a form resembling the allemande; e.g., a piece by Denis Gaultier is entitled Gigue in one source and Allemande in another.24 This type of gigue is similar to the allemande in that it is in duple meter, often has a head motive, and employs the same type of motivic treatment. Two allemandes in common time, given again as gigues in time in Sr. Perrine’s Pièces de luth en musique, carry the instruction: “This piece is to be played again as a gigue.”25 The gigue versions are quite similar to the corresponding allemandes, but they include numerous dotted notes. D’Anglebert’s manuscript contains his transcription of two duple-meter gigues by Ennemond Gaultier (Ex. 1): the Gigue in C major ( time) has a simpler texture and melodic line than the Gigue in D minor (C time) named La Poste (the same gigue appears in the Perrine edition). The regularly accented Gigue in C major moves easily at a faster tempo than that of the Gigue in D minor, which features skillfully shifting rhythmic accents.
As defined by Ozanam (1691), “The gigue, an Air de Musique in three beats, is played quickly; its measures often begin with a dotted note. The French gigue [Gigue à la Françoise] has two beats and begins with an upbeat.”26 Thomas Corneille (1694) substantiates Ozanam’s description of these two forms of gigue and adds that Gilles Ménage believes the word Gigue comes from the Italian Giga, a fiddle spoken of by Dante.27 The Bauyn Manuscript contains two keyboard allemandes by La Barre that are later repeated with the title “Gigue.”28 The two versions are identical except for minor variants. The clavecinistes chiefly used triple or compound meter in the gigue, but an interesting exception by Chambonnières from the Bauyn Manuscript contains an eight-measure section in duple meter near the end of the second strain (Ex. 2).29
A similar change of meter occurs in a gigue by Etienne Richard, who also wrote a gigue completely in duple meter.30 Johann Jakob Froberger too includes a change from compound to duple meter at the close of the gigue from the fourth suite of his 1656 collection, an autograph manuscript that includes four gigues in duple meter and two in compound meter. The Bauyn Manuscript contains many of his pieces, among them several gigues in both duple and triple meters (barred in 3/4 and in 6/4 time). The cross-fertilization between Froberger and the musicians of Paris (see chapter 7) suggests that Froberger may have played the compound-meter gigue from his 1649 autograph manuscript during his visit there in 1652. Its regular rhythmic accents and fugal entries conform to our expectations for gigue style.
Each of the four suites in La Guerre’s c.1687 book contains a triple-or compound-meter gigue (either fugal or imitative), but the second suite contains an additional gigue in duple meter (see Ex. 3). Further evidence for contrasting English and French gigue forms is found in Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Concert pour quatre parties de violes (1680-1681), which contains both a Gigue angloise with dotted rhythms in 3 time (barred in 3/4) and a Gigue françoise in barred time.31
Meredith Ellis Little notes that “scholars are still debating the question of whether the many gigues notated with duple subdivisions of the beat . . . should be played in the uneven rhythms of a triple subdivision.”32 In seventeenth-century France, however, the term “gigue” encompassed dances in duple as well as triple (or compound) meter, while a few gigues used both meters in a single piece. Some say that duple-meter gigues should be played in a triple form because three gigues by Froberger are notated in different me-ters in separate sources. It may be more plausible that Froberger (or a scribe) was giving examples of the gigue as it would sound in both French and English styles, rather than expecting performers to juggle rhythmic values from duple to triple in gigues where there is no written-out triple version. The French duple-meter gigue appears to have originated with the lutenists and to have been adopted only occasionally in other idioms.
The triple- or compound-meter gigue in France may be derived from the English jig, an example of which is William Byrd’s A Gigg, from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book of 1619 (this volume also contains a duple-meter Nobodyes Gigge by Richard Farnaby). One link between England and France is the French lutenist John Mercure, who worked at the English court (fl. 1640-1650), and whose known gigues (three for lute and one for harpsichord) employ compound meter, a thin texture, and in one instance an imitative opening. One of Mercure’s gigues is constructed with the shifting rhythmic accents typical of French mid-century keyboard gigues.
Lully’s Comédie, Xerxés (1660), includes a gigue barred in 3/4 time with fugal entries, regular accents, and dotted rhythm. This type of gigue is related to the canaries, a fast dance that opens with a single voice in a distinctive dotted pattern:
Although D’Anglebert did not use this dance form, Louis Couperin, Chambonnières, and La Guerre furnish a few examples.
The gigues of Louis Couperin and Chambonnières reflect a diversity of styles despite the fact that they all use a time signature of 3, no matter whether the pulse falls into 6/4, 3/2, or 3/4 time. Most of their gigues utilize imitation and a more complicated rhythmic structure, which can include accents shifting between 6/4 and 3/2 time, syncopation, and cross-rhythms. Another type of gigue by Chambonnières, the Gigue ou il y a un canon, employs imitation, regular rhythmic stresses, and some use of dotted notes. D’Anglebert transcribed an exceptionally fine gigue by Lully that represents still another type: the homophonic texture supports the melody, and hemiola patterns abound (Ex. 4).
Imaginative rhythmic patterns are characteristic of French gigues from the mid-century, but they give way to the regular accents found in the English jig and the Italian giga. The gigues of La Guerre’s c.1687 collection, with a signature of 3 and barred in either 6/4 or 3/4, generally exemplify this rhythm. The three fine gigues and one double of her 1707 book, which carry time signatures of 6/4 and 6/8 and are longer than the earlier gigues, reflect Italian fluidity and polish. Lebègue’s gigues are characterized by regular rhythmic pulses, thin texture, and some fugal techniques. This style, superseding the intricate rhythms and texture of many of Chambonnières’s and Louis Couperin’s gigues, invites a faster tempo—Lebègue’s Gigue dangleterre in G major is marked Fort viste. Gigues with a complex rhythmic or imitative structure require a slower tempo than those with thin texture and regular accents, but seventeenth-century French gigues are vigorous, an air de danse fort gay, as described by Gilles Menage.33
D’Anglebert’s use of compound 6/8 or 12/8 time is perhaps the first occurrence of these Italian signatures in the clavecin gigue. They reflect a stabilizing of the rhythmic pulse, in contrast to the rhythmic ambiguity of many early French gigues. D’Anglebert marked two gigues (in 6/4 and 3/4) guayement, perhaps to avoid confusion because the note values are larger than those of the 12/8 or 6/8 gigues. Another feature of his compound-meter gigues is greater length; e.g., the triple-meter gigue in D major has 36 beat units (= dotted half note), not including repeats, while the 12/8 gigue in G major has 76 beat units (= dotted quarter note).
By the latter part of the seventeenth century, clavecin gigues could have a time signature of 3, 6/4, 3/8, 6/8, or even 12/8 (which was very unusual in France). St.-Lambert observes:
But these signatures [12/4, 12/8, 9/4, and 9/8] are so rare in our music that I have never seen any compositions using them, except for three that are in 12/8: two gigues by M. d’Anglebert, and the beautiful Italian air of Europe Galante, “Ad un cuore” [André Campra, 1697].34
But St.-Lambert overlooked some gigue-like pieces in compound meter found in the organ music of François Roberday (Fugues et caprices, 1660, which includes works by Italian composers—see p. 119), D’Anglebert’s fourth organ fugue, and François Couperin’s Offertoire from the Messe pour les paroisses (1690). The 12/8 signature was associated with the Italian giga, which developed in a different direction from the fugal entries and dotted rhythms of the French gigue.
The gigue has many personalities. As Johann Mattheson described it, the common gigue is English and is characterized by
a fiery and a fickle passion, like an anger that soon vanishes. The Loures, or slow and dotted ones, reveal on the other hand a proud, arrogant character; hence they are very beloved by the Spanish. Canaries reflect great eagerness and swiftness, but at the same time must convey a little innocence. The Italian Gige, which are not used for dancing but for fiddling (from which the name may also derive), force themselves as it were to the greatest speed or rapidity, though for the most part in a fluent and easy manner.35
In his six gigues, D’Anglebert combines elements of his predecessors with stylistic traits of his own. A dotted figure is customary in five of the gigues, but the fascinating rhythmic shifts between 6/4 and 3/2 of the earlier gigues are absent from all except the homophonic 6/4 Gigue in G major. The 12/8 gigues employ a pseudopolyphonic texture in which short motives are exchanged among the voices. The frequent syncopation adds rhythmic interest in the marvelously constructed Gigue in G minor (see Ex. 5).
D’Anglebert’s melodious triple-meter gigues in D major and A minor are composed of fugal entries in each strain, which then yield to a more homophonic structure. The construction of the newly discovered Gigue in A minor (see Appendix 2) is similar to that of the Gigue in D major. The fugal entries of the Gigue in D minor constitute the beginning of a monothematic composition (most unusual for this period in France) in which the subject and its fragments are skillfully woven in throughout.
Of François Couperin’s few entitled gigues for the harpsichord, one is in the style of an Italian giga in 12/8 time (Ordre 1), and two use a dotted style with fugal entries in 6/4 time (Ordres 5 and 8). Rameau’s 6/4 Gigue from his Premier livre employs fugal entries, some dotted rhythms, and a thin texture; while the two 6/8 gigues en rondeau from his 1724 collection are basically homophonic. By 1768, J. J. Rousseau could mention that the gigue was out of fashion and scarcely heard in France.36
Although Thomas Morley described the galliard in 1597 as “a lighter and more stirring kind of dancing than the Pavan,”37 Thomas Mace observed in 1676 that it is “perform’d in a Slow, and Large Triple-Time; and (commonly) Grave, and Sober,”38 Across the Channel, Mersenne indicated that the French gaillarde was a fast, vigorous dance: “The gaillarde . . . derived its name from the liveliness of the dance, and from the freedom that permits going obliquely, across, and lengthwise all over the room, sometimes gliding and sometimes leaping. . . . ”39 But Mersenne’s description may be appropriate only for a piece like Louis Couperin’s Gaillarde in F major, which is barred in 3/4 time and characterized by thin texture, dotted notes, and disjunct melodic movement.
Another type of gaillarde, similar to the slow sarabande discussed above, is barred in 3/2 time. The Oldham Manuscript contains D’Anglebert’s Sarabande, façon de Gaillarde (Gaillarde in G minor) and the Bauyn Manuscript his Sarabande graue en forme de gaillarde, apparently modeled after Chambonnières’s Gaillarde in C major (also found as a Sarabande grave barred in 3/4 time). It appears again in D’Anglebert’s manuscript with the title of Gaillarde, together with a double (see Ex. 6). Louis Couperin’s Gaillarde in G major furnishes another example of the 3/2 gaillarde, which uses a variety of note values in a distinctive rhythmic pattern typified by a recurrent anacrusic figure of a dotted quarter and eighth note, and the sustaining of the first note of the measure.
Information regarding tempo for the gaillarde is contradictory, since Mersenne considers it a lively dance, but Mace describes it as “Grave, and Sober.” Some seventy years after Mersenne, Brossard lists Gayement and Légèrement as synonyms for Gaillardement .40 Indeed, the meaning of the French word gaillarde is “fast and lively.” The gaillardes in D’Anglebert’s edition, however, are all marked Lentement; and the Tombeau (which is in the form of a gaillarde), Fort lentement. Since the danced French gaillarde retained its fast character into the eighteenth century, it is possible that the clavecinistes were influenced by the English version of the galliard. A stylistic resemblance exists between the slow French gaillarde and a “grave and sober” galliard for lute from Thomas Mace’s Musick’s monument (Ex. 7).41 This varied evidence suggests that the gaillardes in 3/2 time require a slow tempo, while those in 3/4 can move more energetically.
One might wonder why D’Anglebert wrote so many gaillardes, for aside from Chambonnières and L. Couperin, no keyboard contemporary or successor composed any, to our knowledge. Although the form of the gaillarde varies in Chambonnières’s and Couperin’s works, D’Anglebert is consistent in using only 3/2 time. He must have been intrigued with the gaillarde’s possibilities, for he included one in each of his four suites, as well as two others in his manuscript. Although not entitled as such, the Tombeau de Mr de Chambonnieres from the suite in D major is clearly a gaillarde and opens nearly identically to the Gaillarde in D minor.
The seventeenth-century French lutenists, among them Ennemond and Denis Gaultier, Charles Mouton, and Jacques Gallot, left numerous tombeaux. Froberger and Louis Couperin, as well as the lutenist Dufaut, wrote tombeaux in honor of Blancrocher, a lutenist who fell down stairs to his death in 1652. Froberger’s Tombeau for Blancrocher carries the instruction to play very slowly and freely (se joue fort lentement a la discretion sans observer aucune mesure). The tombeau usually follows the form of the allemande, as in Denis Gaultier’s Allemande grave, which is entitled Tombeau in another source.42
D’Anglebert’s gaillardes all have distinctive rhythmic patterns and a similar structure, with regular phrase lengths. A petite reprise is included in every gaillarde except the one in C major; the petite reprise is written out with embellishment in the Gaillarde in G minor. The Gaillardes in D minor and D major open with a long upbeat pattern that fills most of a measure. These harmonically luxuriant pieces are largely homophonic, with an occasional use of a motive in other voices to enliven a sustained soprano note.
D’Anglebert’s gift for melody is shown to greatest advantage in his six gaillardes, which are elegant, highly sophisticated, and perhaps a bit melancholy. The form of the gaillarde serves as a perfect vehicle in the Tombeau for Chambonnières, in contrast to those of other composers who cast their tombeaux as allemandes. These two dance forms furnish an interesting comparison. The dignified mid-seventeenth century French allemande acquired an additional faster form and continued to flourish as the first dance in harpsichord suites until the time of Bach and Handel. The danced gaillarde was rapid, but as a keyboard piece the gaillarde lost this identification in mid-seventeenth century France, perhaps because of English influence. After the few examples by Chambonnières, Louis Couperin, and D’Anglebert, the keyboard gaillarde virtually disappeared.
Chaconne and Passacaille
A good deal has been written about distinguishing between the chaconne and the passacaglia,43 a task that is generally simpler in French music. Brossard defined them as follows:
CHACONE. It is a melody composed over an obligatory bass of four measures, ordinarily in triple meter with quarter notes, that is repeated as many times as the Chacone has couplets or variations—that is, of different melodies over the notes of the bass. Often in this type of piece one passes from the major to the minor mode. Because of the constraints of this style, one accepts many things that would never normally be permitted in a freer composition.
PASSACAILLE. It is really a Chacone. The major difference is that the movement is ordinarily slower than that of the Chacone, the melody more delicate, and the style less animated. For this reason, Passacailles are almost always in minor keys. . . .44
According to Thomas Corneille, passacaille comes from the Spanish passar (to go) and calle (street), for the Spanish were accustomed to playing this type of music with guitars while strolling in the streets at night.45 Even as late as 1768, J. J. Rousseau defined the passacaille as a type of chaconne with a more tender melody and a slower tempo, and said that passacailles from Armide (Lully, transcribed for harpsichord by D’Anglebert) and Issé (André Cardinal Destouches?, 1697) were still celebrated in French opera.46
French chaconnes (and occasionally passacailles) customarily employ the rondeau form, in which a repeated refrain (Grand couplet of four or eight measures) alternates with three or four couplets of free design. A chordal texture, low register, and often considerable dissonance accompany the bass patterns of the Grand couplet (usually the scale degrees of 3-4-5-1 or 1-7-6-5). In the secondary couplets, the melody becomes dominant, the register is higher and often ascends with successive couplets, and note values can be smaller. Chaconnes and passacailles may use an alternate form, with a regularly recurring bass formula, that comprises repeated sections (usually four measures) strung together.
One of Denis Gaultier’s lute pieces is identified as a Chaconne in one source and as a Sarabande in another,47 while Jacques Ozanam’s Dictionaire compares the chaconne to a sarabande.48 The two forms have much in common—four-measure phrases, hemiola, and the patterns of and , but chaconnes have more rhythmic variety and a structural bass. All three of D’Anglebert’s chaconnes move easily at a tempo similar to that of the faster sarabande. Exceptions to the commonly accepted tempo are indicated by composers; e.g., Lebègue’s two pieces entitled Chaconne grave and D’Anglebert’s transcription of Lully’s Chaconne de Galatée, marked Lentement. The title and denser texture of L. Couperin’s La Complaignante suggest a slower tempo.
D’Anglebert’s suites in G major and D major each contain a Chaconne rondeau constructed with a Grand couplet of eight measures (with a double written out for the repeat of the one in D major) and four or five couplets of sixteen measures each. The Chaconne in C major in D’Anglebert’s manuscript employs an ostinato bass undergirding twelve repeated four-measure melodic variations. This delightful small-scale work must have achieved great popularity, for it is found in many manuscripts. The vitality of D’Anglebert’s chaconnes is heightened by a moderate tempo and well-articulated rhythmic energy. Their texture is more uniform throughout than those of Louis Couperin, which become increasingly complex with succeeding couplets.
The clavecinistes excelled at the chaconne and wrote most of them in rondeau form; e.g., several by Louis Couperin that are justifiably famous, Chambonnières’s fine Chaconne in F major (Brunold-Tessier, p.92), and La Guerre’s imaginative, harmonically interesting, and more sombre chaconnes from her c.1687 collection, of which L’Inconstante has internal changes of mode. Her other chaconne is unusual for being set in the minor mode.
After D’Anglebert, the chaconne is encountered only occasionally. Marchand’s rondeau Chaconne in D minor contains four couplets of increasing complexity, while Le Roux’s Chaconne in F major utilizes continuous movement and some Italianate features. An exceptional example from François Couperin—a rondeau in duple meter—is entitled La Favorite—Chaconne a deux tems (Ordre 3) and is marked Gravement, sans lenteur.
D’Anglebert’s only passacaille bears a superficial resemblance to his Chaconne in C major in that they both consist of repeated short sections on a ground bass. The Passacaille, with twenty repeated sections that vary the bass line, melody, rhythm, texture, and harmony, is clearly adapted and expanded from an anonymous Italian work in the Codex Chigiano,49
Magnificent dissonance permeates D’Anglebert’s passacaille; e.g., m.3 almost conveys the impression of a D-major chord in the upper register against a C-minor chord in the lower register. It is impressionistic writing, designed to engage the listener in a wash of sound. These complicated dissonances can often be analyzed as simply tonic-dominant harmony with an advanced suspension technique. It is remarkable how much harmonic and melodic variety can be provided in a simple four-measure phrase that almost always ends with the same cadence. Although the bass pattern of the Passacaille is G-F-Eb-D-G, D’Anglebert ingeniously alters the rhythmic placement of these notes, adds other bass notes, and varies the harmonic structure. This work is almost hypnotic in its endless solemn movement toward a cadence. The form of the passacaille may have been associated with the operatic Affekt of pathos and languishing (see p. 116). A very leisurely tempo enables D’Anglebert’s sumptuous harmonies to distill and blend.
In this period the passacaille does not occur as often as the chaconne. The texture of Louis Couperin’s superb Passacaille in C major (perhaps the only other example in 3/2 time) resembles that of D’Anglebert’s passacaille, while his two passacailles in G minor are barred in 3/4 time. The fact that Couperin called one of the latter Chaconne ou Passacaille suggests that in the 1650s the passacaille had not yet solidified its distinctive slow and melancholy personality. Yet much later, François Couperin gave sectional movements from Les Nations (La Françoise) and Pièces de violes the title Chaconne ou Passacaille, so it seems that exceptions to conventional practice always exist. The monumental Passacaille in B minor for harpsichord (Ordre 8) by Couperin le grand is in rondeau form, while L’Amphibie—Mouvement de Passacaille—Noblement (Ordre 24), a unique work incorporating several tempo changes, is intended to open with the mouvement of a passacaille.
Menuet and Gavotte
At Versailles, the popular menuet became the concluding dance of a suite consisting of branle, courante, and gavotte. Lully composed nearly 100 titled menuets, many more than any other dance form. With its well-defined phrase structure, tonal clarity, and lovely melody, the menuet had great popular appeal. Brossard describes it as a very quick dance, usually in binary form (but sometimes in rondeau form):
. . . a very lively dance that originated in Poitou. One owes to the imitation of the Italians the use of the signs 3/8 or 6/8 for marking the movement, which is always very lively and very fast. However, the practice of marking it with a simple 3, or three quarter notes, has remained. This dance ordinarily has two strains, each of which is played twice. The first has four, or at the most eight measures. . . .50
Jacques Ozanam describes the menuet as “an Air de Musique in three beats, or a fast sarabande.”51 Walther’s Lexikon defines it as a French dance in triple meter that is beat almost as though it were in 3/8 time.52 St.-Lambert too says that although menuets are written with a signature of 3, they are to be beat faster, as though written in 3/8 time (except for some clavecin menuets).53
The character of the menuet changed over the following half century. In 1768 J. J. Rousseau disagreed with Brossard’s description: “On the contrary, the character of the menuet is one of an elegant and noble simplicity. The movement is more moderate than quick. One can say that the menuet is the least lively of all the dances used in our balls.” He adds cryptically, “C’est autre chose sur le Thèatre,” suggesting that the fast menuet continued its life on the stage.54
Kenneth Gilbert marks two of D’Anglebert’s menuets with a bracketed Lentement,55 perhaps because the composer indicated that his two menuet transcriptions from Lully were to be played Lentement. The latter menuets, however, are from the Trios pour le coucher du Roi (“Trios for the King’s Bedtime”) and were probably intended to have a different character from the standard lively menuet. D’Anglebert appears to have used tempo indications only when his desired tempo deviated from the accepted norm. His transcriptions of Lully’s menuets have a more complicated rhythmic structure, which flows better at a relaxed tempo.
In his charming menuets in G major and D minor, D’Anglebert follows the customary features of this dance. In both pieces, he writes out the repeat of the first strain, changing the last measure in the case of the G-major menuet, and lowering the register of the left hand an octave in the D-minor menuet.
The menuet presents perhaps the most standardized dance form of the entire period, for its simple texture and 3/4 time remained constant until François Couperin’s 3/8 and 6/8 menuets, which feature running sixteenth notes. While Chambonnières and Louis Couperin each provided one or two menuets, Lebègue wrote around thirteen and La Guerre included one in each of the suites of her c.1687 book.
The French gavotte, characterized by C or time and rhythmically similar phrases that often begin in the middle of a measure, began its vogue in Lully’s ballets and operas. Although Mersenne indicates in 1636 that it is slow (Gauote . . . sa mesure est binaire assez graue . . .),56 Brossard in 1703 describes it as either fast or slow:
This is a type of dance in which the melody has two strains, the first of four and the second ordinarily of eight measures in duple meter, sometimes fast and sometimes slow. Each strain is played twice. The first strain begins with an upbeat of a half note or two quarter notes, or an equivalent value. . . .57
The dual fast/slow nature of the gavotte is noted too by Walther: “sometimes quick, but also now and then performed slowly,”58 and by J. J. Rousseau: “The movement of the Gavotte is ordinarily graceful, often lively, but sometimes also tender and slow.”59 Pierre Richelet (1680) defines the gavotte as a danse gaie.60 By the end of the seventeenth century in France, the gavotte was perhaps more often associated with a lively tempo and an upbeat, although there are examples in the keyboard literature (notably by D’Anglebert) beginning on the downbeat.
D’Anglebert gave his Gavotte in G major a tempo of Lentement, which might have led Kenneth Gilbert, in his 1975 edition, to mark D’Anglebert’s other Gavotte with a bracketed Lentement. D’Anglebert, however, wrote the former in common time, but the latter in 2 time. According to St.-Lambert, the 2 signature is even faster than time (see chapter 3). D’Anglebert transcribed two anonymous gavottes, marking them both Lentement. The fact that they are labeled Air ancien might account for the slow tempo, in view of Mersenne’s description.
Among the relatively few examples of this dance form in the keyboard literature are Louis Couperin’s gavotte and doubles on gavottes by Hardel and Lebègue. The latter’s editions contain nine gavottes, two of which begin on the first beat of the measure. La Guerre’s first book includes a gavotte in time that appears to have a character of gaye. François Couperin indicated that his gavotte from Ordre 8 be played Tendrement and added a highly embellished alternate melodic line to the Gavotte in G minor from Ordre 1. Rameau’s famous Gavotte with Doubles exemplifies the Italian virtuoso style.
Variations on Les folies d’Espagne
Folias, from the Portuguese, means lunacy, and the folia originated as a noisy, very fast carnival dance of fertility. The later form of the folia in France and England (c. 1672-1750) differs from the earlier Spanish and Italian form in certain details.61 Its tempo became slower, and its lovely melody helped to make it tremendously popular throughout much of Europe.
The guitarist Francesco Corbetta, who had come to Paris around 1656, is given credit for playing “the key role finally in transmitting the fully developed earlier type of folia to France.”62 Michel Farinel too may have brought the folia melody from Portugal to Paris around 1672, when he wrote his variations (included in John Play-ford’s Division Violin, London, 1685) for the noted violinist Guil-laume Dumanoir.63 Lully incorporated the folia in his Air des hautbois for four winds (LWV 48, 1672), and Jacques Gallot wrote lute variations on the theme at about the same time. Lully’s work, commissioned by the king, may mark the earliest use of the later folia structure, which features melodic variation over fixed harmonies, in contrast to the rhythmic and harmonic variants of the earlier folia. The folia melody and bass, widely circulated in France and other parts of Europe, forms the basis of the well-known variations for violin by Corelli (1700) and for gamba by Marin Marais (1701).
In a letter dated 24 July 1689 Mme de Sévigné suggests that the folies d’Espagne was a popular dance in France:
[the son of the Seneschal of Rennes] dances these beautiful chaconnes, the folies d’Espagne, and especially passepieds with his wife, with a perfection, with a harmony, impossible to describe; no set steps, nothing but a true cadence, with the most whimsical figures, now in the branle like the others, now alone in couples as in the minuet, now very serenely, now scarcely touching their feet to the ground. . .,64
Feuillet’s Recueil de dances gives the steps for the folies d’Espagne, while his Chorégraphie includes instructions for the use of castanets with this dance.65
D’Anglebert follows the form of the later folia closely, but varies the final cadence by using submediant or subdominant harmonies. His 22 variations constitute an early instance of keyboard melodic variations. The form is defined as having a generally fixed harmonic scheme and constant formal proportions; the main notes of the melody are retained but may be embellished in any number of ways by the addition of nonharmonic tones and rhythmic variation. The melody of D’Anglebert’s Variations undergoes continual alteration in the soprano voice, supported by the harmonic structure and fluent movement of the lower voices. Since D’Anglebert adheres to the constraints of the form, the harmonies are simple. Occasionally the rhythmic interest shifts to a lower voice or voices, or a distinctive rhythmic pattern may be tossed between the hands, as in Variation 16. In Variation 21 the melodic notes are trilled with alternating upper and lower auxiliaries, almost producing the effect of a continuous trill. The scale and arpeggio patterns in the bass of the last variation resemble the Italianate violin style.
Although numerous settings of the folia melody occur in French manuscripts of the period, D’Anglebert’s Variations are possibly the first published keyboard melodic variations on the folia, preceding those of Pasquini (in manuscript from the 1690s), Alessandro Scarlatti (1715), and C. P. E. Bach (1778). D’Anglebert’s Variations had great popularity and longevity, for they are also found in a late eighteenth-century German manuscript. They reflect characteristics of the Italian school—notably those of Bernardo Pasquini:
[Pasquini’s] harpsichord variations take a middle position between the older contrapuntal techniques and the later, more homophonic variation type with fixed harmonies. The bass and harmony are usually fixed in his variations, and the ornamentation, often very rich, is embedded in a chordal framework. Indeed with Pasquini the history of variations “alla maniera Italiana” begins. . . .66
D’Anglebert’s Variations also fall into this classification of melodic variations, with a homophonic texture and fixed harmonies, and they appear to antedate those of Pasquini. Whatever the case, D’Anglebert was probably influenced by the Italians, for traits such as violinistic gestures occur. His Variations, however, do not reflect the virtuoso style, sharp contrasts, and vivid imagination of those by Marais. One senses that Marais’s variations were for the pleasure of a seated audience, while D’Anglebert’s could have accompanied dancers and may have been included in his edition for their popular appeal. Although simply constructed, these variations succeed admirably within their strict harmonic and formal framework.
Characteristics of D’Anglebert’s Clavecin Pieces
Unlike most other clavecin music of the seventeenth century, D’Anglebert’s dances generally are characterized by a uniform texture throughout, a use of melodic sequences, greater harmonic stability, and a unity between the two strains.
D’Anglebert was perhaps the first French keyboard composer to unify binary dances to a substantive degree. He does so by means of rhythmic and melodic motives that recur in the second strain. Sometimes the imitation is exact, but it also might be slightly altered, as in the Allemande in D major (mm.9 and 21-22). This unification is found to some degree in all the binary dances, with the gaillardes having the least. The Menuet in D minor even includes an exact repetition in the second strain of a phrase from the first strain. The Sarabande grave in D minor opens with a two-measure pattern repeated in a modulating sequence, a pattern that is suggested in the second strain (mm. 14 and 18).
Imitative features exist in all six gigues to a greater or lesser extent. The gigues in 12/8 are filled with motivic exchange among all the voices; the imitation often is not exact but is similar enough in shape and rhythmic form to convey an impression of thematic unity between the strains. The complex texture of the Gigue in G minor has many unifying small motives; e.g., a fragment of the tenor from m.2 is found in sequence in m.16. The Gigues in D minor and D major feature a unified monothematic structure in which both strains open with the same subject. The Gigue in A minor employs fugal entries throughout both sections, with the subject of the second strain based on material from mm.3 and 4.
D’Anglebert’s harpsichord works, many of which modulate frequently, contrast and complement his nonmodulatory contrapuntal organ pieces. His first three suites contain numerous shifts of key center typical of the French school at this time, but they are usually well established by a dominant-seventh chord. The fourth suite in D major, however, replaces the frequent key shifts with a tonic-dominant polarity in which a substantial section in the tonic is set off against a section in the dominant (or on occasion in the subdominant). The tonic is established for the first 5 1/2 measures of the Allemande in D major, while the second half of the strain alternates between the dominant and tonic:
In contrast to many of D’Anglebert’s harpsichord dances, his preludes establish the home key firmly at the beginning and modulate infrequently (except for the Prelude in G minor, which moves through the circle of fifths from D major downward to Bߕ major). The long Prelude in D minor includes substantial sections in the home key, the relative major, and the minor dominant, as well as a sizeable coda that emphasizes the subdominant.
The use of harmony and dissonance in the harpsichord dances is rich and imaginative. D’Anglebert employs many secondary dominants, seventh chords on all scale degrees, and root movement generally by fifths. Cadences favor the dominant or dominant seventh to tonic, preceded by a chord of the subdominant (II or IV) or the tonic in second inversion. An interesting exception is the use of a Phrygian cadence to end some first strains of the D-minor dances. D’Anglebert employs the circle of fifths a number of times; e.g., the second strain of the Sarabande in G minor, in which the fifths ascend from Bߕ to D and then descend. Many of D’Anglebert’s harpsichord pieces demonstrate a constantly shifting tonal center that is often brought about by the linear use of the affective modal steps of 3, 4, 6, and 7. Occasionally there is no dominant after the opening chord of a piece, but an immediate chromatic shift toward another key center (e.g., in the Allemande in G minor). A passage in the Allemande in G major includes a cross-relation involving the third degree of the scale, several seventh chords, and dissonance resolving to further dissonance (see Ex. 8).
An augmented chord on the third degree of the scale in minor is an unusual, but not a rare, occurrence in French literature of the period. D’Anglebert limits its use (normally functioning as a dominant) primarily to his sarabandes and gaillardes; e.g., the Sarabande grave in D minor, m.21. The Sarabande in G minor, m.14, furnishes an example of a sophisticated suspension technique, the superimposition of D minor on G minor (Ex. 9).
Some say that D’Anglebert wrote in a heavy five-voice style, and that this thick texture precludes a fast tempo for gigues. Most of his clavecin writing is actually in a free-voice texture of two to four parts. The third and fourth voices are added or subtracted at will, and occasionally a fifth or sixth voice is inserted into a chordal structure to achieve the illusion of dynamic variation. D’Anglebert’s facile writing style does permit a suitably brisk tempo for gigues and other rapid pieces.