ISSN: 1089-747X
Copyright © 1995–2012 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois

Volume 12, no. 1:

C. Jane Gosine*

Questions of Chronology in Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s “Meslanges Autographes”: An Examination of Handwriting Styles


Almost all of Charpentier’s extant music is in his autograph scores (the “Meslanges autographes,” F-Pn Rés. Vm1 259). A clear chronological pattern emerges on the basis of the handwriting styles and formations of clefs, corresponding with the types of paper and the phraseology of annotations that the composer used.

1. Introduction: The Meslanges Autographes

2. Handwriting Patterns

3. The Arabic Numeral Series

4. The Roman Numeral Series

5. Cahiers “I”, “II”, [a], [b], [c], and [d]

6. Concluding Remarks





1. Introduction: The Meslanges Autographes1

1.1 The collection of manuscripts known today as Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s “Meslanges autographes” is a wonderfully rich and rare corpus of material―virtually all the composer’s music in one manuscript collection, and written almost entirely in the composer’s own hand. What is sadly lacking from any of the 500 works is a date.2 Only seven partbooks have survived for Charpentier’s music (H. 11a, 32a, 422a, 439, 485a, 487a, and 548),3 so scholars and performers must rely almost exclusively on single copies of undated music.

1.2 For the most part, the music in the Meslanges represents fair copies of Charpentier’s works that were copied throughout the composer’s lifetime. There are relatively few changes made on the scores, suggesting that these were not the composer’s original sketches. There is evidence, however, to suggest that some of the “cahiers” (fascicles or notebooks) include music that should be understood as sketches or at least partial scores for more elaborate works. For example, some of the early works for double choir and orchestra (such as those in Cahiers 20–2) appear in the Meslanges in an incomplete form (see par. 3.2.2 below). In works such as “Psalmus David 5tus” (H. 168), “Psalmus David 125tus” (H. 169), and “Prose des morts” (H. 12), Charpentier gives directions to the performers that suggest the works are still sketches, rather than completed scores, with references to instruments added next to the vocal lines. There are also works in the Meslanges that are clearly revisions of earlier works (see par. 4.2.3 below). In some instances, both versions of a work still exist; while in other instances only the revision remains extant, but with references to an earlier state.

1.3 The Meslanges comprise two series of cahiers: one numbered 1–75, the second I–LXXV (see Table 1, which also gives the corresponding volumes into which the cahiers were bound; the volume organization is retained in the facsimile edition).4 With the discovery in 1982 of the “Mémoire des ouvrages de musique latine et françoise de défunt Charpentier,” there was evidence that the 134 extant cahiers were bound into twenty-eight volumes (as they now exist) after their purchase by the Royal Library in 1727.5 The Mémoire is an almost complete inventory of the music in the Meslanges.

1.4 For the chronology of Charpentier’s music, the discovery of the Mémoire was significant since it confirmed the strong possibility that some of the cahiers might have become out of order before or during binding, and that some cahiers may have been removed by the composer or a copyist and replaced (perhaps after revisions). The handwriting in these instances is not consistent with that of the surrounding material. In a number of other instances, cahier numbers were erased but never replaced. Some of the cahiers, such as Cahier 5, were incorrectly numbered at some stage. Cahier 5 (see par. 3.2 below) was initially numbered as if it were part of the other series, “V,” but this was corrected to “5.” This, interestingly, is one of the cahiers that is almost certainly out of order. Similarly, the numeral at the beginning of Cahier 21 has been altered; now, because of damage to the folio, it is only partially visible. This too is a cahier that, according to the revisions to the chronology, is out of order. The numeral at the beginning of Cahier XXV (another cahier that appears out of order) is erased.

1.5 The changes in handwriting and paper lead to a possible dating of works within the manuscript that is sometimes at odds with the existing ordering of the cahiers. Table 2 lists the watermarks in both series of cahiers. Most criteria establish the date of copying, rather than the date of composition. Stylistic trends, such as scoring and harmonic writing (particularly cadential writing), may confirm the dates suggested by handwriting patterns.6 The correlation between known events for which Charpentier provided music and the existence of this music within the Meslanges can also be used as a means of establishing the date of composition for a specific work. It is still possible, however, that some of these works may appear in the Meslanges as revised works, and thus have been included in the manuscript after the event for which the work was originally conceived.

1.6 The present study confirms Hitchcock’s hypothesis that the two series of cahiers were compiled concurrently, and that they exhibit a chronological sequence:

One key to our dating of Charpentier’s manuscripts is the fact that the scores in cahiers numbered successively were written successively. Even if, as we imagine, Charpentier decided relatively late to organize his manuscripts according to the arabic/roman dual-number system, he did not just arbitrarily assign numbers to those cahiers that were already filled with music but rather numbered them in proper chronological order.7

The evidence for Hitchcock’s chronological theory takes various forms. Firstly, he argues that because it is common for a cahier to end in the middle of a composition, and hence there is no doubt about the identity of the next cahier, it therefore follows that all the works in the two cahiers date from the same period. While it seems logical that the copying of an individual work would have been completed at one time, it is possible that other works in the cahier were copied at a much later date. Secondly, verbal cues are found at the end of many cahiers indicating which cahier should follow. While some of the cues appear to be in Charpentier’s handwriting (such as those indicating which cahier follows), others such as the cue at the end of Cahier XXXII (indicating the succeeding volume rather than cahier) were written by someone else, probably when the manuscripts were bound into volumes. Even when written in Charpentier’s hand, these cues are not used consistently: they do not, for example, come at the end of every cahier. They do, however, usually appear at the end of a cahier that finishes in the middle of a piece.

1.7 In addition to conclusions about chronology drawn from the ordering of the cahiers within the manuscript, scholars such as Hitchcock, Ranum, and Cessac have used the correlation between known external events and compositions within the manuscripts to date specific compositions and surrounding works.8 Since the cahiers in the two series were compiled chronologically (though with some exceptions), it has been suggested that all the works in the same cahier date from a similar period. External evidence is found in the titles of works, such as “In obitum augustissimae nec non piisimae Gallorum reginae lamentum” (H. 409) in memory of Queen Marie-Thérèse (who died in 1683), various theatrical performances known to have been staged in particular years, the identification in the manuscript of singers and instrumentalists who are known to have been working during specific years at establishments with which Charpentier was associated or where he was employed, the choice of text (particularly where changes occurred in the liturgy or differences between the French and Roman rites), watermarks, handwriting, and annotations.9 In a number of instances, various works that are now contained within one cahier were copied at different times so that knowledge of the date of a performance of one work does not necessarily prove the date for the contents of the entire cahier. It may, however, give the latest date by which the music must have been copied. For example, Cahier XXXI contains music written for a performance of Endimion (H. 502) in July 1681. The music that precedes this piece, a setting of the “Pange lingua” (H. 62) and the remainder of a motet “Pour un reposoir” (H. 61), must date from before 1681 (assuming that the music for Endimion was copied at the same time as it was composed).

1.8 Patricia Ranum has undertaken extensive research into the historical background surrounding Charpentier’s music, and has established external events that can be linked with works within the Meslanges.10 As she notes, however, some of these links are conjectural: the events themselves certainly occurred, but it is conjecture as to whether Charpentier actually composed specific works for these occasions since very few sources refer directly to Charpentier’s music, and he does not refer to specific events within the Meslanges.11 Even in sources that refer directly to Charpentier, it is not always clear which works were performed. One must therefore be cautious of drawing too many conclusions about the chronology based solely on such external evidence. In corroboration with other evidence it is, however, a useful tool in establishing a possible chronology.

1.9 While there seems to be little doubt that most of the cahiers within each series were compiled successively, certain anomalies make it impossible to use the existing order of cahiers as the sole means of dating the works. Through a close analysis of watermarks and research into events associated particularly with the Guise family, Ranum has given further credence to Hitchcock’s theory since she has established that certain watermarks appear in both series of cahiers, suggesting corresponding dates in the cahiers of the two series.12

1.10 Ranum has suggested that the series with arabic numerals represents works composed specifically for Charpentier’s patron, Mlle de Guise (at least up to Cahier 51), and that the other series represents works commissioned by other patrons:

Jusqu’en 1684, les cahiers “romains” se caractèrisent par l’absence d’œuvres faites pour les musiciens de l’hôtel de Guise, voire pour les musiciens extraordinaires que leurs Altesses auraient engagés à l’occasion d’une fête religieuse ou mondaine. Les cahiers de cette série, nous nous sommes demandée, renferment-ils donc des commandes “extraordinaires” passées par des personnes ou des groupes autres que les Guise et les couvents et chapelles qu’elles fréquentaient? Et les cahiers “françois” contiennent-ils la production “ordinaire” que Charpentier devait à ses protectrices en échange de son logement et sa nourriture?13

Ranum has further extended this theory to include the music Charpentier composed for the Jesuits: “ordinary” works included in the series with arabic numeration and “extraordinary” works included in that with roman numerals.14 Although this thesis seems plausible for most of the cahiers, exceptions in both series where compositions were written for a particular occasion but located in the “wrong” series, raise questions concerning the validity of such an all-embracing theory. For example, “Bonum est confiteri D[omi]no” (H. 195) includes the names of nine singers from the Hôtel de Guise, yet it is in Cahier L (the series devoted to works commissioned for use outside the Guise household). It is possible that such works were written as commissions by friends of the Guise family and were performed by members of the Guise household. In spite of some problems with this theory, it does seem likely that Charpentier separated works composed for his regular employer from those works composed as external commissions.15

2. Handwriting Patterns

2.1 Through a detailed examination of the Meslanges, a clear pattern of handwriting styles emerges, with changes in clef formation that correspond to the use of different types of paper associated with distinct chronological periods. There are also direct correspondences between Charpentier’s choice of annotations, such as the designations used for solo voices and instruments, and his style of clef formation. Shirley Thompson notes that if we follow a revised chronology for Charpentier’s works based on clef formation, patterns emerge for the composer’s choice of particular annotations. These modifications to the chronology also make more sense of stylistic changes.16

2.2 Changes in handwriting highlight certain anomalies that cast doubt on some of the suggested dates for works. It should be stressed, however, that the analysis can only suggest dates of copying, not necessarily dates of composition. Conclusions drawn by re-examining the possible dates of copying may, however, reveal important details about Charpentier’s mode of composition and his approach to revising works for later performance.

2.3 In the Meslanges, Charpentier uses three distinct types of G and C clefs (here abbreviated as “G-1,” “G-2,” etc.; see Figure 1). Each of these clefs is associated with a particular chronological period in Charpentier’s career. Although the variation in the formation of the C clefs is slight, there are significant differences in the G clefs, which serve as an indication of chronology for copying within the Meslanges. Certain letter and clef formations remain constant, thus confirming the hand of one person. With the exception of folio 1 of Cahier 1, all the F clefs are drawn in the same manner. What is striking in the manuscripts is the consistency with which Charpentier employs these clefs, revealing clear patterns of use that correspond with other factors, such as the type of paper, annotations, scoring, and the identification of performers. It is therefore possible to group cahiers chronologically according to the use of particular clef formations. In many of the cahiers, there are added folios dating from later than the main body of the cahier. In such instances, the clef changes, together with other factors, such as the type of paper used by the composer, help confirm that the folios were added at a later date.17

2.4 A comparison of cahiers from the two series reveals consistencies not only in the watermarks and the identification of performers, but also the style of clef formation (Figure 2). This confirms that the manuscripts represent music that was copied throughout Charpentier’s life, rather than compiled at the end, and that the two series were compiled simultaneously rather than successively or randomly.18 For example, Cahiers 6 and XII–XIV not only have the same watermarks, but they also have the same style of writing; similarly VI–XI use the same “Jesuit paper”19 as that in 33, 39, 54–63, and LV–LXVI (Cahiers LVI, and LIX are missing; LVII may be incorrectly numbered by Hitchcock; see par. 4.10.3 below). All of the cahiers that use the Jesuit paper share the same style of clef formation and choice of annotations. Many of these “Jesuit cahiers” refer to singers known to have been associated with the Jesuit Church of St Louis. Although the two series of cahiers were for the most part compiled in chronological order, the present study suggests that some of the cahiers were copied out of order or were recopied at a later date (see Table 2 for the watermark distribution and Table 3 for the inserted leaves).

2.5 On occasion, certain seemingly inexplicable anomalies occur in the pattern of clef formation, with sudden significant changes of writing occurring within a cahier. An occasional slip in handwriting style is of no significance when assessing the chronology, and in fact such slips (such as when one clef differs from all the others in a cahier) are rare. A change that occurs within an otherwise consistent pattern, however, suggests a later date of copying. In these instances one or more leaves have been inserted into the cahier, either as a folded outer or center sheet (a pair of folios), or very occasionally as a single folio added to the cahier, creating an asymmetrical gathering. This is confirmed by a change of paper, corresponding to a change in writing. Such a correspondence of evidence adds credence to the theory that changes in handwriting are significant in dating the works.20 Figure 3 illustrates such changes in Cahier 27.

2.6 The clef formations highlight instances where music has been copied into the manuscripts at a later date than the surrounding material. Often, these works also include stylistic elements that are quite distinct and draw on different types of performance practices. Rather than understanding these pieces as stylistic exceptions or anomalies, they should be examined alongside works that were copied at approximately the same time and with which they share striking similarities.

3. The Arabic Numeral Series

3.1 Cahiers 1–4

3.1.1 The writing on folio 1r of Cahier 1 is in the hand of someone other than the composer. The clef formation, and even the spelling of one of the words, “Jeremiae,” is inconsistent with that found anywhere else in the Meslanges.21 As illustrated in Figure 4, the handwriting is shaky, with G clefs only partially formed and C clefs written in a form not found elsewhere in the manuscripts. The tails on the right of the C clefs point downwards rather than upwards, with two vertical lines rather than one. The F clef appears in a form not found elsewhere in Charpentier’s hand. It is the only instance where the bar lines are omitted (in the two instrumental parts during their rests in the bottom system). In the early part of Cahier 1 (fols. 1r–3v), rests are missing from some of the staves suggesting that these were copies that were not intended for use at a performance. Even letters are formed in a manner inconsistent with Charpentier’s hand. For the remainder of the cahier, clefs G-1 and C-1 are used.

3.1.2 With the exception of the outer folios of Cahiers 2, 3, and 4—which were added by the composer at a later date—Cahiers 2–4 date from the early 1670s and use clefs G-1 and C-1. Charpentier designates the solo voices with “1” and “2”—designations associated with cahiers early in both series of the Meslanges. Figure 5 shows the handwriting on the outer folios and that of the main body of Cahier 2. A change of paper for the outer folios corresponds with a change to a clef formation associated with the late 1680s and early 1690s. The annotations found on the outer folios (“p[remie]r” and “s[econ]d dessus,” and “basse cont[inue]”) are also associated with cahiers copied much later. The choice of terminology on folio 9r is not found elsewhere in the early cahiers.22

3.1.3 In these instances, there are two possible explanations for why the folios were added. In Cahier 2, it appears that music was recopied, but not revised. The most plausible reason is that pages became damaged and were replaced by the composer (perhaps for a later performance). In Cahiers 3 and 4, however, the change in handwriting and paper corresponds to a revision to the Messe pour les trepasses à 8 (H. 2) that is located at the beginning of Cahier 3. Ranum has suggested that this mass was revised in 1688 for the funeral of Mlle de Guise.23 The additions in Cahiers 3 and 4 are illustrated in Figure 6. On folios 18r–v of Cahier 3 Charpentier added a “simphonie du Kyrie” and a “simphonie devant le sanctus.” Significantly, on folio 19r Charpentier crossed out the instrumental prelude (scored originally for two treble instruments and continuo). This trio texture would no longer be appropriate in a later, revised version of the work with orchestral accompaniment. On folio 20r Charpentier inserted a “simphonie devant et apres christe pour les flustes et puis pour les viollons” in what would originally have been blank staves at the end of system. This again is written in the later style of handwriting, using clef G-2. On folio 20v Charpentier notes that “La simphonie [then above this notes ‘trio’] et le Kyrie se repettent et puis l’on finit par la grande simphonie du Kyrie” (on folios 18r–v). The first part of the sentence, relating to the repetition of the “symphonie du Kyrie,” is written in the same ink as the original part of the mass; the second part of the sentence, referring to the orchestral “simphonie,” is in a later ink which is the same as that used for the addition on folio 20r. Immediately prior to the Sanctus, Charpentier added in the later ink “apres la simphonie” (on folio 18v). On folio 23v Charpentier has added instructions in the later ink which refer to a later performance of this work with orchestral accompaniment: in the top system, “sans viollons,” and in the second system, “viollons.” On page 26 Charpentier has added another instrumental passage, “sinfonie devant l’agnus dei.” Like the revised “simphonie du Kyrie,” it is scored for “flutes, violons,” and “orgue” (G1, C1, C2, F4). This is the final page of Cahier 3 and forms the second half of the sheet on which the added first pages were written, thus corresponding to the writing on folios 18r–v. Throughout Cahier 3, later references to additional instruments correspond with later clef formations.

3.1.4 The opening pages of Cahier 4 (fols. 27r–28r) also include an addition of a “prelude” “pour miseremini” (referring to the opening section of the “Plaintes des ames du purgatoire” (Mottet pour les trepasses a 8 (H. 311) on folio 29r), and a “ritornelle,” “devant ah penis crucior” (referring to the section of the “Plaintes des ames du purgatoire” that begins on folio 31v). Nowhere else in this motet does Charpentier write out music for instruments (other than the continuo), and nowhere else are the later clefs used. In addition, Charpentier adds the comment “son prelude est cy devant et dans les choeurs les instr[uments] se joignent avec les voix” (folio 29r). In this instance, it appears that Charpentier left the first page blank and then added the instrumental sections at a later date (rather than inserting a folio at a later date). The final page of the cahier (page 34) was left blank by Charpentier and is then crossed out. If Ranum’s theory is correct, Charpentier must have re-used the mass and the motet for the funeral of Mlle de Guise in 1688 at which an orchestra was used, rather than the treble instruments originally intended. He did not, however, alter the vocal parts. If Charpentier did revise these works for use at the funeral of his patron, this would probably have been the only instance when Charpentier used a double orchestra in association with the Guise household. There are no direct references to Guise singers on other works scored for double chorus and double orchestra. Ranum cites a source that describes Mlle de Guise’s funeral as taking place “with great pomp at the church of the Capucines of the rue Saint-Honoré.” There is, however, no reference that confirms the use of the singers and instrumentalists necessary for the performance of a double-choir mass and motet. Ranum also suggests that these works might have been written originally for the funeral of the Duke de Guise in 1671.24 It seems plausible that Charpentier could have reused the works in 1688 at Mlle de Guise’s funeral. The clefs used for the additional material are in the style of those used during the late 1680s (such as the clefs in Cahiers 55–62 and XLVII–LIV).

3.2 Cahier 5

3.2.1 An examination of the handwriting, and annotations in Cahier 5 suggests that all the music was copied during a later period than that in the surrounding cahiers. The handwriting used in Cahiers 6–18 shares the same characteristics as that used in Cahiers 1–4; that of Cahier 5, however, is similar to the writing in later cahiers, such as 20–2 (see Figure 7).

3.2.2 Works such as “Quare fremuerent gentes” (H. 168, Cahier 20) and “In convertendo Dominus” (H. 169, Cahiers 21–2), bear striking similarities with the “Prose des morts” (H. 12, Cahier 5). The works are all scored for double choir, with the instrumental parts doubling the voices. These parts are not written out during the chorus sections, but are shown by the words “tous avec viol[ons]” above the vocal lines. Instrumental interludes, however, are written out in full (G1, C1, C2, F4). These are not later additions, which suggests that it was Charpentier’s original intention to have instruments doubling the voices throughout the chorus.25 It suggests that some of the works in the manuscripts, such as H. 12, were sketches rather than fair copies.26

3.2.3 In Cahier 5, rather than indicating the different soloists by “1” and “2” (as in the earlier works), Charpentier uses “A” and “B” (Figure 8). The use of this particular type of annotation, the style of the writing, and the style of the clef formation (G-2 and C-2) suggest that Cahier 5 dates from later than its position in the series might suggest. Ranum’s suggestion that the contents may have been revised and recopied during the late 1680s or 1690s seems late.27 Based on the style of handwriting, it seems more likely that this cahier dates from the early 1680s.

3.3 Cahiers 6–13

3.3.1 Although Cahiers 6–8 share the same characteristics as Cahiers 1–4 (they consistently use the earliest type of clef formations, G-1 and C-1), Cahier [9] reveals a number of oddities. It is very short, with just eight pages, numbered with an odd mixture of pagination and foliation.28 One of the works, “Judith sive Bethulia liberata” (H. 391), however, begins in Cahier [9] and is completed in Cahiers 10 and [11], thus allowing Hitchcock to identify this cahier as number 9.29 The first two pages of Cahier [9] are ruled but without music.

3.3.2 The first work in Cahier [9] is a motet, “Pour Ste Anne” (H. 315), located on page 2. This is written using clef G-2, suggesting a date of the late 1680s or 1690s. It is a short motet composed for two dessus and continuo. The author of the Mémoire does not list the contents of Cahier 9; instead, he notes that “la 9e [cahyer] est a la fin de ce cahyer [8].”30 After listing the music contained in Cahier 8, he then lists the “Historia ex Israel” (i.e., “Judith,” H. 391). There is no reference here to the motet “Pour Ste Anne.”31 The motet is, however, listed on folio 14r of the Mémoire under “autres cahyers de musique du même auteur.” This is significant since there is another section on folio 13 of the Mémoire which refers specifically to “partition 9e. chiffre francois,” but which does not include a reference to the motet “Pour Ste Anne.” It does, however, refer to “Judith” (H. 391) that is in the current Cahier [9].

3.3.3 On folio 13r of the Mémoire, under the heading “partition 9e chiffre francois,” there is a reference to “Languentibus a 3. voix” (H. 328) which is now in Cahier XXXII and a “motet pour St. Augustin.” The latter almost certainly refers to the motet “Pour St Augustine mourant, ‘Bonum certamen’” (H. 419) which is now in Cahier [d] and appears in the 1709 publication of motets.32

3.3.4 The clefs used on folios 4r–5v of Cahier [9] are those associated with the end of Charpentier’s career. A comparison of the clef formation and the handwriting as well as the layout of the title page of “Judith” (H. 391) and “Judicium Salomonis” (H. 422) in Cahier LXXV, shows the similarities between the two styles (Figure 9). There can be no doubt that folios 4r–5v of Cahier [9] and the writing from Cahier LXXV (on which are named singers from the Sainte-Chapelle) date from the same period. The remainder of “Judith” is in Cahiers 10–[11] where the clefs and handwriting are those from the 1670s and early 1680s. Charpentier must have rewritten folios 4r–5v at a much later date in his career, during the late 1690s or early 1700s, possibly to replace missing or damaged pages or to revise the opening music, leading to the oddities in foliation and pagination in the cahier. There are, however, no suggestions of revisions made to any of the other music in Cahiers 10–[11].

3.3.5 It seems clear that Cahier [9] was compiled at a much later date than the surrounding cahiers and that its current contents do not reflect the music originally intended by the composer to form Cahier [9]. It is one of a number of examples that highlight problems with using the sequence of works within the cahiers and the sequence of cahiers within the complete Meslanges as the sole means of dating Charpentier’s music.33

3.3.6 Cahiers 10–2 consistently use the early style of clef formation (G-1 and C-1). Cahier 13, however, includes the simple insertion of a central folded sheet (fols. 52–3) copied at a later date. In addition to the change in handwriting style, as seen most clearly in the G clef formation which dates from the late 1680s and 1690s (Figure 10), the paper is that associated with the Jesuits. Ranum seems to be correct in her theory that the reason for this insertion was the rewriting of the overture to the “Petite Pastorale” (H. 479) for a later performance.34 Unlike some of the earlier examples, where inserted folios appear to be the result of replacing missing or damaged ones (since they do not represent a change in musical style), in this instance it seems far more likely that the inserted folios were a result of Charpentier rewriting earlier music for a later performance. The cahier itself seems to be in its correct chronological position in the series.

3.4 Cahiers 14–20

3.4.1 Cahiers 14–[18] are written using the same early clefs as the preceding cahiers (G-1 and C-1), and there are no added folios. Cahiers 19–22 and Cahiers 25–30, however, reveal a number of changes in handwriting that correspond to later additions of folios or, in the case of Cahiers 19 and 20, the later copying of the entire cahier. In Cahiers 19 and 20 the same clefs are used throughout, but these are G-2 and C-2, which suggests that the music was copied at a later date than Cahiers 21–31. On the final page of Cahier 20 (fol. 71r), Charpentier had to squeeze the last measures onto the page to accommodate the material that immediately precedes that of Cahier 21 (the concluding section of “Hymne pour toutes les festes de la Vierge,” H. 60).35

3.5 Cahiers 21–30

3.5.1 In Cahiers 21–2, the central folios of the cahiers date from earlier than the outer folios. The central sheets use clef G-1, while the outer sheets use the later G-2. Contrary to Ranum’s assertion that no later copying occurred in Cahier 22, it seems clear that the outer folios were added at a later date.36 The same pattern of inserted paper is found in Cahiers 27–30. In each case, changes in handwriting correspond with changes in paper. These insertions produce a symmetrical pattern within the cahiers as shown in Table 3, with the recopied (or later copied) music appearing in the outer sheets of the cahier. Figure 11 provides an illustration of how changes in clef formation correspond with the later additions of folios to a cahier.

3.5.2 Cahiers 23–4 use the same clefs throughout (G-1).37 Cahier 25, however, also includes two folded sheets inserted into the cahier, using the later clefs. The remainder of the cahier uses clefs G-1 and C-1.

3.5.3 In Cahier 26, later additions are found in the outer sheets (fols. 12–13 and folios 39–40) and the central two folios (22–23) where clefs G-2 and C-2 are used, as well as the addition of continuo figuring in a different ink. Elsewhere in the cahier (fols. 14r–21v and 24r–38v) Charpentier uses G-1 and C-1, confirming an earlier date. The opening of Les Neuf Leçons de tenebres (H. 96–110) on page 13 must have been recopied at a later date because of damage to the original page or its loss: many of the measures, particularly those of the last system, are squeezed together in a way not found in the remainder of the piece. On folio 19v, Charpentier has added the words “La susdite leçon se peut mettre en F ut fa” at the end of H. 97. This appears to be the same ink and handwriting as that found on folios 22r–23v, and suggests an alternative version made by the composer at a later date and written in a later style.

3.5.4 Folio 22 includes the end of the “Troisième Leçon du Mercredi [saint]” (H. 98) and the three “Lettres hebraïques de la p[remiè]re leçon de tenebres du Vendredy saint” (H. 99a–c) which were added at a later date. These were written as alternative versions to the Hebrew letters on folios 41r–43v. Similarly, on folios 22v–23v, Charpentier writes instrumental ritornelles for use with the “Pr[emièr]e Leçon de tenebres du Vendredy S[ain]t.” (H. 105). These are written in a later hand and were intended for a later and larger-scale performance of the Leçons, with the addition of instrumental interludes for two violins and continuo. On a number of folios in Cahiers 26–8, there are red pencil markings that appear to refer to the revisions that were made to H. 96–110. There are also other indications of changes being made to the music, such as the words “a changer” on folio 16v of Cahier 26 and pieces paper stuck over measures where changes have been made, such as on the same and folios 42r and 43v of Cahier 27. It is conceivable that this later performance occurred at the Jesuit Church of St Louis where Charpentier would have had larger instrumental forces at his disposal. The handwriting corresponds with that used in works dating from the period of the late 1680s and early 1690s when Charpentier was employed by the Jesuits.

3.5.5 A further addition occurs on page 40 of Cahier 26 where Charpentier has copied out the “Salve regina des Jesuïtes” (H. 27). While the writing within the “Salve regina” is clearly that of Charpentier, the handwriting in the title is by another hand. Although there is no G clef on folio 40, the style of C clef (C-3) is that found in later works by Charpentier. It is unclear why this “Salve regina” is placed in the middle of the Leçons de tenebres. It seems to have been copied at a later date to fill an empty page that would have been at the end of the cahier. Table 3 illustrates the way in which folios were inserted into Cahier 26. In each instance, changes in handwriting correspond to changes in paper.

3.5.6 While the changes in handwriting in Cahier 26 represent work that was recopied to accommodate revisions or additions to existing material, the pages that were recopied in Cahier 27 appear simply to replace missing or damaged pages. There is no evidence on the existing pages that there is any change in style or scoring on these inserted pages to distinguish them from the surrounding material. These were almost certainly added during Charpentier’s time at the Jesuit Church. The C clefs are those dating from the late 1680s and early 1690s, and the paper is the Jesuit type.

3.5.7 As illustrated in Table 3, the outer folios of Cahier 27 (folio 41r–v and pages 52–3) are written on Jesuit paper using G clefs (on pages 52–3) and C clefs associated with the time Charpentier spent at the Jesuit Church (G-2 and C-2; Figure 3). The original folios may have become damaged and Charpentier then replaced them. It seems likely that the Leçons de tenebres were performed at a later date by the three nuns whose names—M[èr]e Ste Caecile, M[èr]e Camille and M[èr]e Desnots—appear on the music: the writing used to indicate their names is in the same style and same ink as that found on the added pages. At a later date, on folios 48v–58r (H. 108–110), Charpentier has indicated which singer should sing each part, with instructions such as “celle qui aura chanté la premiere lecon” and “pr[emièr]e” and “s[econ]de.”

3.5.8 The first occurrence in Cahier 27 of G clefs is on folio 44r, and they are G-1. On folio 46r, Charpentier writes that “Le Recordare a trois dessus est dans un de mes grands liures en veau.” This is written in the same ink as the preceding comment on the page, “Jerusalem comme a la seconde leçon du mercredy sainct.” Beside “dessus” is “rit[ornelle]” in a different ink and style (though almost certainly that of the composer). This ink corresponds with writing found below it on the same page, “Le recordare a 2 dessus et ritorn[elles] est dans le livre 2 des demoiselles Pieches. Le Recordare a 2 dessus et une haute Contre est dans le cahyer [28].” The latter setting of the “Recordare” concludes Les Leçons de tenebres (H. 111–9) and is found on folios 55v–58v of Cahier 28.

3.5.9 The outer folios of Cahier 28 include music that was copied at a later date (see Table 3). Dynamics such as those on folio 54v, “a voix basses” and “fort,” are not found elsewhere in conjunction with the use of the early clef formation.38 The ink and style of handwriting suggest that the dynamics (as well as some continuo figuring) were added, probably at the same time that the outer folios were added. The later clefs used in the outer folios, and the addition of dynamics markings are consistent with the writing found in works dating from the time that Charpentier spent at the Jesuit Church. The same later style of handwriting is found on pages 65–6 at the end of the cahier. The handwriting on folios 54r–v shares striking similarities with that found on folios 33v–35r of Cahier 19. In addition, the works found on these folios are written for the same three soloists: M[èr]e Camille, M[èr]e Ste Caecile and M[èr]e Desnots.39

3.5.10 Both Cahiers 29 and 30 include outer folios that date from a later period, are Jesuit paper, and use the later style of G and C clefs (see Table 3). The original contents of Cahier 29 can be dated as 1680 since on folio 69v Charpentier notes that “je n’ay pas achevé les autres dixhuit repons a cause du changement du breviaire.” This is a reference to the change in breviary that occurred in Paris in 1680. Hence, anything written after that folio in Cahier 29 dates from 1680 or later. The cahier includes the dramatic motet, “Filius Prodigus” (H. 399), which is scored for soloists, chorus, two treble instruments, and continuo. On folios 70v–71r, Charpentier indicates that instrumental parts should double all the vocal lines, thus suggesting a performance with four-part string ensemble.40 These comments, which refer to the addition of instrumental lines, once again raise questions about the nature of the scoring of some of the double choir motets, and indeed the nature of the copies within the Meslanges. In the other choral sections within “Filius Prodigus,” Charpentier includes written-out, independent passages for two treble instruments. It is therefore unclear precisely how he intended the additional instruments to be used. “Filius Prodigus” must either have been given a later performance at which additional instruments were available to double the vocal lines, hence the instructions on the score, or the work contained in this cahier represents a sketch of a work in which instrumental parts were originally included.

3.5.11 In Cahier 30, Charpentier’s choice of annotations, in particular his use of “A” and “B” associated with the sections marked “seul,” is of interest in terms of chronology. On folio 95v, Charpentier includes an explanation of the meaning of the annotations used in “Extremum Dei judicium” (H. 401), noting that “un A veut dire les premieres, un B veut dire les secondes. On peut doubler tout cela dans les chorus.” These designations for the solo voices are also found in cahiers that come earlier in the series (19–24). Four of these (19–22), appear to have been copied out of chronological order (see par. 3.4–3.5 above). The instructions on how to interpret the letters suggest that this cahier was copied at an earlier date than Cahier 19. Such an explanation by the composer suggests that it was in Cahier 30 that Charpentier began using these designations. There are no other explanations of the terms in the Meslanges. The clef formations and annotations suggest that Cahiers 25–32 were copied before Cahiers 19–24.

3.6 Cahiers 31–2

3.6.1 Cahier 31 marks a significant change in Charpentier’s style of handwriting pattern. The C clefs remain constant throughout the cahier, but there is a change in the formation of the G clefs in the later pages of the cahier that represents a transition between two styles of handwriting.41 Charpentier’s handwriting in Cahier 32 is consistent throughout, although there are occasional differences in the formation of individual C clefs. At the end of the cahier, there is a cue to the following cahier, “Litanies de la V[ierge]” (H. 82). This is bound in Volume 11, illustrating how the ordering in the manuscripts was originally understood to follow the ordering of the cahiers, not the ordering of the volumes.42

3.7 Cahier 33

3.7.1 A problem arises with the ordering of the cahiers at this point because the contents of Cahier 33 were copied (and possibly also composed) at a much later date than the cahiers that precede and follow it. The style of handwriting in Cahier 33 stands out from that of the surrounding material (see Figure 12). Charpentier is consistent in his handwriting and clef formation (G-2 and C-3), as well as in his use of Jesuit paper throughout this cahier.43 The handwriting in Cahiers 33 and 39 shares close similarities with, for example, the final pages of Cahiers 62 and 63 which, like Cahiers 33 and 39, are written on Jesuit paper.44 The annotations used in Cahiers 33 and 39 are those used later in the series, such as “premier” and “second” rather than “A” and “B” as is found in the neighboring cahiers.45 Similarly, in Cahiers 33 and 39 Charpentier specifies the use of bassoons (as well as oboes and recorders). References to bassoons occur only in cahiers that appear to date from the late 1680s and 1690s (most of which are written on Jesuit paper).46 Also, the designation “acc[ompagnement] seul,” which is used to refer to the continuo, is associated with those cahiers dating from the late 1680s and 1690s.47 With the exception of Cahiers 33, 39, and VI–IX—all of which are believed to have been copied at a later date than their position in the Meslanges would suggest—only Cahiers 54–75 and LIV–LXXV use “acc[ompagnement] seul.”

3.7.2 On folio 15v of Cahier 33, at the beginning of the setting of “Exaudiat” (H. 180), Charpentier notes that “son prelude est au cahyer 63.” Both the style of handwriting and the type of paper used in Cahier 33 and Cahier 63 are the same. During his time with the Jesuits, Charpentier reworked and then recopied earlier works; hence the existence of nine instrumental preludes to psalm settings and Magnificats in Cahier 63.48

3.8 Cahiers 34–8

3.8.1 With the exception of the two outer folios of Cahier 34 (22r–24v and 39r–41r) that were added at a later date, Charpentier’s clef formation is consistent throughout the cahier: G-2 and C-2. The writing on the outer pages, however, is the same as that in Cahier 33. Both of these folios are written on Jesuit paper, as is Cahier 33, and both use the later clefs, G-2 and C-3. Charpentier also added a prelude to the dramatic motet, “Josue” (H. 404), for double orchestra on the Jesuit pages (pp. 23–4) for a later performance of this work. In the motet setting itself, there are no orchestral parts written out. The prelude to H. 404, however, is written for double orchestra.49

3.8.2 Cahier 35 is consistent in its clef formation (G-2 and C-2) and dates from the same period as the cahiers that immediately precede it (with the exception of Cahier 33). Cahier 36, however, is something of an oddity: it begins with blank pages, followed by a fragment of a motet, and the cahier is not listed in the Mémoire. Folio 13v of the Mémoire lists a number of works as “dans un gros cahyer,” including a “Domine salvum h.C. et T.” On folio 58v of Cahier 36 Charpentier writes “prelude pour le Dominus suivant” and beneath that “hC et T,” abbreviations for the haute-contre de violon and taille de violon parts in the orchestral prelude. The scribe of the Mémoire appears to have interpreted the abbreviations as the title of the piece, rather than indications of instrumental scoring, perhaps suggesting that the scribe had limited musical knowledge. He then lists a “motet pour la vierge” that is almost certainly a reference to the motet that follows the “Domine salvum” (H. 291), “Gaudia beatae Virginis Mariae” (H. 33). While it begins on page 61 of Cahier 36, it is completed in Cahier 37. It, the final cahier in Volume 11, is written using the same clef formation (G-2 and C-2) as Cahier 35.

3.9 Cahiers 38–50

3.9.1 Cahier 38 is written consistently using the middle-period clefs (G-2 and C-2) and is datable since it includes the motet “Luctus de morte augustissimae Mariae Theresiae reginae Galliae” (H. 331), which was composed to commemorate the death of Queen Marie Thérèse in 1683. Cahier 39, like Cahier 33, uses the late-period C clefs (C-3) and is written on Jesuit paper. Although Cahier 39 begins with the conclusion of the elevation motet “O coelestis Jerusalem” (H. 252) from the preceding cahier, the music was clearly copied at a later date. It is written on the same paper, with the same ink, and in the same style of writing as music copied in, for example, Cahiers 33, 63, 64, 65, 66, LVII, LXI, LXII, and LXIV–LXIX.

3.9.2 Cahier 40 returns to the clef formations (G-2 and C-2) and style of Cahiers 37–8 (and also that of Cahiers 19–20). It uses, for example, “A” and “B” to designate the first and second soloists, rather than “premier” and “second,” as in the later works. Cahiers 40–62 are consistent in their use of clefs G-2 and C-2.50

3.9.3 Cahier 43[a], which comprises just three folios, includes the continuation of “In nativitatem D[omini] n[ostri] J[esu] C[hristi] canticum” (H. 414) from Cahier 42. Only the numeral 3 of Cahier 43[a] is visible. Since Cahier 42 ends in the middle of “In nativitatem” and this is concluded in Cahier [4]3, there is little doubt which number was intended at the beginning of the cahier.51

3.9.4 At the end of Cahier 43[a], there is a verbal cue (“Miserere”) which points to Cahier [43b]. This cue appears, however, to have been written in a hand other than that of the composer. Cahier [43b], which is located at the beginning of Volume 7, has no number, but the scribe of the Mémoire identifies the musical contents as being part of Cahier 43. The setting of the “Miserere” (H. 193), which is the first of two works in Cahier [43b], was originally written for the Guise household. As in works in Cahiers 41 and 42, Charpentier identifies the soloists on the score. There are indications in a different type of ink, however, that refer to a later performance at the Jesuit Church. At the beginning of Cahier [43b], the words “Miserere des Jesuites” have been added in a different hand, as well as the names of singers associated with the Jesuit church.

3.9.5 Cahiers [4]4–7 use the same clef formations (G-2 and C-2) throughout and they include the names of singers from the Guise household. Cahier 48 appears to be missing, since none of the folios includes the numeral “48.” Folio 4r of the Mémoire notes that “La 48e [Cahier] est a la fin de ce Cahier [47].”52 This contains just one work, “La Descente d’Orphée aux enfers” (H. 488) and is written on the same type of paper as that used in Cahier 47. It is possible, however, that the scribe of the Mémoire was correct in writing that Cahier 48 is found at the end of Cahier 47. The handwriting suggests that Cahier 48 may have begun on folio 91 or folio 92, but that some of the folios went missing. A change of paper occurs at folio 91 (which is blank) of what is currently numbered as Cahier 47. This paper is also used for folios 85–7, and folio 91 corresponds to folio 85. Folios 86–7 appear to have been inserted into the cahier as one folded sheet of paper, as have folios 88–9. This could have marked the beginning of a new cahier, namely Cahier 48.53

3.9.6 In his Catalogue, Hitchcock notes that anomalies occur in the final work in Cahier 47, “Caecilia virgo et martyr” (H. 415). Although not identified as such by Hitchcock, this work is a copy and slight revision of “Caecilia virgo et martyr” (H. 413) which is in Cahier 42. In the earlier version of the motet there are two main sections. The second part is missing from the version in Cahier 47. There was, however, a reference to a first and second part, but this was crossed out, with the word “finis” appearing at the close (possibly written in another hand). Hitchcock refers to the omission of one of the characters, Almachius tyrannus, as well as the omission of the “Chorus angelorum”—singers who are listed at the beginning of this dramatic motet. On folio 93r, there is a note that “apres cette ouverture on chante le prologue voyez au cahyer XLIX.” Hitchcock adds that “this work [H. 415] occupies the last pages of Cahier 47, and Cahier 48 is missing from the mss, which lead to the conjecture that these missing characters were introduced in a continuation of the motet occupying the first pages of Cahier 48.”54 Then, because of the changes made to the verbal cues at the end of the work, Hitchcock rejects the idea that there was ever a second part intended for this dramatic motet. There is, however, no clear evidence here that it was Charpentier who made the changes to the cues at the end of H. 415. The original words appear to be “[parte] seconda,” suggesting that the second part of the motet did at one time exist. It is possible that, since Charpentier did not want to make any revisions to the second part of this motet, he chose not to recopy it; or he may have needed a work that focussed more clearly on the theme of conversion than on martyrdom (since the second part of the earlier oratorio, H. 413, describes the martyrdom of St Cecilia). Pages must either be missing from this cahier (47/48) or from the beginning of the next.

3.9.7 The first page of Cahier [49] includes the closing bars of the elevation motet, “Transfige, dulcissime Jesu” (H. 430). A complete version of this motet (H. 251) is in Cahier XXXIX.55 It may be assumed that Cahier [49] would have included the opening to the revised version of “Transfige, dulcissime Jesu” (H. 430), as well as the second part of the dramatic motet “Caecilia virgo et martyr.” Cahier “II”, which Ranum suggests may be the missing Cahier 48, includes neither of these works.

3.9.8 Cahier 50 is written in the same hand as Cahier [49] from which it follows directly with the “Idyle sur le retour de la Santé du Roy” (H. 48). This work begins on folio 6v of Cahier [49] and is completed on folio 15r of Cahier 50. The following three cahiers (51–3) are missing both from the Meslanges and from the Mémoire.

3.10 Cahiers 54–70

3.10.1 With Cahier 54, there is a change in the paper used by Charpentier. It was at this point that Charpentier left the Guise household to work for the Jesuits on a regular basis. The names of singers from the Guise household appear in Cahier 50, but that is the last occurrence of these singers’ names in this series.

3.10.2 Cahiers 54–63 all use the same type of paper: the Jesuit paper, ruled with 20 staves. Throughout these cahiers, Charpentier is consistent in his style of handwriting and in his choice of annotations. For example, he uses the solo voice designations “pr[emier]” and “s[econ]d” rather than the earlier “A” and “B,” or “1” and “2.” He also uses “acc[ompagnment] seul” or “orgue” for the continuo. Such designations are only found on works that were copied from the late 1680s through the 1690s. Charpentier provides more specific information about scoring in the works written for the Jesuits. Figure 13 illustrates the various types of annotations used by Charpentier in the Meslanges.

3.10.3 At the bottom of folio 20v of Cahier 59 there is a change in C clef formation, with the use of a style associated with the latest period of Charpentier’s composition (C-3). This, together with the change in handwriting style, suggests that the final pages of Cahier 59 were copied at a much later date than the rest of the cahier. Earlier in Cahier 59 (on folio 13r), there are some additions to the score in a later hand, such as the reference to “Mercredy St.”—perhaps made at the same time as the final pages of the cahier were copied. The outer folios (fols. 23r–v and 40r–41r) of Cahier 60 were also copied at a later date. The clef formation, handwriting, and the annotations are the same as those in Cahiers 70, 74, and 75.56 Some of the instructions that appear on folios 23–51 of Cahiers 60–1, in the Messe a 4 voix, 4 vio[lo]ns, 2 flutes et 2 hautbois [pou]r Mr Mauroy (H. 6), are in an identical handwriting style to that in Cahier 74. It appears therefore that Charpentier added the final pages of Cahier 59, the outer folios of Cahier 60, and some of the annotations later in his career.     

3.10.4 Charpentier also uses the C-3 clef on pages 63–4 of Cahier 61 and for three systems on folio 65r of Cahier 62. This latter cahier marks a transition into the period in which Charpentier consistently uses the third type of C clef, the change starting at folio 83v. The clef formation throughout Cahier 63 is consistent: G-2 and C-3. The outer folios of Cahier 64 appear to have been added at a later date since they use the third type of G clef and use the style of handwriting associated with Charpentier’s years at the Sainte-Chapelle, 1698–1704. This later type of G clef, and the style of handwriting associated with it also appear on folios 31r–v of Cahier 64. This is something of an anomaly since this appears to be the same paper as that in the remainder of Cahier 64. It appears as though Charpentier left blank space on folios 30v–31v on which to copy the remaining noels (H. 534). He then copied the music at a later date. There is also a gap at the bottom of folios 31v and page 33, as well as two blank pages (pp. 34–5).

3.10.5 Cahier 66 returns to a consistent use of clefs G-2 and C-3.57 Cahier 70 has clefs G-2 and C-3, and uses a style of handwriting similar to that in Cahiers 64 and 66, particularly folios 18r and 31r–v of Cahier 64, and folio 54r to page 65 of Cahier 66. Hitchcock has noted that Cahier 66 “as apparently constituted, is almost twice as long as most. The next extant Cahier in this series (70) is unusually short”;58 The Mémoire’s listing of the contents is shown in Table 4. If the Mémoire is correct—and the changes in handwriting style and the use of the same paper suggest that it is—then Cahier 70 would have included the one work currently in Cahier 70, followed by all the music from folio 54r to page 65 of Cahier 66.59

3.10.6 Cahier 74 reveals a number of differences in handwriting style, such as the formation of letters, and the more consistent use of capitalization than in earlier cahiers. There are more indications on the score, such as “grave” (fol. 7r), “guay” (fol. 8r), “legerement” (fol. 20r), and “tres leger et guay” (fol. 21v). While many works include the indication “guay,” few have as many tempo indications. On folio 7r, Charpentier is specific about the instrumentation, noting that “cet accompagnement doit estre de flutes et hautbois,” while the continuo is marked “basso [continuo] avec org[ue],” and on folio 15v he writes “la moitié des dessus” and “toutes les hautes contres.” On folio 23r Charpentier includes organ registrations that are only rarely found in the Meslanges (“jeux doux”). The layout of the score, the neatness, and the detailed instructions for performers (perhaps for the benefit of a copyist) suggest that these copies were made for a purpose slightly different from those for other cahiers in the series. Whereas many other works appear to be fair copies for the composer himself to use or on occasions rough drafts, this might have been written for someone else.

3.10.7 Cahier 75 is the first cahier in this series in which the names of singers from the Sainte-Chapelle appear. According to Ranum, with the death of a maître de musique at the Sainte-Chapelle, all the music composed specifically for it was confiscated. The works in Cahier 75 would therefore have had to be written for religious celebrations outside of the regular services there.60 Ranum further notes that Charpentier may have been writing music for services held by the Confraternity of Saint Michel du Mont de la Mer at the Chapel of Saint-Michel. She mentions documents from the period that refer to the use of singers from the Sainte-Chapelle at these services. She cites one example that refers to celebrations that “fera chanter en musique par tous les chantres de la Ste Chapelle, avec les enfants de chœur, les 1es et 2es vespres, la grande messe avec le salut ….” She also mentions a reference in the Mercure Galant to singers from the Sainte-Chapelle participating in these services.61 Like Cahier 74, the final cahier in this series uses the most modern style of handwriting throughout, with the use of clefs G–2 and C–3. Cahier 75 has its number erased, and it looks as though it could have been a continuation of Cahier 66 (see 3.10.5).

4. The Roman Numeral Series

4.1 Cahiers I–V

4.1.1 Cahiers I–V and Cahiers 1–4 are written on the same type of paper. They use the same style of handwriting and the same form of annotations, such as “1” and “2” to designate first and second soloists. All these cahiers use the earliest forms of the clefs (G-1 and C-1).

4.2 Cahiers VI–XI

4.2.1 While there is overwhelming evidence that Cahiers I–V were copied at the beginning of Charpentier’s career (both in clef formation and musical style), there is compelling evidence that the works contained in Cahiers VI–XI were not only copied, but also either composed or substantially revised at a later date than that initially proposed by other scholars (Figure 14). Cahiers VI–XI are written on the Jesuit paper associated with Charpentier’s time working at the Church of St Louis.

4.2.2 Ranum (whose chronology is based on the existing order of the cahiers being correct within both series) has noted that Cahier IX does not in fact appear to be in the correct place in the series. While she postulates that the cahier is out of order by two cahiers (and therefore a few months), evidence of clef formation, and annotations suggests that in fact it is probably out of order by approximately 50 cahiers, and that the cahier as it now exists therefore dates from over a decade later than previously believed. Ranum has identified occasions in the year 1671 for which the music in Cahier IX could have been composed since this is where the cahier would fall if the cahiers were arranged in chronological order.62 It would, however, be possible to find similar occasions for which the music could have been used or reused during the 1680s or 1690s. If one compares the contents of Cahiers [LVII], LVIII and LX, there are close similarities between the types of occasions for which they might have been composed and those surrounding Cahier IX. It therefore seems likely that the works that we now have in Cahier IX were copied at the same time as the works in Cahiers LVIII, LX, and surrounding cahiers.

4.2.3 An examination of the contents of Cahiers VI–XI suggests that the works now contained in these cahiers comprise revisions of earlier (no longer surviving) works. On folio 4r of Cahier VI, Charpentier gives the number of measures of “Psalmus David 147” (H. 158) as 254 and notes that “il avoit 194 augm[entée de] 60.” Similarly, on folio 16r of Cahier VI in the Messe à 8 voix (H. 3) Charpentier notes “340 il avoit 221 augm[entée de] 119” and on folio 46v of Cahier VIII, at the close of the Magnificat (H. 73) he writes that “elle avoit 229, elle a 357 augmentée de 128.” At the end of Cahier XI, Charpentier writes that “les vio[lo]ns joueront une Allemande en a mi la re voyez au cahyer IX.” Folio 7r of the Mémoire includes a reference to an “allemande grave pour un reposoir” which was probably the same piece as is mentioned at the end of Cahier IX.63 Clearly, the original contents of Cahier IX differed markedly from what remains today. Evidence suggests that the works contained in Cahiers VI–XI received substantial rewriting. In other cahiers, Charpentier includes references to instrumental parts being added or alternative voices being used, but he does not rewrite the composition. The evidence suggests that the entire composition was reworked or perhaps entirely recomposed for the Jesuits.

4.2.4 The handwriting in Cahiers VI–XI differs considerably from that in the surrounding cahiers. Examples of the handwriting in Cahiers 1–30 in both series (with some notable exceptions which have already been discussed) share the same characteristics in the style of clef formation, yet bear no relationship to the writing in Cahiers VI–XI. The clef formation in Cahiers VI–IX is the same, for example, as that in Cahiers 61 and LXI, but shares none of the characteristics found in the cahiers that should be contemporaneous with it—in other words, those with numerals early in either series.

4.2.5 While it is conceivable that Charpentier might have altered his handwriting style in Cahiers VI–XI—immediately after completing the early cahiers (I–V)—it is implausible that he should then revert to the earlier style for another twenty or so cahiers, only to return to the style of Cahier IX for works of the late 1680s and 1690s. Rather, the evidence strongly suggests that these Cahiers were copied at a much later date.

4.2.6 A study of the types of annotation used by Charpentier shows close resemblances between the works that share the same style of handwriting. The annotations in Cahiers VI–XI are quite distinct from those of the surrounding cahiers and yet share strikingly close similarities with, for example, Cahier LXII. In Cahiers VI–XI, Charpentier uses only “premier” and “second” (or their abbreviations) for both voices and instruments, yet in the surrounding cahiers there are no examples of this type of annotation, used for the Jesuits. Charpentier also uses “acc[ompagnement] seul” for the continuo group—a term which is associated with works written for the Jesuits and the Sainte-Chapelle, but not found elsewhere.64 The term “acc[ompagnement] seul” is also found in Cahiers 33, 39, XIX, (all of which were copied at a later date than their places in the series suggest), and in Cahier 54. The use of the term “basse continüe,” which is found in Cahiers VI (H. 3), VIII (H. 514), X (H. 145) and XI (H. 162) is also found only in the later cahiers. Similarly, the use of “récit,” “duo,” and “trio” in Cahiers IX and XI corresponds with his use of the terms in much later cahiers, such as LXI–LXIII.

4.2.7 Two other examples of annotations in Cahiers VI–XI, otherwise not found until much later in the Meslanges, are of interest in terms of chronology. First, Charpentier’s specification of the use of the bassoon in “Laetatus sum” (H. 161, Cahier IX) and the Messe à 8 voix (H. 3, Cahier VI) are the only examples in early cahiers in either series; second, Charpentier’s indication of “sourdines” as in the same piece and the Te Deum (H. 145, Cahier X) are found elsewhere only in much later cahiers (those dating from the late 1680s and 1690s). If Charpentier did compose and copy the works into Cahier IX during the 1670s (which I do not believe), this would be one of the earliest uses of the term “sourdines” in French seventeenth-century music. Instead, Lully’s Le Triomphe de l’amour (LWV 59) of 1681 appears to have been the first example.65 An examination of the handwriting (particularly the clef formation), the watermarks, and the type of annotations in Cahiers VI–XI suggests repeatedly that the works were copied not in the 1670s, but in the late 1680s or, more probably, the early 1690s. The handwriting, choice of annotations, and musical style are consistent with that in Cahiers LI–LXI.

4.2.8 Another version of the prelude to the Te Deum (H. 145) in Cahier X is in Cahier XXIV (H. 145a) (see par. 4.5.4 below). This version is crossed out, with words indicating that the prelude is copied with the rest of the Te Deum. There is no reference to the location of the complete work, just the title “Prelude pour le Te Deum a 8 coppié dans le chayer ou est le Te Deum” (fol. 52r) and the comment at the end “Passez au Te Deum apres une petite pause” (fol. 18r). Works (including the Te Deum) in what looks like Cahier X appear to have been copied after Cahier XXIV. There may have been an earlier version of the Te Deum, hence its position in Cahier X, and this was revised at a later date by the addition of the prelude that is now in Cahier XXIV. With Charpentier’s move to the Jesuits in the late 1680s, there was a need for a more substantially revised and, presumably, expanded setting. It is this revised version that now appears in Cahier X. On folio 32v of Cahier VII, Charpentier writes “hozanna in excellis comme cy devant au Sanctus. Il faut le coppier encore dans toutes les parties apres les pauses du benedictus.” Here we have a clear reference for a copyist, confirming that the Meslanges were not simply a collection of works compiled for the composer’s personal archive, but rather on occasions served as sketches for use by a copyist in creating parts.

4.3 Cahiers XII–XVII

4.3.1 These cahiers employ the earliest form of handwriting in the Meslanges (see Figure 15). They include the mass setting for four choirs (H. 4), written following the Italian style of polychoral writing,66 almost certainly written during or immediately after Charpentier’s sojourn in Italy. Cahier XV includes incidental music written to accompany a performance of La Comtesse d’Escarbagnas (H. 494) in 1672. The handwriting in this cahier is not as neat as that in many of the others, and on page 48 Charpentier has scribbled along the edge of the page, as if to correct the flow of the ink since there are a lot of smudges. It appears as though this cahier was written as a rough draft rather than a fair copy. The writing of the text on pages 47–8 is in the hand of another scribe, and is the same on page 62 and pages 64–5 (as well as the titles on pages 57 and 69, and the final remarks on pages 70 and 88 of Cahier XVII). Figure 16 illustrates the early style of handwriting, additions of words by another scribe, and the later additions of some instrumental simphonies for “Sacrificium Abrahae” (H. 402).

4.3.2 At the end of Cahier XV, Charpentier includes a verbal cue to “Le Malade imaginaire avant les deffences,” whose music appears in Cahier XVI. Cahier XVII begins with “Le Malade Imaginaire Ouverture avec les deffences” (H. 495a). The reference to “les deffences” is in response to the restrictions that were made in 1672 and 1673 to the number of performers permitted in theatrical performances.67 Cahier XVI includes only two folios, on which Charpentier has written out a prologue for Le Malade imaginaire (H. 495) that appears to be incomplete. The paper used for folios 52–6 of Cahier XVII is not found elsewhere in the Meslanges. On folio 70v (mistakenly numbered as 90) Charpentier has added some “symphonies ajustées au sacrifice d’Abraham” (H. 402a, Figure 16d). The writing on this page is distinct from that found elsewhere in Cahier XVII. It uses the G-2 rather than clef G-1 that is found elsewhere in the cahier (there are no C clefs on the page). The dramatic motet, “Sacrificium Abrahae” (H. 402) for which these “symphonies” were written, is in Cahier XXX, and these instrumental ritornelles were clearly added after the composition of the motet. Interestingly, on folio 7r of the Mémoire, there is a reference to a “Prelude pour le Sacrifice d’Abraham” within Cahier IX (there are a number of works listed here that have since been lost). The existence of “Sacrificium Abrahae” in Cahier XXX and the change of clef formation suggest that this music was copied at a later date, probably at the same time as the revisions made to the works that were originally in Cahiers VI–XI.

4.3.3 More than in any other cahier, XVII is clearly a rough sketchbook intended to show how its passages could be incorporated into other works. The writing is not as neat as elsewhere in the Meslanges, there are more mistakes, and often in the chorus sections only one of the parts includes the text, as on folios pages 77–8 and 80–3. On folio 53v, there is reference to music for Le Malade imaginaire in Cahier 44. The note, which reads “apres le prelude cayer 44,” is not written in Charpentier’s hand, nor the hand of pages 47–8 in Cahier XV. As Hitchcock notes:

Edouard [or the scribe of the Mémoire] was understandably puzzled by the contents of Cahiers XVI and XVII and misassigned to Cahier XVI (which Charpentier had robbed to form the “problematic” Cahier “I” of everything but an overture) some material actually in Cahier XVII (Suite de Flore; Cérémonie des medecins; Tous les choeurs du Malade imaginaire; Symphonie[s] ajoutée[s] au Sacrifice d’Abraham).68

4.3.4 Cahier XVIII comprises music for Donneau de Visé’s play, Circé (H. 496) that opened in Paris in March 1675. Throughout the cahier the clefs are those associated with music written in the 1670s (clefs G-1 and C-1).69 Cahier XVIII ends in the middle of Circé, which continues in Cahier XIX.

4.4 Cahier XIX

4.4.1 Cahier XIX shows both a change in clef formation with the use of G-2 and C-2, and a change in handwriting style. Although all the music of Circé was probably copied at the same time as the music in Cahier XVIII, the remaining works in Cahier XIX were copied at a later date. Cahier XIX includes a psalm setting, “Quam dilecta” (H. 167), which shares the same stylistic characteristics, including scoring and annotations, as works such as “Quare fremuerunt gentes” (H. 168) in Cahier 20 and “In convertendo Dominus” (H. 169) in Cahiers 21–2.70 The remainder of the cahier includes two instrumental antiphons and a prelude to “Dialogus inter Christum et peccatores” (H. 425a; the motet itself is in F-Pn Vm1 1269).

4.5 Cahiers XXIII–XXIV71

4.5.1 The handwriting in Cahier XXIII returns to the style of an earlier period, with clefs G-1 and C-1. At the bottom of folio 40r, the style of clef formation changes to G-1 and C-2 for the remainder of the cahier. It comprises a mixture of papers.72 On the first page of Cahier XXIII, there is reference to this being “2e partie du 16 tom.” Throughout the cahier, the pages (rather than the folios) were originally numbered 1–28, but these were altered to continue the numbering of the volume. Similarly, at the bottom of folio 44r of Cahier XXIV, there is the reference to “3e partie [du 16 tom].” Originally, this cahier was also paginated (1–24); this too has been altered in order to continue the numbering of the volume. For the most part, the handwriting in Cahiers XXIII and XXIV corresponds with the style found at the end of Volume 16 (Cahier XVII).

4.5.2 Like Cahiers XVI and XVII, Cahier XXIII includes music written for theatrical productions (“Serenade pour Le Sicilien,” H. 497, and “Ouverture du prologue de Polieucte pour le Collège d’Harcourt,” H. 498). The later works in Cahier XXIII are preludes to works that date from later than Cahier XXIII’s place in the series would suggest.73 While the early material in this cahier dates from a period contemporary with Cahiers XVI–XVII, folios 40r–43v (from the third system) were clearly copied at a later date. The change in clef formation (G-2 rather than G-1) occurs at the bottom of the page (with the “Prelude pour l’Enfant Prodigue,” H. 399a).

4.5.3 In Cahier XXIV the changes in the style of handwriting can be explained as later additions filling spaces left at the ends of pieces. The first three pages use clef G-1, but on folio 45v Charpentier has, at a later date, added a “menuet pour les flutes allemandes” and an “autre menuet pour les mesmes flutes” that use G-2. Folio 46r returns to the earlier style of writing, but the references to instrumentation (“flute, hautb[ois], bassons”) were added later. At the bottom of folio 46v, a “Caprice pour trois violons” (H. 542) has been added, again using G-2. There is a return to the early style of writing on folio 47r with the “Ouverture du Prologue de l’Inconnu” (H. 499). The title to this overture was altered using what appears to be the same ink as that used to copy out the Caprice. The original title of the overture was for the prologue to Acis et Galatée. As Hitchcock notes, Charpentier had composed the music for a performance of Les Amours d’Acis et Galatée in 1678.74 The overture was presumably originally written for this performance and later used for L’Inconnu, hence the altered title. While the music, using clef G-1, was copied in the 1670s, the title was altered for the later performance of L’Inconnu. Comments written on the score to the incidental music for L’Inconnu, such as instrumentation and instructions on where to play the music, appear to have been written in a different type of ink after the music itself was written. On folio 51v, Charpentier used the paper upside down for the title “Ouverture de l’Inconnu et autres.” He has crossed out the sketch of music at the top of the page, which used the early clefs. At the bottom of the page, he has written a fanfare for trumpets in a later hand, using clef G-2.

4.5.4 On folio 52r, Charpentier has crossed out the prelude with a note that it is to be found elsewhere: “Prelude pour le Te deum a 8 coppié dans le cahyer ou est le Te deum.” Like the Prelude to the Te Deum, the “Prelude pour ce qu’on voudra non encore employé” (originally entitled “Prelude pour l’Exaudiat non encore esprouvee”) is written using clef G-2. The “Exaudiat” for which the prelude was originally written appears to have been lost: the extant settings of Psalm 19 are not musically related to the prelude. On the following folio, Charpentier has written a “Prelude pour super flumina” (H. 171a). The psalm setting itself is in Cahiers 22–3. At the bottom of folio 53v, Charpentier has written the type of cue commonly found at the end of a cahier: “quemadmodu[m],” refering to the first piece in Cahier XXV (H. 174). This, however, is not the last page in the cahier: there are two more folios containing music for an “Offerte non encor executtee” (fols. 54r–55v) that uses the earlier form of G clef and must have been copied before the previous four pages. The inclusion of the verbal cue on folio 53v suggests that Cahier XXIV was originally organized with the folios in an order that was different from that now found.

4.5.5 Probably more than anywhere else in the Meslanges, the handwriting in Cahier XXIV is a mixture of two styles, suggesting that the music was copied at different times. There are, however, plausible explanations for these shifts in style. It is not simply a haphazard mixture of styles; rather, it appears that Charpentier copied music at a later date in spaces that were left in the cahier, and in the case of folios 52r–53v he added folios.75

4.6 Cahiers XXV–XXVIII

4.6.1 The music here is written on printed twelve-stave paper which, according to Laurent Guillo, dates from the last quarter of the seventeenth century.76 Another instance of this paper is found on folios 20r–21v of Cahier 25. The handwriting on these pages of Cahier 25 corresponds with that in Cahier XXV. A scribe has crossed out the number of the cahier and the folio number (which started at 30). The original verbal cue, which was probably written by Charpentier (pointing to the next cahier), has been crossed out and another cue added, “D[omi]ne Salvum fac.” This refers to the first piece in Cahier XXXV. The scribe mistakenly was giving a cue to the following volume (20) rather than the following cahier. The writing in Cahier XXXV, however, dates from a later period than Cahier XXVIII, but a similar period to Cahier XIX.

4.7 Cahier XXIX

4.7.1 This cahier reveals a mixture of styles of clefs that can be explained by examining the structure of the cahier and the addition of folios: the outer folios appear to have been added at a slightly later date and therefore have the later clefs:

fols. 1r–2v: G-2
fols. 3r–13v: G-177
fols. 14r–18v: G-2

4.7.2 On folio 13r, there is a note which refers to the performance of the minuet included in Cahier XXIX instead of the one written in Act 3 of Les Fous divertissants (H. 500): “le menuet suivant se doit joüer a lieu de celuy qui est escrit apres la chanson de Leandre dans le troisieme acte de cette comedie.” The writing appears to be in the same hand and ink as that in the middle of folio 53v of Cahier XVII. The same writing can be found on folio 9r of Cahier XXIX with the original minuet; there is a reference to the later minuet on folio 13r.

4.7.3 Cahiers XXIX–XXXIV represent a transitional period in terms of handwriting, where Charpentier is almost entirely consistent in his use of the newer form of G clef (G-2), but where he occasionally reverts to the early form for one line. The early part of Cahier XXIX, which can be dated as November 1680 because of the music for Les Fous divertissants (H. 500), uses clef G-1. The later part of the cahier (from folio 13v), which uses G-2, can be dated as February 1681 because of the music for La Pierre philosophale (H. 501). The style of G-2 used in this cahier is somewhat tentative and represents an early example of the change in clef formation. This same transition occurs in Cahiers 31–2, reaffirming the view that the two series were compiled simultaneously. From Cahier XXXV onwards, there are no instances of the early form of G clef in the roman numeral series.

4.8 Cahiers XXX–XXXIX

4.8.1 Cahier XXX uses the same immature style of clef G-2 as the previous cahier. It includes the completion of La Pierre philosophale (H. 501). It also includes the dramatic motet, “Sacrificium Abrahae” (H. 402). On folio 21r, a scribe has noted that “ses symphonies ajoutees sont au cahyer XVII.” These simphonies were clearly written at a later date than the remainder of the contents of Cahier XVII, and must date from after the motet was composed. It remains a mystery why Charpentier included them in Cahier XVII. On the same folio, there is a reference to a prelude in Cahier XI. There is, however, no such prelude in the current Cahier XI (nor in Cahier 11). Cahier XI is, in terms of the date it was copied, one of the cahiers out of order in the series; material was probably lost from this cahier at the time that revisions were made and the cahier was recompiled.

4.8.2 In Cahiers XXX–XXXIX, typical of works from the early part of the period in which clef G-2 is used, Charpentier uses “A” and “B” to designate first and second soloists. He has also added “avec instruments” and “sans instruments” above the vocal parts (as is found, for example, in Cahiers 20–22 and XIX). The same style of handwriting and designations continues in Cahier XXXI. On folio 46r of Cahier XXXI and folio 55r of Cahier XXXII, Charpentier uses the earliest style of G clef. These slips in the style of clef formation can be explained only by noting that these cahiers are transitional in terms of handwriting style: the G-2 clefs are not yet formed in the confident style of some of the later cahiers and there are certain inconsistencies in style. Cahiers XXIX–XXXIV are the least consistent of all the cahiers in terms of handwriting, representing a transitional period in the copying of works into the Meslanges.

4.8.3 The verbal cue at the end of Cahier XXXII has been crossed out and replaced with the cue “Quemadmodum” which is the first piece in Cahier XXV, “Quemadmodum desiderat cervus” (H. 174). The scribe who altered the cue was clearly pointing to the next volume in the series, rather than the next cahier. This cue was probably altered when the library purchased the manuscripts and bound them. As in other instances in the Meslanges, cahiers or folios from cahiers may have been removed from the main body of the collection, and at a later date changes and additions included on the scores. Some of the comments written in a different ink in Cahier XXXII, suggesting later additions, seem to be for the benefit of a copyist (such as “replique en montrant ce que je perds. Plainte … 170,”  on folio 61r) or for the performers (such as “si l’on veut faire chanter cette chanson par un dessus il faut donner a la haute contre la partie compose expres dans le livrae … 178,” on folio 63v.)

4.8.4 The following two cahiers, XXXIII–XXXIV, are in Volume 28 (along with what Hitchcock terms “Cahier [d]”). They are written in a similar style to that in the immediately preceding cahiers, and still represent a transitional phase in Charpentier’s handwriting style. On the first page of Cahier XXXIII and on folio 55v of Cahier XXXIV there are two examples of the earliest form of G clef, but the others are G-2 in its earliest form. Like Cahier XXXI, which contains music for Endimion (H. 502), Cahier XXXIV comprises more theatrical music. It includes music written for Andromède (H. 504), which was first performed in July 1682.

4.8.5 Like Cahier 35, Cahiers XXXV–XXXIX are consistent in their use of clef G-2. “Quare fremuerunt” (H. 184) includes annotations that suggest that this was given a later, revised performance, including additional men’s voices. Beside the bas-dessus part (folio 4v), for example, Charpentier has added “taille,” along with indications that the continuo part should play an octave lower. Such indications arise where the taille (singing the bas-dessus part down an octave) would be singing below the continuo, thus altering the harmonies. Similar examples are found elsewhere when lower voices sing parts originally written for dessus or bas-dessus. Charpentier does not leave it for the continuo players to compensate, but indicates where octave displacements should occur with “en bas” or “natural.”78

4.8.6 In Cahiers XXXVI–XXXIX, Charpentier uses “A” and “B” to indicate soloists. Only in the incomplete dramatic motet, “Praelium Michaelis” (H. 410) in Cahier XXXIX, does Charpentier alter this designation, with the Italian abbreviations “p[rim]o” and “2do.” This motet was probably completed in Cahier XL, which is no longer extant. At the bottom of folio 76v of Cahier XXXIX there is a verbal cue, “victoria,” indicating that the remainder of this work did at some point exist, but was lost or destroyed, rather than abandoned during composition. The cahier is also missing from the Mémoire.

4.9 Cahiers XLI–XLVI

4.9.1 These cahiers are consistent in their style of handwriting. Here, the formation of the G clefs becomes quite florid (especially, for example, in Cahier XLII). “A” and “B” are used to indicate soloists in Cahier XLI. Many of the works in Cahiers XLI–XLVI identify the names of singers from the Guise household (as in H. 412, H. 482, H. 483, and H. 484) and are scored in a similar way to those works in Cahiers 40–50 composed for use at the Hôtel de Guise. Ranum has hypothesized that the works contained in the series with roman numerals were written as commissions for use outside of the Guise household (see par. 1.10 above). Many of the works contained in Cahiers XLI–XLVI were, however, clearly written for the Guise musicians—though it is unclear where these works were performed.79

4.10 Cahiers XLVII–LX

4.10.1 As in Cahiers 54–64, Cahiers LV–LX are all written on Jesuit paper—a change in paper that corresponds to a change in the musical style at this point in both series of cahiers. Cahiers XLVII–LIV show consistency in the way in which the clefs are formed with the use of clefs G-2 and C-2. These cahiers probably mark the end of Charpentier’s period with the Guise family. Cahier XLVIII includes music for Venus et Adonis (H. 507), which was first performed in September 1685, thus suggesting a date for the copying of the music within the cahier.

4.10.2 Although the handwriting does not change in Cahiers LV–LX, the type of annotations does. “Pr[emier]” and “s[econ]d” (rather than “A” and “B”), the identification of singers from the Opéra who were associated with the Jesuits (rather than singers from the Guise household), the degree of information given that relates to instrumentation, including the terminology used for the continuo, references to the use “sourdines,” and a greater use of dynamic indications all suggest that these cahiers date from the period that Charpentier spent with the Jesuits beginning in the late 1680s.80

4.10.3 Cahier [LVII] does not have a number and is lacking in the Mémoire. Hitchcock suggested the number LVII because of the cahier’s place in Volume 23, where it follows Cahier LV.81 The writing in Cahier LVII suggests, however, a later date of copying for the end of the cahier. On folio 25v, Charpentier uses clef C-3—the clef associated with his last period of copying. The evidence suggests that what Hitchcock conjectured was Cahier LVII was probably Cahier LXVII, which is also missing from the Meslanges and, like Cahier LVII, is missing from the Mémoire.

4.11 Cahiers LXI–LXXV

4.11.1 Cahiers LXI–LXIII include the use of clef C-3—a style of clef formation also found in Cahiers 70, 74 and 75.82 In the Mémoire, Cahier LXI is numbered LXXI, and it was also listed as bound in the wrong volume. According to the volume sequence, Cahier LXI should fall between Cahiers LXIII and LXIV. Cahiers LXI–LXIII include a change in the type of annotations: Charpentier uses “R” for the solo sections, as well as “duo,” “trio,” and “petit chœur” for solo ensembles. The systems are clearly marked by the use of brackets, a feature found only in the later works. Beginning at folio 17r of Cahier LXI, Charpentier uses the latest form of C clef (C-3), and this is then used consistently throughout the remaining cahiers in this series.83 Clef C-3 is also found from Cahier 59 onward in the series with arabic numerals.

4.11.2 Cahier LXIII almost certainly dates from a later period than the cahiers that immediately follow it. While Cahiers LXI–LXII use clef G-2, Cahier LXIII uses G-3 throughout and uses the smaller, finer, neater style of handwriting associated with the last period of Charpentier’s copying. The number of the cahier has been pasted onto the page, suggesting that perhaps another number was originally given to this cahier. It also shows a greater use of capitalization that is another feature associated with the last period (see especially Cahiers 74–5). In fact, it seems plausible that Cahier LXIII is the Cahier LXXIII that is missing from the Meslanges and from the Mémoire. It is possible that Cahiers LXI–LXIII are the missing Cahiers LXXI–LXXIII.

4.11.3 A later date for the copying of Cahier LXIII is significant since it contains versions of works that are also in Cahier [b]. Evidence, such as the clef formation, strongly suggests that the music contained in Cahier [b] represents the original works, with the revised versions in Cahier LXIII.84 Figure 17 illustrates the clef formation in Cahiers [b] and LXIII—most significant of which is the change in G clef. Neither Cahier LXII nor Cahier LXIII uses Jesuit paper, but rather paper with a watermark that is also found at the end of the series (Cahiers LXX, LXXIV and LXXV). Cahiers LXIV–LXIX share the same style of writing and clef formation. As in the previous cahiers, the systems are often bracketed together. Cahier LXVI and LXXIV–LXXV use a small, neat, fine handwriting that is typical of the last works that Charpentier copied in both series. This style was also found in Cahier LXIII (as well as in cahiers in the other series, such as Cahiers 70 and 74–5). In Cahiers LXXIV–LXXV, as well as in Cahier 74, Charpentier separates the systems with a florid divider (Figure 18). The style of clef formation is the same, and they also include greater details concerning instrumentation and dynamics. On folio 15v of Cahier LXXIV, Charpentier wrote out the title to a work, “Motet de Sortie” and wrote out the clefs (G1, C1, C2, F4) for two systems of an instrumental introduction, but these have been left blank, as is the rest of the cahier. It is unclear what Charpentier intended to include as the final motet. No reference is made elsewhere to another work.

5. Cahiers “I”, “II”, [a], [b], [c], and [d]

5.1 There remain six cahiers that, in their current state, are outside of the series ordered with arabic and roman numerals. Hitchcock has referred to these as Cahiers “I”, “II”, and [a] in Volume 13; Cahier [b] in Volume 27; Cahier [c] in Volume 24; and Cahier [d] in Volume 28.85

5.2 Cahier “I”

5.2.1 Cahier “I” is inventoried in the Mémoire as Cahier I. On folio 6v the scribe lists two works under Cahier I: “ouverture pour flore pastorale” and “flore.” The “genuine” Cahier I, on the other hand, is omitted from the inventory.86 The music in Cahier “I” was written for Le Malade imaginaire (H. 495).87 Hitchcock notes that the Mémoire’s “titling of the work in the present cahier as ‘Flore’ is a simple error of mistaking the character Flore, a dessus, for the work’s title (which is missing from the manuscript, since this was originally only a prologue to Le Malade imaginaire).”88

5.2.2 The clef formation in Cahier “I” is that of the earliest period in Charpentier’s career (G-1, C-1). Beside each line of music for Le Malade imaginaire the character is noted, usually in an abbreviated form, and instructions are included for dancers (such as “danceurs a la 2de fois qu’on dit ce choeur la”). Also, the continuo part is clearly distinguished from the orchestral basses de violon: “basse contin[üe]” or “basse du petit chœur” and “basse du grand chœur.” Cahier “I” appears to follow Cahier XVI chronologically, which includes the “Ouverture du Prologue du Malade Imaginaire dans sa splendeur.”89 The watermark in Cahier “I” is the same as that in Cahiers XV–XVI and much of Cahier XVII, which adds weight to the argument that Cahier “I” dates from the same period as Cahiers XV–XVII.90 Figure 19 illustrates the similarities in the style of writing in Cahier “I” and in Cahier XVI.

5.3 Cahier “II”

5.3.1 Cahier “II” includes one incomplete work, La Descente d’Orphée aux enfers (H. 488). The Mémoire cites this cahier as “2e part[ition] encore,” and it is listed after the “genuine” Cahier II. However, the type of paper, the style of handwriting, and the identification of singers from the Guise household all confirm that Cahier “II” dates from much later than the 1670s. The watermark in Cahier “II” is also in part of Cahier XLIX (all but the outer folios), part of Cahier L, all of Cahier LI, part of 46, and all of 47. Ranum has suggested that Cahier “II” might therefore be the missing Cahier 48, noting that as in Cahiers 46–7, La Descente d’Orphée aux enfers in Cahier “II” includes the names of singers employed at the Hôtel de Guise.91 While Ranum’s theory is plausible, it seems more likely that Cahier “II” is either Cahier LII or LIII, both of which are missing from the Meslanges and from the Mémoire. Cahier “II” has the same watermark as Cahier LI, and the ink used for these cahiers is noticeably fainter than that found elsewhere in the Meslanges, thus linking them chronologically. The handwriting in Cahier “II” strongly suggests that it is the missing Cahier LII, rather than Cahier 48. If Cahier “II” were Cahier 48, one would expect to find the opening sections of H. 430—the musical fragment that opens Cahier [49]—and yet no such music exists in Cahier “II.” Figure 20 illustrates the similarities between the writing in Cahiers “II” and LIV.

5.3.2 On the first page of Cahier “II” (fol. 41r), there is a numeral written in the top left-hand corner as would be expected at the beginning of a new cahier. All that is now visible is the numeral II, but it is possible that the numeral was originally LII. Cahier “II” includes the names of singers from the Guise household, including that of Charpentier. The same names appear in many of the cahiers that precede LII, as well as in, for example, Cahiers 47 and [49]. Cahier “II” also includes instrumental lines for two treble instruments (probably recorders) and two viols (alto and tenor), and a continuo group comprising bass viol and harpsichord. Similarly, many of the works composed for the Guise household specify the use of viols and harpsichord. Of particular interest is the inclusion of the names of two singers, Mlle Guyot and M. Anthoine, who were singers in the Guise household who began performing late in 1686.92 Since Cahier XLVIII includes music for Venus et Adonis (H. 507), which was performed in September 1685, a date of late 1686 for Cahier LII seems plausible. The clef formation (G-2 and C-2) confirms a date of the 1680s. The remaining act or acts of La Descente d’Orphée aux enfers are missing from the cahier. If this were indeed Cahier LII, the remaining music was probably in Cahier LIII.

5.4 Cahier [a]

5.4.1 With the exception of the outer folios, Cahier [a] uses Jesuit paper. Folio 60v is the opening page of the “Epitaphium Carpentarij” (H. 474). The style of writing is not found elsewhere and was clearly not copied by Charpentier. The remaining pages in the cahier (fol. 61r–p. 65) are written in Charpentier’s hand using clefs G-2 and C-3, suggesting that this was copied during the 1690s. Similarly, the small, neat handwriting is that associated with the last years of Charpentier’s career. It is striking that the only reference to Charpentier in the piece occurs on the first page, in the hand of another scribe. Here, the scribe gives the title as “Epitaphium Carpentarij” and he identifies the characters as being “Ignatius, Marcellus, Umbra Carpentarij, tres angeli.” On the remaining pages—pages written in Charpentier’s hand—there is reference only to “umbra.” Is it possible that Charpentier never intended this to represent himself—or is the text so explicitly about Charpentier that the “umbra” must refer only to Charpentier? The only other reference to Charpentier in connection with this piece is on folio 13v of the Mémoire in which there is a reference to “l’Epitaphe de Mr. Charpentier.” The final work in Cahier [a], a “Stabat Mater pour des Religieuses (H. 15),” is written in a late style of writing, using clef C-3 (there are no G clefs).93

5.5 Cahier [b]

5.5.1 This cahier is a collection of five pieces, all of which are also in the same order in Cahier LXIII. The mass setting (H. 7a) is an incomplete version of that in Cahier LXIII (just a fragment of the Agnus Dei) and the motet “In honorem Sti Ludovici” (H. 365a) is a shorter version of the motet in Cahier LXIII. The remaining three works in Cahier [b] include a setting of the “De profundis” (H. 213a, which forms part of the mass setting in Cahier LXIII), and two petits motets, “Pour le S[aint] Esprit” (H. 364a) and “Elévation à 3 voix par[eilles]” (H. 264a).

5.5.2 The handwriting and musical style strongly suggest that Cahier [b] was copied before LXIII. While Hitchcock regards the works in Cahier [b] as revisions and variants of earlier works, it seems more plausible that these works were the original versions, and that the revisions were copied into Cahier LXIII.94 Annotations on the works in Cahier [b] clearly refer to other versions of the works. On folio 41v, for example, there are the instructions “jusque la de mesme,” then “accommodez cecy.” A comparison of the other versions in Cahier LXIII shows how changes were made while the music was being recopied. The clef formations in Cahier [b] are G-2 and C-3, while in Cahier LXIII Charpentier uses G-3 and C-3.95

5.6 Cahier [c]96

5.6.1 This cahier contains two preludes (H. 538 and 539) and a setting of the Magnificat (H. 80). These works use clefs G-2 and C-3 and probably date from the 1690s. On pages 50–1, Charpentier changes to G-3. He uses the indication “R” and “trio” for the solo sections, as, for example, in Cahier LXII. Ranum notes that Cahier [c] was “transcrit au plus tôt en 1698; selon le Mémoire de 1726, c’est la ‘partition 100.’”97

5.6.2 In addition to the works that remain extant in Cahier [c], the Mémoire lists the following works:

prelude pour le magnificat cy dessus
prelude pour le dixit du port royal
prelude pour le magnificat du port royal
prelude pour laudate d[omi]num o[mn]es g[en]tes 98

If Cahier [c] indeed included these works, it dates from a later period than Cahier [d]. The scribe of the Mémoire refers to these missing preludes as being written for works originally intended for the Port Royal: “Dixit Dominus” (H. 226), “Laudate Dominum” (H. 227), and the Magnificat (H. 81). The works written for the Port Royal (in Cahier [d]) include references to men’s voices—voices that would have been used at a later performance, possibly in conjunction with the preludes. The handwriting, the paper, and the reference to later additions, suggest that Cahier [c] dates from the late 1690s.99

5.7 Cahier [d]

5.7.1 Cahier [d] is written using clefs G-2 and C-2, with handwriting, annotations, and paper closely associated with Charpentier’s period with the Jesuits. Four of the works are listed in the Mémoire (in the margin of folio 13v) “dans un gros cahyer” (H. 274, 226, 81, and 420). Charpentier’s setting of “Dixit Dominus” (pp. 10, 12, and 18–20) and the Magnificat (pp. 15–8 and 20–2) alternate sections for solo voices with sections set in fauxbourdon. Since sections of both works are copied later than the main part of the work, the scribe of the Mémoire listed them twice (as separate works):

            dixit dominus ps[aume] pour le port royal [H. 226]
            Magnificat pour le port royal [H. 81]
            Dixit dominus en fauxbourdon [H. 226]
            Magnificat en fauxbourdon [H. 81]

The Mémoire makes no reference to “Laudate Dominum” (H. 227), which also employs fauxbourdon. H. 81, 226, and 227 include the names of singers known to have been nuns at the Port Royal. One further work, H. 256 (Cahier XLII), identifies the same singers. Charpentier also wrote a mass for the Port Royal, H. 5 which is in Cahier LI. Various pieces of evidence, including the handwriting, suggest that Cahier [d] dates from a period close to that of Cahier LI.

5.7.2 Ranum has suggested that Cahier [d] is the missing Cahier LII. She writes that “il est fort possible que le ‘gros Cahier’ de 1752 n’ait été rien d’autre que les Cahiers LII et LIII disparus.”100 Based on the evidence outlined earlier (see par. 5.3), it seems perhaps more plausible that Cahier “II” is the missing Cahier LII. If that were the case, Cahier [d] would probably be one of the other missing cahiers close to LII, such as Cahier LVI. The surrounding cahiers (LV, LVII, LVIII, LX, and LXI) are written on Jesuit paper and this would still be close to the other works associated with the Port Royal. Also, the musical style and the types of annotations included in the “Dialogus inter angelos et pastores” (H. 420), pages 23–36 of Cahier [d], correspond with those used in works dating from the time Charpentier spent with the Jesuits.101

6. Concluding Remarks

6.1 A close examination of Charpentier’s handwriting in all the cahiers of the Meslanges, together with other pieces of musical and extra-musical evidence, suggests that some of the cahiers were copied at a much later date than their position in the Meslanges would suggest. In addition, some of the pages within cahiers were, for various reasons, recopied at a later date. In the majority of cases, the most convincing explanation is that these cahiers represent re-workings of earlier works to fit a new style of composition, with new scorings—often intended for a new group of performers.

6.2 If scholars are to undertake any systematic analysis of Charpentier’s stylistic development, and if they and performers are to have a better understanding of issues related to performance practice (issues that affect not only Charpentier’s music, but also seventeenth-century music generally), we need to establish a more convincing chronology for the copying of Charpentier’s music into the Meslanges autographes. Certainly, in terms of an understanding of performance practice and stylistic development, it is the chronology of copying that becomes as significant as the date of composition.


An earlier and much shorter version of this paper was given at the Canadian University Musical Society annual conference at Université de Laval, Quebec in May 2001. Funding for this was provided by CUMS and Memorial University. The author wishes to thank Sylvie Minkoff for granting permission to publish examples from the facsimile edition, and both Catherine Massip and Laurence Decobert of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France for help during the research process with the original manuscripts.


* Jane (Lowe) Gosine ( is an Assistant Professor in the School of Music at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her principal research interest is the sacred music of Marc-Antoine Charpentier and his French contemporaries. She studied music at the University of St Andrews and the University of Cambridge, and was a Research Fellow at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge.

1 F-Pn Rés. Vm1 259. Although most of the manuscript collection is numbered using foliation, there are many instances of pagination. Often Charpentier changes from foliation to pagination to mark the end of a cahier or to accommodate additions. Some of the changes in numbering have been made by another scribe. For a discussion of the terminology used to describe Charpentier’s autograph manuscripts see Patricia Ranum, “Meslanges, mélanges, cabinet, recueil, ouvrages: l ’entrée des manuscrits de Marc-Antoine Charpentier à la Bibliothèque du Roi,” Bulletin, Société Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1993), 2–9; and her website, Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1634–1704), Composer for the Guises, the Jesuits, the Sainte-Chapelle of the Palais, There is no evidence to confirm what term was used by Charpentier to describe his manuscripts. “Meslanges” was adopted here to be consistent with Œuvres complètes de Marc-Antoine Charpentier: meslanges autographes (Paris: Minkoff, 1990– ). Charpentier’s original spellings for titles of works have been retained throughout the present study, as has the mixture of foliation and pagination.

2 Further discussion of chronology can be found in the following works: Catherine Cessac, Marc-Antoine Charpentier (Paris: Fayard, 1988); Laurent Guillo, “Les Papiers à musique imprimés,” Revue de musicologie 87 (2001): 307–69; H. Wiley Hitchcock, Les Œuvres de / The Works of / Marc-Antoine Charpentier: catalogue raisonné (Paris: Picard, 1982); Hitchcock, “Les Œuvres de Marc-Antoine Charpentier: postscriptum B, un catalogue,” Revue de musicologie 70 (1984): 37–50; Hitchcock, “Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Mémoire and Index,” Recherches sur la musique classique française 23 (1985): 5–44; Patricia Ranum, Vers une chronologie des œuvres de Marc-Antoine Charpentier: les papiers employés par le compositeur: un outil pour l'étude de sa production et de sa vie (Baltimore: Author, 1994); Patricia Ranum, “Marc-Antoine Charpentier, compositeur pour les Jésuites (1687–1698): quelques considérations programmatiques,” Bulletin, Société Marc-Antoine Charpentier 18 (2001): 2–11; Shirley Thompson, “The Autograph Manuscripts of Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Clues to Performance” (Ph.D. diss., University of Hull, 1997); Thompson, “Reflections on Four Charpentier Chronologies” Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music 7.1 (2001). Ranum also has extensive information concerning chronology on her website. The present author included a discussion of chronology in C. Jane Lowe (Gosine), “The Psalm Settings of Marc-Antoine Charpentier” (Ph.D. diss., University of Cambridge, 1990), 1–24.

3 “H” numbers refer to the thematic catalogue by Hitchcock, cited above. Almost all of the manuscript partbooks for music by Charpentier are located F-Pn: Vm1 942 (H. 11a), Vm1 1481 (H. 422a), Vm1 1272, Cantio XII (H. 439a), Vm6 17 (H. 485a), Vm6 18 (H. 487a), Vm7 4813 (H. 548). There is one partbook in C-Qhd: Ms Charpentier T11 C. 295 (H. 32a). More details of the manuscripts are given in Hitchcock, Œuvres, 408–12. The partbooks for H. 11a, 485a, 487a, and 548 are in Charpentier’s hand. Of the seven sets, two contain unica (H. 439 and H. 548).

4 There are some missing cahiers in both series, and some additional cahiers may have been numbered incorrectly. The following Cahiers are missing: 48, 51–3, 65, 67–9, 71–3, possibly 49, XX–XXII, XL, LII–LIII, LVI, LIX, LXVII, LXXI–LXXIII, and possibly LVII.

5 The manuscript, F-Pn Rés. Vmb ms. 71, is discussed in Hitchcock, “Mémoire and Index,” 6–7. The Mémoire refers to the two series as “partitions chiffre françois” (fol. 1r) and “partitions chiffre romain” (fol. 6v). While Hitchcock believed that the Mémoire was compiled and written by Jacques Edouard, Charpentier’s nephew, Patricia Ranum has argued that this can no longer be assumed (Ranum, “Meslanges, Mélanges,” 151–3; Ranum, Portraits around Marc-Antoine Charpentier [Baltimore: Author, 2004], 596).

6 To avoid circular arguments, discussions of musical style have been avoided here.

7 Hitchcock, Les Œuvres, 27.

8 Cessac, Marc-Antoine Charpentier; Hitchcock, Les Œuvres; Ranum, Vers une chronologie; Ranum, website.

9 See Cessac, Marc-Antoine Charpentier; Hitchcock, Les Œuvres; Ranum, website; C. Jane Lowe, “Charpentier and the Jesuits,” Journal of Seventeenth-Century French Studies 15 (1993): 297–314; John Powell, “Charpentier’s Music for Molière’s Le Malade imaginaire and Its Revisions,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 39 (1986): 87–142.

10 Ranum, Vers une chronologie, 38–9 and website.

11 Ranum, Vers une chronologie, 2–3.

12 Ranum, Vers une chronologie; and Guillo, “Les papiers à musique imprimés,” 307–69. See Table 2.

13 Ranum, Vers une chronologie, 3.

14 Ranum, “Marc-Antoine Charpentier, compositeur pour les Jésuites,” 6–11.

15 Ranum, Vers une chronologie, 2–3.

16 Thompson, “The Autograph Manuscripts” and “Reflections.” The methodology used in preparing the present study involved the analysis of each page of music to identify the style of handwriting and the use of particular clefs.

17 See Lowe, “Psalm Settings,” 1–24; Ranum, website, Thompson; “The Autograph Manuscripts,” 27–34; and Thompson, “Reflections.”

18 Hitchcock, Les Œuvres and Ranum, website.

19 The paper labelled “Jesuit” has a watermark with the emblem associated with the Jesuits. See Ranum, Vers une chronologie, 11–14.

20 Ranum has commented on the insertion of leaves, with references to the identification of watermarks (Vers une chronologie, and website).

21 Cf. the spelling on fol. 23v of Cahier 26. It is unclear why the first page of the Meslanges was copied by someone other than the composer. It would seem unlikely that Charpentier was planning to engage a scribe to copy his music so early in his career.

22 Charpentier’s annotations, such as those to indicate soloists and the continuo group, follow patterns that mirror changes in handwriting. See Thompson, “The Autograph Manuscripts,” 195 and 243–4; and “Reflections.”

23 Ranum, website.

24 Ranum, website.

25 An examination of Charpentier’s approach to instrumental doubling in the works for double chorus and orchestra is significant when assessing the dating of a number of Cahiers. In addition to questions raised in Cahier 5, it also raises questions about the dating of Cahiers VI–XI, which were also copied at a later date than their position in the Meslanges would suggest. For more discussion of Charpentier’s use of instrumental doubling in the works for chorus and orchestra, see Lowe, “Psalm Settings,” 143–74.

26 It is interesting that the “Salve Regina” (H. 18) and the “Ave Regina coelorum” (H. 19), both of which are in Cahier 5, have indications that suggest they were given later performances at which men’s voices were used, rather than the original women’s voices: h[aute] c[ontre], t[aille], and b[asse].

27 Ranum, website. For a more detailed discussion of Cahier 5, see C. Jane Gosine, “Correlations between Handwriting Changes and Revisions to Works within the Meslanges autographes of Marc-Antoine Charpentier” (forthcoming in the proceedings of the 2004 conference on Charpentier at the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles).

28 The original numbering of the four folios is as follows: [“1” crossed out, =1r], [1v], 2[r, altered from “1”], 3 [=2v], 4 [=3r], [3v], 5 [=4r], [4v]. To further complicate matters, folio 1r–v is duplicated in the Minkoff facsimile as modern pages 3–4.

29 Hitchcock, “Mémoire and Index,” 13. “Judith” is copied on folios 4–19 of Cahiers 9–11.

30 “Mémoire,” fol. 1v.

31 Ranum comments as follows: “According to the Mémoire of 1727, a ‘Motet pour St Augustin,’ now lost but located in ‘Cahier 9’, followed Judith. This is the second piece for St. Augustin in the Guise notebooks: like H. 307, we can assume that it was written at the request of M. Du Bois, a Jansenist. Nor can this lost motet possibly be H. 307 (of Cahier 2). Because H. 307 could not possibly have been amputated from its position in that notebook and inserted somehow in Cahier 9: to do that would have required amputating the final measures of H. 53. Indeed, it is difficult to see how this lost motet could ever have been at the end of Cahier 9! Judith continues into Cahier 11 (specifically, to the recto of fol. 19); and it is followed directly (on fol. 19 verso) by H. 392 (for early 1676). This makes it virtually impossible for the missing motet to have once been located just after Judith. In short, I think we have to conclude that this piece for August 28 was located before, rather than after Judith: in fact, chronologically it fits nicely there” (Ranum, website).

32 Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Motets melêz de symphonie (Paris: J. Edouard, 1709)

33 Hitchcock notes that “although the order of the bound volumes is not entirely haphazard, in itself it does not provide a basis for a chronology of the musical works they contain. An approach to such a chronology may, however, be made by establishing the order of the manuscript gatherings or fascicles—the cahiers, as Charpentier called them—within the bound volumes” (Hitchcock, Catalogue, p. 24). Later Hitchcock adds that Charpentier “did not just arbitrarily assign numbers to those cahiers that were already filled with music but rather numbered them in proper chronological order” (27). Finally, he notes that “with the evidence assembled above—the consecutive numbering of cahiers in each of the two series, the relationship between securely datable works and the cahiers in which we find them, and the evident relationship of the two series as more or less concurrent—we can estimate with varying degrees of precision, the dates of all but a few of Charpentier’s manuscript cahiers (and thus the music in them)” (34).

34 Ranum, website.

35 According to Laurent Guillo, folios 22–3 of Cahier 26 use the same paper as some of the sheets in Cahier 20 and Cahier XIX (“Les papiers à musique imprimés,” 363). He mistakenly identifies this cahier, however, as belonging in Volume 5, whereas it is actually in Volume 3. It is unclear why he only mentions folios 58–60 since, with the exception of folios 61r–64v that also have a different watermark, Cahiers 19 and 20 use this paper throughout. For a list of the watermarks in the Meslanges, see Ranum, Vers une chronologie, 54. The numeral 21 has been crossed out in Cahier 21, but because the music of H. 60 continues from Cahier 20, there is no doubt about the number of Cahier 21.

36 Ranum, website.

37 Charpentier’s “Elevation” (H. 245), which is located on folios 138r–139r of Cahier 24, includes references to instrumentation which were added after the title at a later date: “pour un dessus, deux viollons et l’orgüe” (fol. 138r). In a later hand again (possibly that of another scribe), there is a note on folio 139v stating that the elevation motet (H. 246), can be performed “une 3ce plus haut pour les voix pareilles.” This is reference to a later performance at which three male voices would have performed (probably C3, C4, F4), rather than the original scoring of G2, C1, and F4. Before the elevation motet (H. 247) on folio 142r, there is an addition written in the same hand that states that motet can be performed “pour une Taille un son plus haut.” The original version is written for a solo dessus (G2).

38 Charpentier’s use of dynamics in this instance is inspired directly by the text: “in tenebrosis collo cavit me quasi mortuos sempiter nos.”

39 “Mere Desnots” and “Mere d’Henaut” appear to be references to the same nun, but using different spellings. Charpentier’s spelling of the name “Camille” is also inconsistent. On page 52 and folio 54r of Cahier 28, Charpentier spells the name “Camilla.” The differences in spelling are consistent with changes in handwriting.

40 In addition to references to the inclusion of instruments in “Filius Prodigus,” Charpentier modifies the text on folio 73v, noting that “sumite au lieu de resonent” and “psallite au lieu de conrepet” should be sung “par tout ce chœur.” These textual changes appear to have been written in the same ink and at the same time as the original material, rather than as later additions. The references to instruments, on the other hand, appear to have been added later (such as folios 70r–71r).

41 There are instances where the continuation of a piece in a following cahier dates from the same period, but the remaining pieces in the cahier were copied at a much later date, such as Cahiers 31 and XIX. Folios 105r–108v of Cahier 31 are written in an early style of handwriting. The remainder of the cahier (from the motet “Gratiarum actiones” (H. 326) on folio 109v, written in honour of the Dauphin’s recovery from an illness) is written in a later hand. Ranum (website) has identified “Gratiarum actiones” as having been “written to celebrate the Dauphin’s recovery from malaria in late 1680.”

42 It is unclear here, as on a number of other occasions, who wrote the cues. The manuscripts were bound after Charpentier’s death and it appears that many of the cues may have been altered at this time. Cahier 32 is in Volume 4, while Cahiers 33–7 are in Volume 11. Volume 5 contains music from a much later period (Cahiers 63–6). It is interesting to question why Charpentier included these verbal cues at the end of so many cahiers. Clearly, where a cahier ends in the middle of a work, the cue is there to aid the performer in locating the correct continuation of the work. Where the cue refers to another work in a later cahier, it suggests that Charpentier (or perhaps a later scribe) wanted to suggest a chronological sequence within the Meslanges.

43 Jesuit paper is also used in Cahiers 39, 40, 54–63 LV, LVII, LVIII, LX, LXI, LXIV, LXV, LXVI, and VI–XI, as well as occasional folios that appear in other cahiers as additions. These are usually found as outer or central folios of earlier cahiers.

44 There are close stylistic similarities between the styles of works such as the Magnificat (H. 74, Cahier 33) and the “Dixit Dominus” (H. 190, Cahier 39).

45 There are two instances of “acc[ompagnement] seul” in Cahier XIX (fols. 19v and 27v), but these are written in a different ink from the rest of the cahier (the same ink is also used to indicate that the h[aute] c[ontre] and t[aille] parts have crossed.

46 References to bassoons are found in Cahiers 33*, 39*, 60–62*, 74, VI*, VIII–IX*, LV*, LXI*, LXIII, LXXV, and [b]. Those cahiers marked with an asterisk use Jesuit paper.

47 Thompson, “The Autograph Manuscripts,” 244.

48 “Psalm[us] David 50mus: Miserere des Jésuites” (H. 193) was originally composed for the Guise household, but was later revised by Charpentier for use by the Jesuits.

49 This seems to be another indication that a number of the works in the Meslanges are sketches rather than fair copies.

50 Many of the works in these cahiers were intended for use at the Hôtel de Guise. On folio 67r of Cahier 41, Charpentier confirms the intended destination of the “Litanies de la Vierge” (H. 83), with the inclusion of the names of singers from the Hôtel de Guise. The work is also scored for the typical Guise ensemble of six voices, treble viols, and continuo.

51 Hitchcock writes that “Edouard gives this [43b] as Cahier 43. But he fails to account for the conclusion of catalogue 414, implying that it is contained in Cahier 42 … and does not give a number to the preceding (admittedly very brief) cahier which is, however, numbered 43 by Charpentier” (“Mémoire and Index,” 18). The Mémoire lists the “Miserere des Jesuites, grande simphonie et tres belle” (H. 193) and “Serenata a tre voci e sinphonia” (H. 472) as belonging to Cahier 43. Hitchcock’s comment about the conclusion to H. 414 is a little misleading since the scribe uses the same procedure elsewhere in the Mémoire whereby a piece of music is listed only under the cahier in which it begins. For example, the dramatic motet “Esther” (H. 396) begins at the end of Cahier 17, with its conclusion in Cahier 18. It is listed in the Mémoire only under Cahier 18. Similarly, the psalm setting “In convertendo Dominus” (H. 169), which begins in Cahier 21 and ends in Cahier 22, is only listed under Cahier 21 in the Mémoire; H. 414 is listed under Cahier 42.

52 Ranum has suggested that Cahier “II” is the missing Cahier 48 (Vers une chronologie, 19). Cahiers 48 and 49 will be discussed under Cahier “II.”

53 The cue on folio 100r of Volume 7 is “flores,” which refers to the first complete work in Cahier [49] (“Flores O Gallia,” H. 342), is almost certainly not in Charpentier’s hand, but that of another scribe. In addition to being in a different style of writing, the choice of cue (“flore”) suggests that the scribe did not recognize the motet fragment (H. 430) which is on page [1] of Cahier [49]. H. 342 is located on page 2 to folio 4r.

54 Hitchcock, Les Œuvres, 308.

55 The Mémoire lists the contents of Cahier 49 as “suitte d’un grand motet, Pour Sainte Therese grand motet avec simphonie, Pour la Magdelaine grand motet avec simphonie, Idile sur le retour de la santé du roy.” These works correspond precisely with what is contained now in Cahier [49] (H. 430, 342, 343, and 489). See also C. Jane Gosine, “An Examination of Charpentier’s Motet, ‘Transfige dulcissime Jesu,’(H. 251) and the Motet Fragment (H. 430),” Bulletin, Société Marc-Antoine Charpentier 18 (2001): 13–22.

56 Cahiers 67–9 and 71–3 are missing.

57 The same style of writing is in Cahiers LXI–LXIX.

58 Hitchcock, “Mémoire and Index,” 21. Charpentier uses brackets to indicate many of the systems (as he does on folios 32–3 of Cahier 65). Folios 54–65 are written in a slightly different style of handwriting in which capital letters are used more frequently than has been found in the manuscripts up until now.

59 Ranum discusses the contents of Cahier 70 in terms of the watermarks and construction of the Cahier (Vers une chronologie, 27–9).

60 Ranum, Vers une chronologie, 17–8. See also Ranum, website.

61 Ranum, website.

62 Ranum (website) writes that when “Charpentier numbered his growing collection of notebooks (perhaps as late as the mid-1680s), the notebook known as ‘Cahier IX’ was out of order, having been placed just after Cahier VIII. Note also that Cahier IX includes works exclusively for the month of December and that he used ‘Jesuit’ paper for it (as he did for Cahiers VI–XI).” While there are works included in Cahier IX which are specific to feast days in December, such as the motets “Pour la conception de la Vierge” (H. 313) and “In nativitatem D[omi]ni canticum” (H. 314), other works such as the two psalm settings, “Psalmus 126]” (H. 160) and “Laetatus sum” (H. 161), are appropriate to a number of different feast days. There is nothing to confirm that the works were written in 1671. Ranum also notes that “all six notebooks [Cahiers VI–XI] are made entirely of similijésuite paper, and Clef B is used throughout. Most of the works in these notebooks either correspond to Jesuit celebrations held in early 1672 or require an ensemble of the type described as being hired by the Reverend Fathers. It therefore appears possible that, during his tenure at Saint-Louis, Charpentier reworked earlier Jesuit commissions.”

63 The Mémoire also lists the following:       

            branles pour des violons a 4 parties,
            plusieurs courantes, sarabande espagnolle, bourée, menuet, passepied,
            Prelude pour le Sacrifice d’Abraham
            Simphonie pour trois violons
            Elevation, Dilecte mi Etc. imparfait

There is an extant setting of “Dilecte mi” (H. 436) that is currently in F-Pn Vm1 1269. This may be the same piece as that listed originally under Cahier IX, but which became separated from the cahier during the process of revision or after the purchase of the manuscripts by the library.

64 See also Thompson, “The Autograph Manuscripts,” 179–253; and “Reflections.”

65 Thompson, “Reflections.”

66 See Jean-Charles Léon, “‘La Rature et l’erreur’: l’exemple des messes à quatre chœurs chez Charpentier,” Marc-Antoine Charpentier: un musicien retrouvé, ed. Catherine Cessac (Sprimont: Mardaga, 2005), 263–88. Ranum (website) notes that “Notebook ‘I’ clearly dates from the early 1670s, for it is made of the same paper as notebooks XV–XVII.”

67 There are references to the restrictions imposed on composers of theatrical music in James Anthony, French Baroque Music from Beaujoyeulx to Rameau (rev. ed., New York: Norton, 1981), 20–3; Hitchcock, Marc-Antoine Charpentier (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), 89; Powell, “Charpentier’s Music for Molière’s Le Malade imaginaire,” 87–142; and Hitchcock, Marc-Antoine Charpentier: prologues et intermèdes du Malade imaginaire de Molière (Geneva: Editions Minkoff, 1973).

68 Hitchcock, “Mémoire and Index,” 24.

69 Ranum (website) misidentifies the G clef on folio 12v. Although Charpentier joins the flat of the key signature to the G clef, the loop at the bottom of the clef is still to the left of the clef, rather than the right (as in G-2). There is therefore no anomaly here in the style of handwriting.

70 Ranum (website) suggests that “Quam dilecta” (H. 167) may have been written for the Jesuits. See earlier references (par. 3.4 and 3.5) to Cahiers 20–22 that, according to the analysis of clef formation, appear out of order.

71 The numbering of the folios in both Cahiers XXIII and XXIV has been altered. Originally, both were paginated, but these numbers were altered to accommodate the numbering of the folios within the volume, rather than the cahiers.

72 Ranum, Vers une chronologie, 53.

73 Cahier XXIII includes preludes to a number of works that are located elsewhere in the Meslanges: H. 168 (Cahier 20), H. 398 (Cahier 23), H. 399 (Cahier 34), and H. 404 (Cahier 34).

74 Hitchcock, Les Œuvres, 374.

75 Ranum (website) agrees that there is a problem with the ordering of the cahiers at this point. She suggests that Cahiers XXIII and XXIV might have been misnumbered and placed out of order since “Cahier XXIV contains preludes that clearly predate the preludes in Cahier XXIII.”

76 Guillo, “Les Papiers à musique imprimés,” 344. The fact that instances of this paper occur in Cahier XXV and Cahier 25 is another indication that the two series were compiled concurrently. According to Guillo, most non-printed manuscript paper from seventeenth-century France was drawn using a rastrum: “durant le XVIIe siècle, le gros de la production de papier à musique reste le papier réglé à la main. On en voit de diverses qualités, parfois grossièrement tracé à la main levée par un amateur, et très souvent tracé à la règle avec une patte à régler” (320).

77 Folio 13v includes the later clef (G-2), presumably copied onto the blank sheet when folios 14r–18v were added.

78 The numbering in Cahier XXXIII was altered to accommodate the cahier’s new position in Volume 28. The original numbering, beginning at folio 68r, follows from the end of Cahier XXXII in Volume 18.

79 Ranum, Vers une chronologie, 3.

80 See Lowe, “Psalm Settings,” 105; and Shirley Thompson, “A Mute Question: Charpentier and the Sourdines,” in Marc-Antoine Charpentier: un musician retrouvé, 183–97.

81 Hitchcock, “Mémoire and Index,” 28. Cahier LVI is missing. It should be remembered, however, that the cahiers were bound after Charpentier’s death, and therefore a cahier’s position in a particular series may not be significant in terms of an understanding of the order in which works were copied into the Meslanges.

82 Cahier LXI is in Volume 25, while Cahiers LXII and LXIII are in Volume 24, along with Cahier [c].

83 There are also two instances of clef C-3 on folio 8r of Cahier LXI.

84 Lowe, “Psalm Settings,” 15.

85 Hitchcock, Les Œuvres, 34–6.

86 Cahier I is referred to as “genuine” because its final piece, “Confitebor tibi” (H. 151), is completed in Cahier II. Similarly, “Dixit Dominus” (H. 153), which begins on folio 17r of Cahier II, is completed in Cahier III. The sequence of cahiers at the beginning of the series is therefore clearly defined. See also Hitchcock, “Mémoire and Index,” 24.

87 Charpentier included other music for Le Malade imaginaire in Cahiers XVI–XVII.

88 Hitchcock, “Mémoire and Index,” 31. This is a similar error or misinterpretation to that made by the scribe when referring to Cahier 36.

89 Hitchcock, Les Œuvres, 366–8. The words “dans sa splendeur” were added (possibly in the following year) and refer to the first performance of Le Malade imaginaire that took place before Lully imposed restrictions on the performing forces used in theatrical works. See also Powell, “Charpentier’s Music for Molière’s Le Malade imaginaire,” 87–142, and n. 57.

90 Ranum, Vers une chronologie, 53–4.

91 Ranum, Vers une chronologie, 19 and 56.

92 Cessac, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, 104.

93 H. 15 is similar thematically to the “Pange lingua pour des religieuses, pour le Port Royal” (H. 62, Cahier XXXI). Both share the same scoring.

94 Hitchcock (Les Œuvres) numbers the works in Cahier [b] as variants: 7a, 213a, 364a, 264a, and 365a. See also Lowe, “Psalm Settings,” 15.

95 Ranum dates this book around 1697 (Vers une chronologie, 19 and 56). She too believes that Cahier [b] should be dated prior to Cahier LXIII.

96 Cahier [c] is in Volume 24, folios 46–51. The music that was copied earlier in the volume dates from a later period than that of Cahier [c].

97 Ranum, Vers une chronologie, 56.

98 “Mémoire,” fol. 13.

99 The watermark used in Cahier [c] is also in Cahiers LXIII (i.e., Cahier LXXIII), LXXIV–V, 70, and 74. It is also found on folios 54–65 of Cahier 66. The Mémoire lists the works on these folios as comprising the beginning of Cahier 70. It is also on the final folio of Cahier 75. Cahiers 67–9 and 71–3 are missing.

100 Ranum, Vers une chronologie, 21. More recently, Ranum has written: “Ces filigranes permettent de dire avec une certitude considérable que le Cahier “d”—fait de papier jésuites—serait le Cahier LII manquant” (Ranum, “Compositeur pour les Jésuites,” in Marc-Antoine Charpentier: un musicien retrouvé, 234). The date of 1752 refers to when the manuscripts were rebound by the royal library (Ranum, “Meslanges, Mélanges,” 142).

101 The first motet in Cahier [d], “Pour St Augustin mourant” (H. 419) is also in Motets melêz de symphonie.


Table 1: Cahier and and Volume Numbering

Table 2: Watermarks Found in Both Series

Table 3: Added Leaves in the Meslanges Autographes

Table 4: The Contents of Cahier 70 According to the Mémoire


Figure 1: Formations of Clefs in the Meslanges Autographes

Figure 2: Handwriting in Early, Middle, Jesuit, and Late Periods

Figure 3: Changes of Clef in Cahier 27

Figure 4: Handwriting in Cahier 1

Figure 5: Clefs in Cahier 2

Figure 6: Additions to Cahiers 3 and 4

Figure 7: Cahier 5 Compared to Cahiers 4, 6, and 22

Figure 8: Cahier 5 Compared to Cahiers 22 and XIX

Figure 9: Comparison of “Judith” (H. 391) in Cahier 9 and “Judicium Salomonis” (H. 422) in Cahier LXXV

Figure 10: Changes of Clef in Cahier 13

Figure 11: Added Outer Folios in Cahier 21

Figure 12: Cahier 33 Compared to Cahiers 32 and 39

Figure 13: Types of Annotations in the Meslanges Autographes

Figure 14: Cahiers VI–XI Compared to Cahiers V, XII, and 62

Figure 15: Handwriting in Cahiers XII–XVII

Figure 16: Handwriting in Cahiers XV and XVII

Figure 17: Clef Formation in Cahiers [b] and LXIII

Figure 18: Florid Divider in Cahiers 74 and LXXIV

Figure 19: Similarities in Handwriting in Cahiers “I” and XVI

Figure 20: Similarities in Handwriting in Cahiers “II” and LIV

How to cite an article in JSCM

Copyright © 2006 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. All rights reserved.
This document and all portions thereof are protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. For further information on redistributing items in JSCM, see the full Copyright Statement.