Pierre de la Rue


FrancoFlemish composer. In the early 1480s he travelled to Italy and was a singer at Siena cathedral in 1482 and 1483-5. He belonged to a confraternity at 's-Hertogenbosch in 1489-92 and then became a singer in the Burgundian court chapel of Philip the Handsome and later Marguerite of Austria, briefly visiting Spain on two occasions. In 1501 he was a canon at the church of Notre Dame in Courtrai; he retired there from his court position in 1516.

One of Josquin Desprez' leading contemporaries, Pierre de la Rue wrote some 31 Masses, seven Mass sections, 37 motets and 37 chansons. He was not so much affected by his visits to Italy as were other northerners of his generation, preferring a rigorously contrapuntal style with individuality of melodic line to the chordal, declamatory manner, and making quite frequent use of canon and ostinato. His Requiem is a work of sombre gravity, exploiting low vocal registers, and his chansons are sober and frequently sad --especially those written under the patronage of the ill-fated Marguerite--with continuous textures and imitative writing.

A Partial Pierre de La Rue Discography | IVA: The Netherlanders around and after Josquin