Thomas Crecquillon

(ca 1500 - 1557)

Franco-Flemish composer. Became director of music to Charles V's chapel at Brussels in about 1544, and was later a prebendary in various Flemish towns-Louvain, Namur, Termonde and finally Béthune. He wrote some sixteen Masses, 116 motets, 192 chansons, five French psalms and Lamentations. Highly regarded in his own day (much of his music circulated widely in print), he is most distinguished as a chanson composer. Though some of his chansons are in the light and witty French style, many are more serious in tone and written in flowing, imitative 5-part polyphony sometimes involving canon; in this they hark back to the late chansons of Josquin Desprez. In sacred music Crecquillon often matched musical to verbal expression, using harsh dissonance to create tension (the 5-part set of Lamentations shows this well, despite its major mode), but his smooth vocal line and command of sonority are equally impressive.

A Partial Discography of Thomas Crecquillon |  IVI: The French Chanson