Biographical note

Pierre de Manchicourt

[based on: H. Slenk, the Huguenot Psalter in the Low Countries]

c. 1510 (Béthune) - d. 5 October 1564 Madrd) -  Flemish-French composer of masses, motets and chansons. 

Much of the biographical information concerning Manchicourt comes from the title pages and dedications of his printed works. On the title page of Phalese's Liber quintus Cantionum sacrarum (1554) are the words, "A. D. Magistro Petro Manchicurtio Betunio", implying that the composer was born in Béthune (Artois). Manchicourt dedicated this collection of his motets to Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, mentioning that he had spent his youth at the cathedral of Arras, where Granvelle had been bishop. The composer continued his career
at Tours, probably as the head of the cathedral choir school for boys. A volume of his motets published by Attaingnant in 1539 calls him "Petro de Manchicourt, insignis Ecclesiae Turonensis prefecto authore." In 1545 Manchicourt was chape1master at the cathedral of Tournai, according to the title page of Le neufiesme livre des chansons a quatre parties... par Maistre Pier de Manchicourt, maistre de la chapelle de nostre dame de Tournay, published by Susato in 1545. This publication contains the composer's only setting of a religious text by Marot. Like Appenzeller, he set all four stanzas of Psalm 130. 
Manchicourt remained in Tournai for at least twelve years. In 1554 be is described as "ecclesie Tornacensis Phonasio" on the same title page that records his birthplace. He left Tournai in 1557, perhaps for Antwerp, and two years later went to Madrid when Philip II named him his "maestro de la capilla flamenca." Manchicourt remained in royal service until his death on 5 October 1564.

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