Antoine de Févin

  • Born
    c. 1470
  • Died
    c. 1512
  • Birthplace
    Arras, France
Antoine de Févin was a Netherlandish composer of the Renaissance. He was active at the same time as Josquin des Prez, and shares many traits with his more famous contemporary. All of Févin's surviving music is vocal. He wrote masses, motets and chansons. Stylistically his music is similar to Josquin's in its clarity of texture and design, and its relatively progressive nature: Févin evidently wrote in the most current styles, adopting the method of contrasting imitative sections with homophonic sections which came into prominence around 1490. Unlike Josquin, he was less concerned with the careful setting of text than with formal structure; his setting of individual words is occasionally clumsy, though his larger-scale structures are easy to follow. He also particularly liked the device of using vocal duets to contrast with the full sonority of the choir. Some of Févin's music uses the technique of free contrapuntal fantasy, later perfected by Josquin, where strict imitation is absent; fragments of a cantus firmus pervade the texture, giving a feeling of overall unity and complete equality of all the voices. Of his music, 14 masses, 3 lamentations, 3 Magnificats, 14 motets and 17 chansons survive.

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