Pierre Certon

Born: c. 1510

Died: 23rd February 1572

Birthplace: Melun, France

Pierre Certon was a French composer of the Renaissance. He was a representative of the generation after Josquin and Mouton, and was influential in the late development of the French chanson. Certon wrote eight masses which survive, motets, psalm settings, chansons spirituelles (chansons with religious texts, related to the Italian madrigali spirituali), and numerous secular chansons. His style is relatively typical of mid-century composers, except that he was unusually attentive to large-scale form, for example framing longer masses (such as his Requiem) with very simple movements, with the inner movements showing greater tension and complexity. In addition he was skilled at varying texture between homophonic and polyphonic passages, and often changing the number and register of voices singing at any time.

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