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Jacquet de Berchem
c.1505 - c.1567
Belgium / The Netherlands
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J. de Berchem
Jachet, Iachet or Jacquet [de] Berchem (c.1505 - c.1567), a Belgian composer. He is born in a suburb of the city of Antwerp, named Berchem near Antwerp, in the early years of the 1500's (c. 1505). Nothing is known about his early years.
As usual in that times young musicians form Flanders travelled through Europe so did De Berchem, who travelled to Italy and spent he whole life there. Perhaps he stayed in France and it is proved some of his chansons were published in France in 1540 by P. Attaingnant in Paris and J. Modern in Lyon. Mid or early 1530-35 De Berchem appears in Venice, where he was certainly a protégé of Willaert (c.1488—1562). Certain is too that from 1538 the famous publishers Gardano and Scotto (Venice) will publish some of his compositions in more important collections with "profane" vocal music (in truth they are in greater number scattered in several, important, anthological collections). In 1546 De Berchem dedicated his first Madrigali a cinque voci to Giovanni Bragadin, member of an important and famous family in Venice.
De Berchem became an important figure in a regional music circuit and was able to tighten artistic contacts with Willaert, Nasco (c.1510-1561) , Parabosco (c.1520-1557), Ruffo (c.1510-1587) drawn to the new secular form the Madrigal and due to his admired rich madrigalistico style. Starting from the 1537/38 compositions of Jacquet de Berchem will continuously see the light every year until the 1570 (year of the dead of his woman). Even large, and the amazingly eclectic one, the French writer François Rabelais, in his famous greater work, ago clearly mention just of Jacquet de Berchem, placing him between the main musicians of his time.
From 1546 up to the end of 1552 De Berchem was appointed Maestro di cappella at the Cathedral of Verona and he was succeeded by the former mentioned Vincenzo Ruffo in 1554.
At the beginning of 1553 De Berchem arrived in Monopoli and have married that year Giustina de Simeonibus, widow and member of a noble family Marzato in Monopoli. Her father was the governor of Monopoli. Perhaps De Berchem before arriving in Monopli stayed for a short time (1553) at Napels. It could be De Berchem was appointed Maestro di cappella at the Cathedral of Monopoli but he could have served too the famous family Marzato, governor of Monopoli. He died probably around the 2nd of March 1567 in Monopoli. Most of his compositions are profane. Best known are his madrigals: "Primo, secondo et terzo libro del capriccio ( Gardano, 1561). De Berchem wrote only two Masses (1540) and of course a lot of (190) Madrigals and 14 chansons.
He wrote 10 motets which are attributed to him, others - certainly twenty - are still yet uncertain.
In literature De Berchem is often mixed up with his contemporaries Jacquet de Mantua (1483-1559), Jacques Buus (c.1500-1565), Jacques Brunel and Gautier van Berchem.
Author:Wim Goossens
Peccantem me quotidie
Period:Early Renaissance
Composed in:1542c
Musical form:Motet à 6 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from a Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum
Peccantem me quotidie is a motet from the Responsorium de Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum composed by De Berchem for six voices (SATTBarB). The Peccantem me quotidie is an old Responsorium, Respond and still published in the old Liber Usualis page 1797 and is sung after Lectio VII in the third Nocturn. This motet first appeared in printed anthologies by Willaert, Motecta Adriani Willaert musicorum sex vocum, liber primus, Antonio Gardano Venice 1542, Casale Monferrato Archivo & Biblioteca 1538-1545 and later in Treviso, Biblioteca Capitolare del Duomo, MS 29. This composition is undoubtedly written by De Berchem, and not by Willaert. It is one of the survived sacred compositions from De Berchem’s hand. De Berchem has written this short motet (50 bars) in modest polyphonic imitative style and is directly quoting as an ostinato in the sextus (Tenor I) the Miserere mei Deus and also the chanson Mille Regretz by Josquin Des Prez (c.1440-1521).
Author:Wim Goossens