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(b ?Medina del Campo, 1394; ruled 1416–58; d Naples, June 27, 1458). Spanish monarch and patron. He was the son of Fernando I of Antequera and Leonor of Albuquerque. His activity as patron is usually divided into two periods, before and after he had settled in Naples (1433). He was an outstanding patron of minstrels, among them the shawm player Jehan Boisard and the lutenist Rodrigo de la Guitarra. The choir of his royal chapel was, according to his contemporaries, one of the finest of its day. In the two earliest records of its members, dating from 1413 and 1417, there are 13 singers, among them Gacian Reyneau and Leonart Tallender, and two organists. His singers were recruited from Spain, France and Germany: in October 1419 he sent one of them, Huguet lo Franch, to his native land in search of singers, providing him with a letter offering all kinds of privileges. In ...

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(b 1331; d 1391). French patron. A relatively large number of pieces were addressed to him by 14th-century composers. In addition, he is credited with the composition of a Pyrenean folksong, but this ascription is purely traditional. He was a ruthless fighter and politician with wide interests: his passion for hunting caused him to write a book on the subject, and Froissart went to his court to read to him during the winter months. It is significant, however, that the ballades, rondeaux and virelais interpolated in Froissart’s Méliador were what pleased the count most. In the second half of the 14th century these poems, especially in musical settings, represented the latest fashion. This is doubtless why four of the pieces addressed to Gaston are ballades. Two have his motto, ‘Febus avant’, in the refrain. Others (like Phiton, Phiton) hint more indirectly at his domain or enemies. All four appear in a manuscript (...

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Theodore Karp

(b 1231; d Feb 10, 1261). French trouvère and patron of the arts. During his brief but flourishing reign (1248–61) he aided the romancer Adenet le Roi. Gillebert de Berneville, whom Henri engaged in a jeu-parti, lived for a while at Henri’s court at Leuven; the judges of the jeu-parti were the trouvères Raoul de Soissons and the Count Charles of Anjou. Perrin d’Angicourt and Carasaus each dedicated a poem to Henri, who was mentioned by Thibaut II, Comte de Bar, in the political poem De nous seigneur, que vous est il avis (R.1522). While the four surviving works by Henri are not distinguished by their originality, they are technically fluent. All are in bar form and three of the four use some sort of G mode. The textual relationship between Se chascuns and the work based on it is unusual in that the latter begins with the entire second strophe of Henri’s poem before proceeding with new material. Small variants in the melodies for the caudas of the two works serve to point up different sets of internal resemblances. None of Henri’s melodies survives in mensural notation....

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Maricarmen Gómez

(b Perpignan, 1350; ruled 1387–95; d Foixà, nr Gerona, May 16, 1395). Portuguese ruler and patron of music, son of Pedro IV ‘el Ceremonioso’ and Eleonor of Sicily. He was the chief means through which the musical currents of international Gothic were introduced into the Iberian peninsula; he was also one of the outstanding musical patrons of his time. From early on he revealed his love of music, surrounding himself with as many skilled performers as possible, especially shawm players. Francophile in his tastes, he hardly ever had in his service musicians who were not French, German or Franco-Flemish, employing up to 22 of them in his household. His own musicians and those who came to visit him included, in his own words, ‘the best in the whole world’; he was generous to all of them, and did all he could to further their careers through letters of recommendation. Among the several hundreds of musicians known to have visited him, ‘master Simon of the viola’, perhaps identifiable with the composer Hasprois, and ‘Petrequi de la bombarda’ (Bombardi) stand out. ‘Johan Robert’ (Trebor) dedicated two of his compositions to him, ...

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Jack Sage

[Alfonso X]

(b Toledo, Nov 23, 1221; d Seville, April 4, 1284). Spanish monarch, patron, poet and composer. The son of Ferdinand the Saint, he became King of Castile and León in 1252. ‘El Sabio’ may be taken as both ‘the Wise’ and ‘the Learned’, for Alfonso’s works show his conviction that learning begets wisdom. He was a remarkable patron of the arts, sciences and culture; he recognized the importance of Spain’s Islamic as well as its Roman and Visigothic heritage, and his court became celebrated as a meeting-place for Christian, Islamic and Jewish scholars and artists. He has long stood accused of sacrificing his family relations and political stability to impractical schemes for liberal reform but, though out of favour with those close to him in his latter years, he fostered notable social, educational and judiciary reforms, encouraged the use of the vernacular in learning and art, and made Spain respected in Europe. In ...