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date: 22 September 2019

Févin, Antoine delocked

  • Howard Mayer Brown
  • , revised by T. Herman Keahey


(b ?Arras, c1470; d Blois, late 1511 or early 1512). French composer. A genealogy of the noble Févin family prepared in 1627 and published by de Puisieux after a now lost manuscript summarized the principal facts known about Antoine’s life: he was the second son of Pierre, squire, Lord of Graincourt and Garinet, and alderman of Arras, he was a priest and singer in the service of Louis XII, and he died at Blois. Although his family came from Febvin-Palfart near St Omer (Pas de Calais), they had settled in Arras by the late 14th century and Antoine was probably born there. Glarean called him ‘symphoneta aurelianensis’ (‘composer of Orléans’), but the reference is probably not to Févin’s birthplace but to his association with the French royal court, centred in Orléans as well as Blois.

On the basis of circumstantial evidence, Clinkscale suggested that Févin left his native town in the late 1480s or early 1490s. No documents have yet come to light that explain when and where he was ordained as a priest; nor is it clear that Guillaume Crétin’s reference to him as ‘maistre’ should be interpreted to mean that the composer had earned a master’s degree at a university. Févin’s association with the royal court dated at least from ...

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