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date: 25 February 2021

Chambonnières, Jacques Champion, Sieur delocked

  • David Fuller


(b Paris, 1601/2; d Paris, 1672, before 4 May). French composer and harpsichordist. He was the founder and one of the most distinguished members of the French classical school of harpsichord playing and composition.

Chambonnières’ family name was Champion family, and his father bore the title Sieur de La Chapelle, but posterity has always known him by the title of his maternal grandfather, which is that of a small manor about 55 km east of Paris (see Champion family, §4). Although no records have survived, he is unlikely to have been born much less than a year after his parents’ marriage, the contract for which was drawn up on 31 January 1601, and if two other documents are to be trusted he can hardly have been born much later. First, on 20 June 1608 a certain ‘Jacques de la Chappelle, filz de Monsieur de la Chappelle, musicien chez le Roy’ was godfather to a little girl. The godmother was ‘Anne Chambonniere, femme dudit La Chappelle’, so there can be no doubt whose family is involved. Yet if the godfather was Chambonnières, he cannot have been much more than six – young, but not impossibly so, to have exercised the canonical duty of holding the infant. The original document having perished when the Hôtel de Ville, Paris, was destroyed in ...

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