Jacob Clemens non Papa, classical music composer

Jacob Clemens non Papa


Jacobus Clemens non Papa (also Jacques Clément or Jacob Clemens non Papa) (c.1510 to 1515 – 1555 or 1556) was a Netherlandish composer of the Renaissance based for most of his life in Flanders. He was a prolific composer in many of the current styles, and was especially famous for his polyphonic settings of the psalms in Dutch known as the Souterliedekens.

Nothing is known of his early life, and even the details of the years of his artistic maturity are sketchy. He may have been born in Middelburg, Zeeland, though the evidence is contradictory; certainly he was from somewhere in modern Belgium or the Netherlands. The first unambiguous reference to him is from the late 1530s, when Pierre Attaingnant published a collection of his chansons in Paris. Between March 1544 and June 1545 he worked as succentor at the cathedral of Bruges, and shortly thereafter he began a business relationship with Tielman Susato, the publisher in Antwerp, which was to last for the rest of his life. From 1545 until 1549 he was probably choirmaster to Philippe de Croy, Duke of Aerschot, one of Charles V's greatest generals, where he preceded Nicolas Gombert. In 1550 he was employed as sanger ende componist ("singer and composer") by the Illustrious Brotherhood of Our Blessed Lady in 's-Hertogenbosch. There is also evidence that he lived and worked in Ypres and Leiden. It is speculated on slender evidence that he also worked in Dordrecht.

There are several theories regarding the origin of the epithet "non Papa". One holds that it was jokingly added by his publisher, Susato, to distinguish him from Pope Clement VII—"Jacob Clemens—but not the Pope." Another states that it is to distinguish him from Jacobus Papa, a poet also from Ypres. However, considering that Pope Clement VII died in 1534, before any of Clemens's music was published, and that the confusion with the poet is unlikely in that the surnames were quite distinct, it is likely that the nickname was merely created in jest rather than for practical reasons. Nonetheless, the suffix has remained throughout the ages.

Details about his death are not known, but he probably died in 1555 or 1556. The 1558 text in Jacobus Vaet's Continuo lacrimas, his deploration on Clemens's death, suggests that he met a violent end, though if true, the circumstances are not given. According to a 1644 source, Clemens was buried at Diksmuide near Ypres in present-day Belgium.
(from wikipedia.org)

Composer Title Date Action
Jacob Clemens non Papa Souterliedekens, Psalm 31 07/13/2014 Play Add to playlist
Jacob Clemens non Papa Introit, from the Requiem Mass 07/13/2014 Play Add to playlist
Jacob Clemens non Papa Sanctus and Benedictus, from Missa Pastores Quidnam Vidistis 07/13/2014 Play Add to playlist