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Pierre Moulu

born: ?1484
died: c1550
country: France

The surviving documentary evidence of Pierre Moulu’s life amounts to very little: documents in the Vatican identify a Petrus Moulu, a cleric of the diocese of Meaux between the years 1505 (when he stated that he was in his twenty-first year) and 1513, who applied for permission for various privileges in that diocese. Whether this man can be identified with the composer of five Mass settings, approximately twenty motets and ten chansons seeming to date from the second and third decades of the sixteenth century, is not proven, but is the best assumption presently available. Moulu the composer thus joins the long lists of Renaissance musicians whose lives are all but entirely masked in shadow. Fortunately a number of his works found favour with his contemporaries to the extent that they appear in numerous early manuscripts and prints, and they have attracted the attention of music historians since the earliest days of the discipline in the late nineteenth century. Like much of the large repertory of sixteenth-century polyphony, however, his works have rarely been performed in modern times.

from notes by Stephen Rice © 2010

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