The Dresden Manuscript, Lute Sonatas | Vol. 4/5

The Dresden Manuscript, Lute Sonatas | Vol. 4/5

Silvius Leopold Weiss (1687-1750) • Baroque lute • French tablature

Intavolatura di Liuto Attiorbato, Libro Secondo, Venetia 1616

Intavolatura di Liuto Attiorbato, Libro Secondo, Venetia 1616

Pietro Paolo Melli (1579-c.1623) • Archlute • Italian & French tablature

Le Trésor d'Orphée, Paris 1600

Antoine Francisque (1570-1605) • Renaissance lute • French tablature

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• Composer(s): Antoine Francisque (1570-1605)
• Title: Le Trésor d’Orphée
• Sub-title: Paris, 1600
• First Publisher: Le Roy & Ballard, Paris
• Year of edition: 1600
• Source: F-Pn/Rés Vm7 369

Le Trésor d’Orphée, Paris 1600

In France, the wars of religion of the late 16th century took a heavy toll on lute music; as far as we know, none was published in that century after the year 1571, which saw Adrian Le Roy’s last known collection. Publications for the lute would only resume in 1600, with Anthoine Francisque’s Trésor d’Orphée, published in Paris.

There is apparently only one extant copy of the work, kept at the National Library in Paris. Printed with great care by the publisher Ballard (formerly Le Roy & Ballard), with the same characters as those used thirty years earlier for Adrian Le Roy’s book of Airs de cour (1571), to collection contains 71 pieces: two adaptations of vocal polyphonies, seven free compositions (fantasies, preludes) and 62 dances.

The work’s overall structure, with its mixture of polyphonies, free compositions and dances, is not unlike the content of tablatures published during the 16th century. However, two pieces, which fall into the category of “adaptations”, are particularly atypical. Francisque’s version of Roland de Lassus’s Suzanne un jour, a very well-known and highly appreciated song at the time, with countless instrumental adaptations, is all but unrecognizable.

As for the Cassandre that concludes the collection, it is not strictly speaking a vocal polyphony, since its origin seems to lie in a Branle coupé nommé Cassandre as it appears in the famous dance treatise Orchésographie published by T. Arbeau in 1588.

An analysis of the two fantasies and five preludes reveals the transitional nature of Francisque’s compositional style, at a time when the fantaisie, whilst retaining its contrapuntal foundations, was receding from the forefront it occupied in 16th-century lute music, and the prelude, by virtue of its harmonic characteristics, was beginning to be considered an appropriate tonal introduction to a suite of pieces, a form that would develop throughout the 17th century.

Antoine Francisque (1570-1605)

Anthoine (Antoine) Francisque was born ca. 1570/75 in Saint Quentin, in northern France. He reportedly went to live in Cambrai, where he married Marguerite Behour, an innkeeper’s daughter, in 1596. Nothing is known regarding his musical education. In the early 17th century, he moved to Paris, in the rue Sainte Geneviève (Parish of Saint Etienne du Mont).

He most probably helped compose and perform music for ballets de cour, spectacles combining instrumental music and dance that preceded the opera and were reserved for nobility. His professional designation was maître de luth, and he must have taught the instrument.

In 1600, he published the only collection of lute pieces in tablature that we know of, Le Trésor d’Orphée, whose title corresponds to a fashion that would soon be reflected in other works such as the Thesausus Harmonicus (or Trésor harmonique by Jean-Baptiste Besard, 1603) or the Secret des Muses (Nicolas Vallet, 1618) amongst others.

Only three archival documents mention his name, one in 1601 recording an act of mutual donation between childless spouses, another reporting the baptism of his godson Antoine Rebans, the son of a contemporary lutenist, in 1605. The last one informs us of Francisque’s death in October 1605 in Paris, where he was buried in the Parish of Saint Séverin.

Joël Dugot | Le Luth Doré ©2015

Susane un jour
Susane un jour d'orlande




Pavane Espagnolle
Pavane d’Angleterre
Pavane d'Angleterre

Fin de Gaillarde
Gaillarde Gaillarde

Les Branles simples
Premier Branle simple

Branles gays
Premier Branle gay

Branles de Poitou
Premier Branle de Poitou

Branles doubles de Poitou
Premier Branle double de Poitou

Branles de Montirandé
Premier Branle de Montirandé

La Gavotte

Branles à cordes avalées
Premier Branle simple a cordes avalées
Branle gay
Premier Branle de Poitou
Branle double du Poitou


• Editor(s): Joël Dugot & Richard Civiol
• Music period: Renaissance
• Instrument(s): 8c & 10c Renaissance lute
• Instrumentation: Renaissance lute solo
• Notation: French tablature
• Modern edition: Urtext
• Publisher: Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions
• Year of publication: 2015
• Collection: Lute and Theorbo Music Collection

• Pages: pp. 90
• Dimensions: 230x310 mm
• Weight: 0,320g
• Binding: Section sewn glue binding
• ISMN : 377-0-0017-8806-7

Joël Dugot
Former curator of the Paris Music Instruments Museum, Musicologist, Lute maker, Lutenist

In 1971, newly graduated in philosophy (PHD, Paris Sorbonne) and already fascinated by the music for lute, Joël Dugot had the intuitive certainty that we could only value and understand the musical heritage of early music by solid and thorough studies.

To be able to restore respectfully the musical heritage of the centuries with a certain authenticity, it is necessary to return to sources, musical on one hand, but also organological on the other (instruments). Further, it is also true that a large part of early music is connected to the specific sonority of instruments used at that time.

Having toured the great European museums and studied their instrument collections, Joël Dugot collected an important mass of precise information on old lutes. He then became established as a maker and began to produce his own historically informed instruments.

Later, he had the opportunity in 1977 to be able to create an early music department at a cultural center (CAEL, Bourg la Reine, near Paris) where early instrument making was taught.

After a decade and the creation in 1984 of the French Lute Society, Joël Dugot was recruited by the Paris Music Museum as a curator. The position as curator allowed him to fulfill his interest in the service of the instrumental and musical heritage of early music.


Richard Civiol

As a musician and lutenist, Richard Civiol has chosen as his life's work the study of the lute and theorbp. These instruments have basically disappeared from our contemporary orchestras while growing in visibility in smaller ensembles and solo performances thanks in part to his efforts.

He participates with the same enthusiasm and expertise in the renaissance and baroque repertory of all the different instruments of the lute family as well as the practice of basso continuo.

Civiol is a member of the ensemble "Les Musiciens des Mademoiselle de Guise" directed by Laurence Pottier, and they have performed both in France and abroad. They have also done several CDs together. Civiol is a member of the music ensemble "L'Oiseliere", and has collaborated with other ensembles, orchestras or chorales including"La Fabrique a Theatre", the chamber choir "Les Temperaments", and has worked with Jean-Francois Fremont, Didier Bouture, Christophe Sam and Romain Champion.

Civiol is the holder of the Premier Prix in musical composition (in Paris, France?).

Finally, Civiol is engaged in a large project of copying and restoring music for the lute, theorbo and vihuela.

Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions

The Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions offer musicians and musicologists worldwide reliable and authoritative musical texts. The main features are:

• superb and aesthetically appealing music engraving
• optimized for practical use (page turns, fingerings)
• books originally in Italian tablature are published in both Italian and French tablatures
• high-quality and durable (cover, paper, binding)
• both original and modern prefaces, documentation of the corrections made and explanatory footnotes in English, French, Italian, German …

About Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions

Our editions are urtext: we strive to provide reliable musical texts that are as true as possible to the existing sources and the composer’s intentions. We are aware, of course, that it is impossible to reconstruct the one and only urtext. Often, several manuscript sources exist for the same piece, and there is little reliable guidance for determining which version best represents the composer's intentions.

Although we cannot entirely dissipate historical uncertainty, we can compare texts and correct obvious errors, which sometimes occur even in autograph manuscripts. Sources have been meticulously examined - note by note, mark by mark.

When facing ambiguity inherent to the sources, wise editorial judgment must take the place of textual certainty.

The most important observations and editorial decisions are elucidated in the prefaces, in the critical commentary, in footnotes, or marked as such in the musical text. It therefore comes as no surprise that an editor has to invest a great deal of patience, knowledge and time when piecing together an urtext that is true to the source and, hopefully, to the composers’ intentions as well. Proven specialists with extensive knowledge and experience edit our Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions in close cooperation with our Editorial Department.

Each verified musical text preserves the original fingerings and notation of ornamentation and, in the absence of original manuscript notations, also sets forth helpful suggestions by modern masters regarding useful fingerings and ornaments faithful to historical style, as a stimulus to further thought and a starting point for the student's approach to performance.

We are deeply grateful to all the extraordinary musicologists, music teachers and artists that put their knowledge and experience at our disposal for Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions.

Le Luth Doré ©2015

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