Joseph Michel (Bay-sur-Aube, 1688-1736) was an 18th-century French baroque chorister, composer and music teacher of the Sainte Chapelle of Dijon, demolished in 1802. A contemporary of Jean-Philippe Rameau, his reputation extended far beyond the boundaries of the city of Versailles and Burgundy. Educated at the Jesuit college of Godrans, he was a pupil of Pierre Menault and also for a few years, of Jean-Philippe Rameau, organist at the Church of Notre-Dame of Dijon. Joseph Michel became priest in 1705 and, by an agreement between him and the Chapter on 28 December 1709, choirmaster to the Sainte-Chapelle du Roi in Dijon, where he became a Canon in 1717.
Joseph Michel's gran motets like Dominus regnavit exultet terra, which came into the repertoire of "Chapelle du Roi" in Versailles and remained there until 1792, are characteristic of the second half of the reign of Louis XIV. They cover a large instrumental ensemble consisting of flute, bassoon and a five-part string orchestra (violon, haute-contre, taille, quinte and basses de violon). The upper voices consisted of two dessus, hautes-contres, tailles, and basse-taille for the soloists, and dessus, hautes-contre, tailles, basses-tailles and basses for the choir.
His Le ons de t n bres (Lessons of Darkness) were the last examples to be printed during the first half of the 18th century, although the bulk of his compositions have burned in a fire at his printer in 1735, the year before his death. In his later works, one can clearly see the emerging gallant style in his music. From a letter in the archives of Versailles, it is perfectly clear that Michel intended to become kapellmeister for the royal court, but his premature death prevented this to happen.
Works, editions and recordings
- Domine in virtute tua
Le ons de J r mie (1935)
- Dominus regnavit exultet terra
- Quid retribuam tibi
Le ons de t n bres - recorded by (1) Herv Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel for Naxos in 1997, (2) Herv Lamy, Mundo Corde 2012.
This article is based on the translation of the corresponding article of the German Wikipedia. A list of contributors can be found there at the History section.
de:Joseph Michel (Komponist) fr:Joseph Michel (compositeur)