COSTELEY (GUILLAUME)

Guillaume Costeley (1530-1606)

  • This Renaissance composer was born in Pont-Audemer in Normandy. When he was thirty, Costeley became an ordinary organist and valet de chambre to King Charles IX, functions which he retained under Henri III and Henri IV.
  • In 1570, he published a collection of his works under the title Music by Guillaume Costeley, organist, comprising ninety-five songs with four voices, including four on texts by Ronsard, and some other compositions. Court musician, Costeley composed two occasional "battles" La Prize de Calais (Hardis Françoys), 1559, and La Prize du Havre, 1563.
  • Friend of the poets Jean Antoine de Baïf and Remi Belleau and humanists who frequent the green salon of the Comtesse de Retz, Costeley is considered to be a particularly fine and open mind.
  • In June 1570, at the age of 40, Costeley married Jehanne Blacquetot and settled in Evreux while remaining in the service of the king. He resides in this city until his death in 1606, serving at the district court, from January to March. In 1570, he is co-founder of the brotherhood of singers of the Evreux cathedral and five years later (1575), he founded the "Puy de Musique" in Évreux in honor of "Madame Sainte Cécile", the oldest musical composition competition with a national audience (it still exists at the end of the 17th century).
  • Costeley is one of the main authors of "French songs" which announce the "air de cour", a genre that flourished at the end of the 16th century. Costeley also composed motets and musics for organ including "Fantaisie sur orgue or espinette", the only one to reach us.
  • © Didier Chagnas

COSTELEY (GUILLAUME)