Claude Goudimel, 1514? -1572  

Goudimel was chapel master in Besançon (possession of the Holy Empire) until his departure for Paris where his first songs were published. He met Ronsard with whom he put several sonnets and odes to music and composed four pieces for the musical supplement of Amours (with the participation of Pierre Certon, Clément Janequin and Marc-Antoine de Muret, 1662).  

Attracted by the new ideas of the Reformation, he harmonized the 150 psalms of David translated into French and into verse by Clément Marot and Théodore de Bèze and entered into contact with Protestant circles.  

From 1557 to 1567, Goudimel settled in Metz, a French city recently. He is close to Marshal de Veilleville, military governor of Trois-Évéchés, who protects the Protestants. Around 1560, after having composed a Magnificat with five voices and several masses, he definitively abandoned Catholicism. He must flee persecution and leave Metz for Besançon and then for Lyon, the city where he was massacred in 1572, during the Saint-Barthélemy lyonnaise.  

Goudimel left five masses, motets, church songs and songs. His most famous work is still the harmonization of the translation of the Psalms of Clément Marot and Théodore de Bèze. Among his secular works, there are sixty-nine songs (including fifteen on texts by Ronsard), an Ode to Michel de l'Hospital and a collection of Odes d'Horace (1555).

© Didier Chagnas