Cessac raises a couple of issues in her introduction which are significant in her editorial decisions, and these affect the way in which the music should be performed.
In three passages, however, I question Cessac's choice of clef: in bars 40, 53 and 170 she alters Charpentier's C4 clef in the continuo part to a C3 clef.
The first, by Catherine Cessac
("'Une source peut en cacher une autre': Added Preludes and Instrumental Cues in the Melanges") takes up a problem revealed in handwriting studies: the question of which pieces, or portions of pieces, represent reworkings of older music.
If you live in the Dhekelia area and you have any gardening problems that you would like some advice about, I shall be at CESSAC
on Wednesday March 9 from 10 -- 12 noon.
Edition de Catherine Cessac
. (Patrimoine musical francais.) CMBV, 2009.
, Musica Gallica (Salabert Editions, 1993)
A richly informed historical background provides the context for the works, some of it inevitably indebted to Catherine Cessac
's scholarly research into the composer (Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre: Une femme compositeur sous le regne de Louis XIV [Aries: Actes sud, 1995]).
While there is still much to learn about this important figure, the English edition of Catherine Cessac's Marc Antoine Charpentier offers musicians and scholars a major new comprehensive compendium of information relating to Charpentier, his music, and his times.
Cessac has gleaned much from primary sources, including the Mercure Galant and other printed sources, and from the archives, in which she clearly has spent a considerable amount of time.
The lectures and tables rondes just mentioned are within the purview of the CMBV research arm, formally the "Atelier d'etudes sur la musique francaise des XVIIe & XVIIIe siecles." The key persons here are the formidable young musicologist Jean Duron as the Atelier's director and, as principal researchers, Jean Lionnet and Catherine Cessac
(author of a 600-page life-and-works study, Marc-Antoine Charpentier [Paris: Fayard, 1988]).