a1 University of Southampton
The city of Lyons enjoyed its heyday in the sixteenth century. Favourably situated along the great trade routes connecting Italy and the north, Lyons was a busy commercial centre that saw a constant flow of goods and people through its marketplaces and fairs. Its large population was polyglot and cosmopolitan: many of its most prominent citizens were recent immigrants or members of one of the foreign ‘nations’ that wielded so much financial power through their connections with banks in Italy. The city boasted a flourishing book trade and an active cultural life, and its culture was in many ways as international as its citizenry. Trade links with other great economic centres of the time were often mirrored in art and music. Although artistic ties with Italian cities were perhaps the strongest, connections with Antwerp and other northern cities existed as well. A newly identified set of manuscript partbooks in the Bibliothèque Nationale is an example of one such economic and cultural link. Commissioned by a young merchant of Lyons from a composer in Antwerp, they testify to the vitality of cultural exchange along the major trade routes of the Renaissance. Furthermore, they shed new light on the careers of the copyist Jean Pollet, who worked at the Bavarian court with Lassus, and the Netherlands composer Jean de Castro, and provide a unique and fascinating view into the life of Justinien Pense, the patron who commissioned them.
* I would like to thank Professors Howard Mayer Brown, Jessie Ann Owens and Richard Freedman for reading and commenting upon an earlier version of this article. My sincere gratitude is also due to M. François Lesure, for his help with archival documents, to Professor Lawrence Bernstein, for the use of several items from his magnificent microfilm collection, to Dr Frank Dobbins, for sharing his discovery of n.a.f. 1818 with me, and to Professor Henri Vanhulst, for providing much helpful information about the copyist Pollet. Finally, I owe special thanks to M. Laurent Guillo, whose knowledge of Lyonnais musical culture in the Renaissance is matched only by his generosity in sharing it with others.