Biography

Pierre Tabart (Chinon, 1645-Meaux ?, 1716) was a French composer and “maître de chapelle”.

He was first trained at Tours, by “a certain Burgaut, the most able man of his time in counterpoint, but also so stubborn in this style, that he hated with a passion modern music and especially Italian music, and supremely despised those who applied themselves to them or liked them”. As his student, “despite his ability for [traditional] counterpoint he did justice to the whole world” (cf. Sébastien de Brossard, Catalogue). The famous musicologist and composer, a friend of Pierre Tabart, reports all this with some humour and also confirms that Tabart was then evolving.

His activities are then unrecorded until he arrives in Orléans in 1679, where he succeeded the composer Guillaume Minoret (a future musicien du roi) as master of music (or “maître de chapelle”) at the cathedral of Sainte-Croix, until 1683.

He left the city shortly after the competition arranged by Louis XIV in April 1683 to recruit four “sous-maîtres” or under-masters for the chapel royal at Versailles (the master was a clergyman with no musical role). There was a very high number of candidates and Tabart was unsuccessful, though he then obtained the post of master of music at Senlis cathedral without difficulty. Later he took a similar post at the cathedral at Meaux, which he held until March 1699.

In September-October 1711 his successor at Meaux, Sébastien de Brossard, consulted him on the recruitment of a “maître de chapelle” for Evreux cathedral (eventually picking Louis Homet). It seems Tabart stayed in Meaux after Brossard’s arrival and continued to receive revenues of one of the cathedral’s main chapels.

Edited by EdwardMSmith on 10 Nov 2010, 14:43

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