Andrew Carwood presents a programme of sacred music by the little-known 16th century French composer Eustache du Caurroy, recorded by the BBC Singers.
Du Caurroy was born in 1549 near Beauvais.
Nothing is really known about his childhood or musical education, but he apparently declared that he had learned his trade 'by reading good authors and imitating the ancients'.
It is thought that some of those 'good authors' and 'ancients' included composers such as Josquin des Prez, Adrian Willaert and Gioseffo Zarlino, who were among the leading lights of the generation before Caurroy.
Not a bad starting block, then, for a composer who was to become one of the greatest musicians in Europe during his lifetime.
Du Caurroy served the French royal court for his entire career until his death in 1609.
His legacy lived on long after his passing, and in 1636 the philosopher Marin Mersenne wrote of him 'Du Caurroy reigns supreme for the great harmoniousness of his composition and his rich counterpoint...all the composers of France hold him to be their master.' These are fine words about a composer who seems to have all but disappeared from our church repertoire today.
Vox Domini super aquas
Andrew Carwood (conductor)
(BBC studio recording, made at St Paul's Knightsbridge, London)
Eustache du Caurroy - Alleuya, Alleluya
Eustache du Caurroy - Missa pro defunctis