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Guillaume Boni

(c.1530 - c.1594)

Boni was born in Auvergne, and went on to hold a position as choirmaster at Saint-Etienne's Cathedral in Toulouse, where he died. He is notable for two published collections of vocal music: "Sonnets de Ronsard" (1576), and "Primus Liber Modulorum," a collection of motets for five, six, and seven voices published by Le Roy and Ballard in 1573. Boni's ability to publish such a sacred collection was strongly conditioned by a visit from King Charles IX to Toulouse in 1565, during which the King was greatly impressed by Boni's music. This collection of motets is fairly typical of the late Renaissance, in that it contains a wide range of texts and compositional techniques, from the refined architectural polyphony based firmly in the eight church modes to the most modern devices of the madrigalists: distinctive rhythmic patterns, contrasting tempi and forces, chromaticisms, and vivid word-painting. However, Boni does not let these varied compositional possibilities devolve into mere juxtaposition – each motet contains an underlying logic and firm cohesion, making this set one the finest examples of the period. ~ Todd McComb (6/94)

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