Le Mouton fabuleux



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The fabulous tale of Charles Mouton, one of the greatest Seventeenth Century lutenists, includes literary salons, subtle bouts of melancholy, trips to Italy and years in which we as yet know nothing of his doings. From his work, we know that he was a fine composer, with an absolute dedication to the lute and the wonder of its timbre and tradition. Charles Mouton was born in Paris in January 1617: he was actually baptised on the 21st of the month at Saint-Jacques de la Boucherie. His parents, Charles and Gillette Aulmont, lived in rue Trousse-vache. About his father we know little or nothing: a member of the Parisian petit-bourgeoisie, he was “maître pourpointier”. We know rather more about his mother’s family. Gillette came from a well-to-do family: her father was prosecutor at the Châtelet. Around 1590 her mother made a second marriage to the musician Claude Pron, who was to take charge of the musical education of Gillette’s two brothers, Gilles and François. But due to the whims of time and history, we still know nothing about the lutenist’s youth and young-adulthood. It is not until 1656 that we find a trace of him. This was the year of the appearance of a series of poems by Jean-François Sarasin, the great Normandy-born poet who had died the year before, which include verses entitled Mouton fabuleux / Pour Monsieur Mouton, Excellent ioüeur de Luth.




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