Pierre de La Rue

Birth
Belgium
Death 20 Nov 1518 (aged 65–66)
Kortrijk, Arrondissement Kortrijk, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium
Burial Kortrijk, Arrondissement Kortrijk, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium
Plot Chapel of St. Catherine
Memorial ID 20840057 · View Source
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Composer. An outstanding member of the Burgundian School of Renaissance music. His early setting of the Requiem ("Missa Pro fidelibus defunctis", c. 1506) is a greatly admired work from that era. La Rue was born in Kortrijk, Flanders (now in Belgium), and probably trained at the Church of Notre Dame there. He joined the Burgundian court of the Holy Roman Empire in 1492, acting as chaplain to Maximilian I and his children, Philip the Handsome and Margaret of Austria. In 1506 he traveled to Spain in the retinue of Philip and his wife, Joanna of Castile ("Joanna the Mad"); Philip died of a fever soon after his arrival but La Rue remained in his widow's service for two years. Why he did so has long intrigued historians. The possibly schizophrenic Joanna refused to part with or bury her husband's body, parading it around Spain and having Requiems sung for it every night, and it is believed that La Rue's own great Requiem was written for this purpose. His dark, brooding music was apparently one of the few things that comforted the Spanish Queen's tormented soul - she treated him well and paid him double salary. Joanna was finally imprisoned by her father and La Rue returned to Burgundy. In 1516 he retired as Canon of Notre Dame in Kortrijk, where he died. La Rue was one of the few composers of his generation who never visited Italy and his music - sad, sharp, rhythmically vigorous - ranks among the purest examples of the Flemish polyphonic style. None of his works can be dated with certainty but all were likely products of his maturity. They include 31 Masses (among them the notable "Missa l'Homme arme"), 24 motets, eight Magnificats, and 35 songs.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 8 Aug 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 20840057
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Pierre de La Rue (1452–20 Nov 1518), Find A Grave Memorial no. 20840057, citing Kortrijk Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk, Kortrijk, Arrondissement Kortrijk, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium ; Maintained by Find A Grave .