Henry Madin was the only sous-maître de la Musique of Louis XV's Chapel to be a priest, and served in this capacity during the time of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–8). Documents strongly imply that Madin was exceptionally receptive to the fate of the royal armies and also demonstrate his keen political acumen. Only motets à grand chœur were sung at the king's Mass: composers connected with the Chapelle Royale had no necessity to set the Ordinarium missae to music. Therefore, one wonders why Madin had polyphonic masses printed by Ballard between 1741 and 1747. This essay indicates that Madin had a personal initiative in mind, and that his mass settings punctuated significant victories and temporary setbacks of Louis XV's army. His missae may be regarded as the private voice of a faithful royal official begging God for assistance on behalf of a king who had brought him out of poverty.


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pp. 391-419
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