Today, June 24th, is the feast of the Birth of John the Baptist.
Jean (Jehan) Titelouze (c. 1562/63 – 24 October 1633) was a French composer, poet and organist of the early Baroque period. His style was firmly rooted in the Renaissance vocal tradition, and as such was far removed from the distinctly French style of organ music that developed during the mid-17th century. However, his hymns and Magnificat settings are the earliest known published French organ collections, and he is regarded as the first composer of the French organ school.
Titelouze was born in Saint-Omer in 1562/3 and educated there; by 1585 he entered the priesthood and served as organist of the Saint-Omer Cathedral. He moved to Rouen later that year and in 1588 succeeded François Josseline as organist of the cathedral. His work was not limited to Rouen, as he also acted as organ consultant and helped with the installation and repair of important instruments in various cities.
The year 1623 saw publication of "Hymnes de l'Eglise," a collection of organ settings of various plainchant hymns to be used during the liturgy. The same year, due to health problems, Titelouze partially retired from his organist position (although he kept the post until his death). In 1626 he published a second organ collection, Le Magnificat, that contained eight Magnificat settings. In 1630 he received another award from the Académie des Palinods and was made "Prince des Palinods". He died three years later.
It is in the collection, "Hymnes de l'Eglise" that the 3 "versets" on "Ut queant laxis", the hymn in honor of the birth of John the Baptist. The style is grand and solemn, as befits the liturgical purpose, not to mention that architecture and stature of Rouen Cathedral.
Please see FIRST COMMENT for more information.
The score is attached below, as well as the title page of "Hymnes de l'Eglise," In addition two photos of Rouen Cathedral are included. as well as a painting of the birth of John the Baptist.