Le Jeune, Claude


Born at Valenciennes; he is generally considered a Frenchman, though his birthplace did not belong to France until 1677. Most of his life was spent in Paris, where he held the post of chamber musician to both Henri III. and Henri IV. There is a story of how, during the siege of Paris, in the wars of the League, he attempted flight burdened with his unpublished manuscript. He was captured by Catholic soldiers and his precious papers would have been burned, had not Mauduit, a Catholic musician, rescued him and aided his escape. The work by which he is best remembered is music to the Psalms, printed in Paris in 1607, later editions of which have been almost universally used in Calvinistic churches. Among his other compositions may be named Livre de Melanges; Le Printemps; Octonaires de la Vanite et Inconstance du Monde. He was highly esteemed by French musicians of his time. Neither the date of his birth nor death is positively known. He is first known as a composer in 1564. Many of his works were printed posthumously.