Tombeau de Mezangeau by Gaultier le vieux, played on the lute by Xavier Díaz-Latorre

Tombeau de Mezangeau by Gaultier le vieux, played on the lute by Xavier Díaz-Latorre



Ennemond Gaultier (or Gaultier de Vieux) (ca. 1575 – 1651) was a prominent lutenist and composer of the French lute school of the early Baroque. Ennemond served in the court of Marie de’ Medici in Paris. Tombeau de Mezangeau is a work that was composed for the death of René Mesangeau in 1638, Ennemond’s suspected teacher.


Tombeau de Mezangeau takes the form of an Allemande. The guitar arrangement provided paints a small picture of what the actually lute tablature has, but I feel that it still provides a good visual aid, since most will not be able to read the lute tab. (The guitar arrangement is also in a different key to compensate for the lower notes only available on the lute.)

The score shows two distinct sections, separated by a repeat, outlines the piece's binary form.

Harmonically, numerous things stand out. The secondary dominant in mn. 5, which ends a phrase on a major IV chord, while still in ht minor mode seems a bit unusual. Also a strongly felt deceptive cadence in mn. 12 provides a unique harmonic motion not found in the piece that much.


Hopkinson Smith-Vieux Gaultier "La Cascade"

Hopkinson Smith-Vieux Gaultier "La Cascade"

The piece I want to compare Tombeau de Mezangeau to is "La Cascade," Chaconne in F major, a work attributed to Ennemond Gaultier.

Both pieces are written for 11 course lute, but "La Cascade" takes on a different nature entirely. Each work articulates their individual form well with La Cascade clearly repeating its harmonic pattern. The few instances in Cascade that harmonically and melodically sound like they fit in with the Baroque are few and far between compared to Tombeau de Mezangeau, which does perfectly. For the most part La Cascade sounds as though it could have been written by a folk guitarist today.


The French lute music from the early Baroque is some of my favorite and Tombeau de Mezangeau is probably one of the most important pieces from Ennemond Gaultier. I just like these pieces… what is there to say.

Works CitedEdit

Gaultier. Ennemond. Allemande - Tombeau de Mezangeau. Arranged by Eric Crouch.

"Hopkinson Smith-Vieux Gaultier "La Cascade" YouTube video, 8:02. Posted by "AfrikiSun," upload March 18, 2009. video,

"Tombeau de Mezangeau by Gaultier le vieux, played on the lute by Xavier Díaz-Latorre" YouTube video, 3:30. Posted by "Xavier diaz-latorre," upload Novemeber 24, 2010. video,

Rolfhamre, Robin. "French Baroque Lute Music from 1650-1700." Master’s thesis, Agder University, 2010.