René Mesangeau

late 16th c.-1638

French lutenist, lute teacher and composer; Mesangeau is the spelling he used in his signature. He is known to have been in Cologne before 1617, and in 1619 he was described as an equerry at the french court. In 1621 he was musicien ordinaire du Roi (Louis XIII), a position he held until his death.
During his highly successful career he moved in high court circles and was a bourgeois de Paris. He was one of the greatest lutenists of the 17th century, and the friend and possibly the teacher of Ennemond Gaultier, who dedicated to him a tombeau that is consider one of his finest compositions.
For one of his students, an englishman named B Reymes, Mesangeau wrote out some pieces in tablature in 1632. Mesangeau was highly regarded by his contemporaries; Besard in his anthology from 1617, described him as a most skilful musician. Gumpelzhaimer´s Gymnasma (Strasbourg 1621) mentioned Mesangeau along with Ennemond Gaultier, Robert Ballard and Mercure as one of the most famous lutenists in France.
Pierre Ballard considered him one of the foremost innovators of new lute tunings, and gave him a prominent place in his anthologies of 1631 and 1638. One of his allemandes was used by Mersenne in 1636 to demonstrate these new tunings.

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