The Ranums' Panat Times
This Musing refers to
Laurent Guillo's "Les papiers imprimés
Written in May 2008
NOTE: In addition to being a warning, this brief Musing is also intended as a guide to how the evidence accumulated by Laurent Guillo, Jane Gosine, and Patricia Ranum can be combined to shed light on the construction and date of one or another cahier in Charpentier's Mélanges.
Intrigued by Laurent Guillo's charts showing that paper with watermark G can be found in cahier 22 ― but with 3 different types of staves! ― I reconstructed the cahier as shown below, matching one half of each folded sheet with the other half. That is, I checked to see that the marque (for example a bunch of grapes or a coat of arms) on one half of what I took to be a folded sheet corresponded to the contremarque (usually an oval cartouche with letters identifying the paper mill) on the other half. (The smaller illustration below shows how both types of marks are distributed on 3 folded sheets.)
Guillo's findings suggest that Charpentier used half-sheets for folios 90, 91, and 92. He says that the staves of these sheets of paper G were printed with the forme he calls PAP-26 (I have taken to calling this paper G/26); and that folios 97, 98, and 99-100 are also made of paper G but printed by the forme he calls PAP-82 (I call that paper G/82). The presence of 6 half-sheets is a bit strange: even if it meant recopying several pages, Charpentier generally used full, folded sheets in order to avoid half-sheets that might go astray.
Before I sat down to reconstruct the cahier, I was therefore wondering whether the half-sheets of paper G that were sometimes printed with PAP-26 and sometimes with PAP-82 are in reality full sheets folded as in the rest of the cahier (see my illustration, below).
As it turns out, it would be prudent for scholars currently working on Charpentier's Mélanges to look more closely at these particular folios, to determine whether this strange mixture of papers G/26 and G/82 is in fact present, or whether those folios are in reality made entirely of paper G/82. Or vice versa, of paper G/26.
My large drawing of cahier 22 suggests why I say this.
It shows that the 4 outer folded sheets are made of a mix of paper G/82 (rusty orange) and handruled paper G/ms (green). Laurent Guillo has observed that the copie d'exécution generally had hand-ruled staves (Revue de musicologie, 2001, p. 317). Are the hand-ruled sheets therefore leftovers from final performance copies? Put another way, can we hypothesize that paper G/ms is left over from a copie d'exécution which in turn could shed light on how Charpentier worked?
Next comes a single sheet of hand-ruled paper f, that is, f/ms (a thin black line).
After that come the troublesome papers mentioned above: G/26 (red) and G/82 (rusty orange). A black bar suggests the scissors cut that is implicit in Laurent Guillo's presentation of the pages of this cahier. He suggests that Charpentier used half sheets, even though half sheets could easily be lost if they were not were sewed together somehow. But Guillo himself emphasized that "il est parfois difficile de distinguer entre plusieurs papiers dont les dimensions sont proches, pour savoir s'ils constituent deux productions différentes." (For example, according to his table in Les Manuscrits autographes, p. 39, the differences between PAP-26 and PAP-82 are really quite slight and involve, at most, 1-2 mm. in the height of the staves, 1-2 mm. in the space between staves, and 2-5 mm. in the total height of the printing forme.)
In the center of the cahier are two sheets of paper E/83 (blue). They date from the late 1670s and contain a piece for the Dauphin's musicians. In short, Charpentier preserved these inner pages, but recopied the outer part of the cahier after 1680, when he changed the shape of his G-clef.
Half sheets? I am beginning to doubt it. As the smaller drawing shows, the marques and the contremarques on the troublesome 6 half-sheets match perfectly, to create what appear to be complete sheets of paper G, folded in half. (The long oval represents the cartouche with the letters icusson that is found on one half of each sheet of paper G; and the bunch of grapes represents the raisin watermark, approximately 5 cm. tall, which appears on the other half of each sheet.) Far from the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and referring to notes I took many years ago, it does indeed begin to look as if these are 3 complete folded sheets of paper G.
But of which paper are these three presumably folded sheets made: paper G/26 or paper G/82? Put another way, is there really a "red flag" in cahier 22? The answer to this question is of considerable importance. If paper G/26 is present, then we can date these modifications to 1682, because sheets of paper G/26 can be found in cahiers 36, 37 and XXXV. But if the 3 sheets should prove to be of paper G/82, dating the paper to a precise years must be ruled out for the moment: in the Mélanges I have found paper G/82 only in cahiers 21 and 22, on sheets where the the handwriting shows the G-clef that Charpentier began to use in 1681. To zero in on the specific year when he recopied these sheets would require the presence of paper G/82 in another cahier that does not appear to have been recopied at a later date and whose contents can be dated with reasonable certainty.
Note, Laurent Guillo did find other paper in the Mélanges that had been printed with the form he calls PAP-82; but the paper turns out not to have been paper G, but paper D ― that is, paper D/82. Paper D/82 can be found in cahiers 7, 11-14, which date from 1673-77. In other words, an unidentified print-shop, probably in Paris, was using form PAP-82 as early as 1673 and the form was still usable in the early 1680s. The longevity of forms, as contrasted with the frequent changes of paper in the Mélanges, has convinced me that we should list the paper first and the PAP second (for example, G/82, D/82) ― the brand of paper clearly being more likely to lead to a precise dating than these long-lasting printer's forms can.
Return to my Musing on "red flags"