Monseigneur Louis-Lazare Perruchot 1904 - 1929

Monseigneur Louis-Lazare Perruchot was born in Le Creusot (Saône et Loire, France), on October 7th 1852. He was initially appointed Chapel Master of the Cathedral of Autun, of the small seminary of Rimont, his hometown diocese, and further on in Paris, first at Notre-Dame des Blancs-Manteaux, and later in Saint François-Xavier. He was finally appointed Chapel Master of Monaco’s Cathedral from 1904 onwards. He became enraptured with the art of Palestrina, in Langres, listening to the local choir, which had been funded by the Couturiers abbots, and would brilliantly perform for over a quarter of a century.

He was elected President of the Saint-Cécile Union at a congress of French organists and Chapel Masters, which was held in Strasbourg, soon after the end of World War I. The Supreme Pontiff ratified such election and honoured him with the promotion to Honorary Prelate of His Holiness.

Monseigneur Perruchot oriented the preferences of Charles Bordes towards ancient polyphony and Gregorian chant. Two traditions whose popularity he had been keen to revive at masses, well before the 1903 Motu Proprio of Pope Pius X.

He also contributed to the creation of the Singers of Saint-Gervais and of the Schola Cantorum; and he composed too a considerable amount of works himself, amongst which a Mass for four mixed voices in honour of Saint Joan of Arc, two anthologies of offertories, and several motets and canticles.

Monseigneur Perruchot was amazingly gifted at crafting children voices. These unfurled with such a supple and smooth quality, such a warm and coloured vibrancy, that many musicians regularly stopped by Monaco’s Cathedral to listen to its choirs, and above all to its valiant group of soprani. Monseigneur Perruchot would openly unveil to all the secrets of his Art. So did he to numerous choir conductors, who thus benefited from his rich experience, his encouraging praises and his universally acknowledged kindness. Some of his pupils were honoured with being the first at discovering some of his most famous faux-bourdons. So simple and at the same time so magnificent were these works that all parish choirs added them to their Repertoires.

He died in Monaco, on October 3rd 1930.

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