Solage (fl. late 14th century, d. probably after 1403) was a French composer. He composed the most pieces in the Chantilly Codex, the principal source of music of the ars subtilior, the manneristic compositional school centered around Avignon at the end of the century.
Nothing is known about his life, beyond what can be inferred from the texts to his music itself. Specific references in the texts of some of his songs indicate he probably was associated with the French royal court (Plumley 2009). There are also dedications of works that confirm this. In his chanson Pluseurs gens he mentioned Jacqueline, the granddaughter of Philippe, Duke of Burgundy, who was born in 1401 and betrothed in 1403: this is the latest dateable reference in his music. According to another interpretation, however, the association with Jacqueline is merely conjecture, since the name actually found in Pluseurs gens is "Jaquete" (Plumley 2009).
Stylistically, much of his music is typical of the 1380s and 1390s, showing a greater concern for larger-scale form than was typically the case earlier, along with increasing use of variation to help hold a longer work together. Nevertheless, some of his music was quite experimental (as the 'Ars subtilior' was), for example the bizarre Fumeux fume par fumee (approx: "The smoky one smokes through [or for] smoke", including the possible equivocus "par fumee" -> "Smoker who smokes 'parfumee' smoke"), in which the singers appear to get completely lost, singing low and extravagantly chromatically for the time; it contains some of the lowest-tessitura vocal writing in any music of the period. Some scholars defends[weasel words] that Solage was satirizing a group that called itself the "Society of Smokers," which included the nephew of Guillaume de Machaut (Eustache Deschamps, who is the more plausible suggestion). Since tobacco was not to be known in Europe for another two centuries, the substance being smoked has been variously speculated[weasel words] to be either hashish or opium, and the music well represents the effect of the drug on the enthusiastic musicians. Other recent theories suggest[weasel words] that the smoke was purely symbolic: the smoke emanating from the heads of those engaged in deep intellectual thought.
Only ten works are certainly attributed to Solage, but two more are attributed on stylistic grounds (Plumley 2009). All twelve are contained in the Chantilly Codex, and they consist of 9 ballades, 2 virelais and a rondeau (Fumeux fume). All of Solage's works have been recorded by Gothic Voices on the Avie Records label.
- The Ars nova. Cappella Cordina, Alejandro Planchart, conductor. Music of the Middle Ages 9; LP recording 1 disc, 33⅓ rpm, 12 in., stereo; Musical Heritage Society MHS 899 (New York: Musical Heritage Society, 1969) (Rondeau: "Fumeux fume par fumée"). Also released on Expériences Anonymes EAS 83 ([New York]: Expériences Anonymes, 1969).
- The Art of Courtly Love; The Early Music Consort of London, David Munrow, dir.; LP recording, 3 discs, stereo; EMI/HMV SLS 863 (86301, 86302, 86303) (London: EMI Records Limited, 1973) (Ballade: "Helas! Je voy mon cuer"; Rondeau: "Fumeux fume par fumée"). French issue as Chansons d'amour courtois de Guillaume de Machaut à Guillaume Dufay; 3-LP set, La voix de son maître 2C16705410, 2C16705411, 2C16705412 (Paris: Pathé Marconi EMI, 1974).
- Beauté parfaite: L'automne du Moyen Âge: chansons des XIVe et XVe siècles; Alla Francesca; CD recording, 1 disc, stereo; Opus 111 OPS 30-173 (Paris: Opus 111, 1997) (Rondeau: "Fumeux fume par fumée").
- Cesena: Songs for Popes, Princes and Mercenaries, c. 1400. Graindelavoix, Björn Schmelzer, director. Recorded in Eglise de Franc-Waret, Belgium, August 2011. CD recording, 1 disc, stereo. Glossa Platinum GCD P32106 (San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain: Glossa Platinum, 2011) ("Corps femenin"; Rondeau: "Fumeux fume par fumée")
- Codex Chantilly: Airs de cour du XIVe siècle; Ensemble Organum, Marcel Pérès, dir. Recorded September 1986; CD recording, 1 disc, stereo; Harmonia Mundi France HMC 901252 (Arles: Harmonia Mundi s. a., 1987) (Rondeau: "Fumeux fume par fumée").
- Codex Chantilly: en l'amoureux vergier. Ensemble de Caelis, Laurence Brisset, director; Recorded at Église Notre-Dame de Centeilles, Siran 13–16 April 2010; CD recording, 1 disc, stereo; Æon AECD 1099 (Paris: Æon, 2010) ("Corps femenin"; "Fumeux fume par fumée"; "Calextone qui fut"; "En l'amoureux vergier").
- Codex Chantilly. Vol. 2. Tetraktys, Kees Boeke, director. Recorded at Pieve de San Pietro a Presciano, Arezzo 23–25 January and 2–4 May 2010. CD recording, 1 disc, stereo. Olive Music KTC 1905 ([Pergine Valdarno, Italy]: Olive Music; [Amsterdam]: Et'cetera, 2011) ("En l'amoureux vergier"; Rondeau: "Tres gentil cuer").
- Corps femenin: l'avant-garde de Jean Duc de Berry. Ferrara Ensemble, Crawford Young, director. Recorded at Chiesa di St. Germanus, Seewen, Switzerland, 22–25 March 2000, 7 December 2008, and 16 February 2009. CD recording, 1 disc, stereo; Arcana A 355 ([Omegna (VB), Italy]: Arcana, 2010) ("Corps femenin"; "Calextone qui fut").
- Febus Avant! Music at the Court of Gaston Febus (1331–1391); Huelgas Ensemble, Paul Van Nevel; Recorded in the Chapel of the Irish College, Leuven, Belgium, 25–28 October 1991; CD recording, 1 disc, stereo; Vivarte Sony Classical SK 48195 ([Germany]: Sony Classical GmbH, 1992) (#6: Rondeau: "Fumeux fume par fumée").
- Fleurs de vertus: chansons subtiles à la fin du XIVe siècle; Ferrara Ensemble, Crawford Young, director. Recorded at l'Église S. Germanus de Seewen (Soleure), 8–11 January 1996; CD recording, 1 disc, stereo. Arcana A 40 ([France]: Arcana, 1996) ("S'aincy estoit que ne feust la noblesce"; Rondeau: "Tres gentil cuer").
- French Music of the Gothic Era; Deller Consort, Alfred Deller, director; Concentus Musicus, Wien; with ensemble of ancient instruments. LP recording, 1 disc, 33⅓ rpm, 12 in., stereo; Bach Guild BGS-70656 (New York: Bach Guild, 1964) ("Pluseurs gens voy";"Helas je voy")
- A Golden Treasury of Mediæval Music; Sine Nomine Ensemble for Medieval Music. Recorded at Valley Recordings, Littleton-on-Severn, July 1995. CD recording, 1 disc, stereo. Amon Ra CD-SAR-63 (Wotton-under-Edge, Glostershire: Amon Ra, 1996) ("Corps femenin"). Reissued, CD recording, Musical Heritage Society 15230M (Oakhurst, NJ: Musical Heritage Society, 1998).
- Guillaume Dufay und seine Zeit; Syntagma Musicum, Kees Otten, director; Alte Werk; LP recording, 2 discs, 33⅓ rpm, 12 in.; Telefunken 6.35257 ([Germany]: Telefunken, 1974) (Rondeau: "Fumeux fume par fumee")
- Johannes Ciconia and His Time; Little Consort, Kees Boeke, director; Recorded in the Cattedrale SS Pietro e Paolo, Sovana, Italy, June 1988; CD recording, 1 disc, stereo; Channel Classics CCS 0290 (Amsterdam, Holland: Channel Classics, 1990) ("Hélas, je voy").
- Lancaster and Valois – French and English Music 1350–1420; Gothic Voices, Christopher Page (dir.); Recorded in Boxgrove Priory, Chichester, 11–13 December 1991; CD recording, 1 disc, stereo; Hyperion CDA66588 (London: Hyperion Records Limited, 1992). (Rondeau: "Tres gentil cuer")
- Masters, Monsters & Mazes: Treading the Medieval Labyrinth. Trefoil. Recorded at Martel Recital Hall, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, 4–5 June 2005; CD recording, 1 disc, stereo. MSR Classics MS 1095 (Elmsford, NY: MSR Classics, 2005) (Ballade: "Le basile").
- Medée fu: ballades e ballate: música francesa e italiana de finales del siglo XIV. Tritonus XIV. Recorded Madrid, May 2001. CD recording, 1 disc, stereo. Verso VRS 2005 (Madrid: Verso, 2001) (Rondeau: "Fumeux fume par fumée")
- The Medieval Romantics – French Songs and Motets 1340–1440; Gothic Voices, Christopher Page (dir.); Recorded in the Hospital of St Cross, Winchester, 3–5 October 1990 and 14 May 1991; CD recording, 1 disc, stereo; Hyperion CDA66463 (London: Hyperion Records Limited, 1991). (Virelai: "Joieux de cuer en seumellant estoye")
- Music of the Hundred Years War. Musica Reservata, John Beckett, director. LP recording, 1 disc, 33⅓ rpm, 12 in.. stereo, [(S.l.]: Philips, 1968) ("S'aincy estoit que ne feust la noblesce").
- The Passion of Reason: The Sour Cream Legacy; Sour Cream; Recorded June 1993 and July 1994; CD recording, 2 discs, stereo; Glossa GCD 921102 ([n.p.]: Glossa Music SL, 1997) (Rondeau: "Fumeux fume par fumée").
- Project Ars Nova: Ars Magis Subtiliter: Secular Music of the Chantilly Codex; Ensemble P. A. N.; Recorded at Wellesley Chapel, Wellesley, MA, 20–22 July 1987; CD recording, 1 disc, stereo; New Albion Records NA 021 CD (San Francisco: New Albon Records, Inc., 1989) (Rondeau: "Fumeux fume par fumée")
- The Study of Love – French Songs and Motets of the 14th Century; Gothic Voices, Christopher Page (dir.); Recorded in Boxgrove Priory, West Sussex, 29 and 30 April, and 1 May 1992; CD recording, 1 disc, stereo; Hyperion CDA66619 (London: Hyperion Records Limited, 1992). (Ballade: "Le basile")
- Très gentil cuer: Höfische Musik des späten Mittelalters. Fortuna Canta. Recorded at the Rolf-Liebermann-Studio, NDR, Hamburg, 9–10 January 2003. CD recording, 1 disc, stereo. Ars Produktion ARS 38 489 ([Ratingen]: Ars Produktion, 2009) ("Tres gentil cuer").
- The Unknown Lover – Songs by Solage and Machaut; Gothic Voices; Recorded St. Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucestershire, England 20–22 February 2006; CD recording, 1 disc, stereo; AVIE AV2089 ([London]: Avie Records, 2006) (#1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 17, 19: Ballade: "Le basile", "Calextone qui fut", "Corps femenin", "En l'amoureux vergier", Rondeau: "Fumeux fume par fumée", "Hélas je voy", "Joieux de cuer", "Pluseurs gens voy", "S'aincy estoit". "Tres gentil cuer", and two anonymous pieces, possibly by Solage as well).
- Zodiac – Ars Nova and Ars Subtilior in the Low Countries and Europe; Capilla Flamenca. Eufoda 1360 (2004).
- Lefferts, Peter M. 1988. "Subtilitas in the Tonal Language of Fumeux fume". Early Music 16, no. 2 (May): 176–83.
- Plumley, Yolanda. 2001. "Solage", Grove Music Online ed. Laura Macy (20 January) (Accessed 25 Jun 2005), (subscription access)
- Plumley, Yolanda. 2009. "Solage", Grove Music Online, ed. Deane Root (20 January) (Accessed 18 June 2013), (subscription access)
- Hoppin, Richard H. 1978. Medieval Music. New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 1978. ISBN 0-393-09090-6
- The Early Music Consort of London/DAVID MUNROW. n.d. "The Art of Courtly Love: Late 14th Century Avant Garde". EMI LP 1973. ASD 3621. Includes "Fumeux fume" and "Helas! je voy mon cuer". Also issued as part of a boxed set, "The Art of Courtly Love".
- Free scores by Solage in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
- Free scores by Solage at the International Music Score Library Project