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. Dedications and specific references in his songs indicate he probably was associated with the French royal court. 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.
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 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 to be either hashish or opium, and the music well represents the effect of the drug on the enthusiastic musicians. Other recent theories suggest 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. All twelve are contained in the Chantilly Codex, and they consist of 9 ballades, 2 virelais and a rondeau (Fumeux fume). All Solage's works have been recorded by Gothic Voices on the Avie Records label.
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- 2004 – Zodiac. Ars Nova and Ars Subtilior in the Low Countries and Europe Capilla Flamenca. Eufoda 1360.
- FEBUS AVANT! Music at the Court of Gaston Febus, Count of Foix and Bearn (1331–1391); Huelgas Ensemble, Paul Van Nevel; Sony, 1992 (#6).
- Yolanda Plumley: "Solage", Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed 25 Jun 2005), (subscription access)
- Richard H. Hoppin, Medieval Music. New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 1978. ISBN 0-393-09090-6
- The Early Music Consort of London/DAVID MUNROW: "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