Ludovicus Episcopius

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Ludovicus Episcopius or Ludovicus de Bisschop (c. 1520 – 29 April 1595 in Straubing; in English: Louis the Bishop) was a Dutch composer of the late Renaissance.

Life and work[edit]

Episcopius was educated at the St. Rumbolds Cathedral in Mechelen by choirmaster Theo Verelst, who was also the teacher of Philippus de Monte and Cypriano de Rore. Episcopius studied from 1538 till 1541 at the University of Leuven and became a priest. From 1545 till 1565 and from 1577 till 1585, he was choirmaster at the Basilica of Saint Servatius in Maastricht. He was replaced by Jean de Chaynée; when his successor got assassinated, Episcopius recovered his former position. About 1582, he exchanged the Low Countries for Munich where in 1584 he became a singer in the choir that was led by Orlando di Lasso. He retired in 1591 and became a canon in Straubing. Only few of his works have survived; Missa super 'si mon service a merite' , four motets, a Salve regina and 12 Dutch songs of which some have been partially preserved. The Dutch songs are:

  1. Een bier een bierenbroyken (a pap of beer)
  2. Ghequetst ben ic van binnen (I feel hurt inside)
  3. Ick seg adieu, wij twee wij moeten scheiden (I say farewell, both of us, we must part)
  4. Ick zou studeren in eenen hoeck (I would have studied in a corner)
  5. Ic zou studeren in eenen hoeck (I would have studied in a corner, published by Phalesius, a revised version of the previous composition)
  6. Laet varen alle fantasie (abandon all imagination)
  7. Princersselijck greijn, die ic ghern aenschouwe (princely grain I like to observe)
  8. Princersselijck greijn, die ic gern aenschouwe (princely grain I like to observe, published by Phalesius, a revised version of the previous composition)
  9. Susanna heur baeiende in een fontein (after Susanne un jour from composer Didier Lupi Second)
  10. Vruecht en deucht mijn hert verhuecht (my heart enjoys in pleasure and virtue)

These songs were mainly preserved in two anthologies: (Jacob Baethen's Dat ierste boeck vanden nieuwe Duijtsche liedekens, published in 1554 in Maastricht, and Peeter Phalesius' (Leuven) and Jan Bellerus' (Antwerp) Duijtsch musijck boeck published in 1572. Some songs have been preserved in manuscript. Of the 8 songs from Baethen's edition, of which no complete copy has survived, some were reedited by Phalesius and Bellerus in their anthology (of which a complete copy survived) with, among others, 7 songs by Episcopius, including a number that are to be found nowhere else.


Some of Episcopius' songs have been recorded a few times. An incomplete discography is to be found on