Crispin Van Stappen




From 1485 to 1487, Van Stappen was a singer and vocal teacher at the Sint-Niklaas church in Brussels. In 1488 he left for Paris to enter the service of the Chapelle Royale of the French King as a singer. In 1492, he became kapellmeister of the Cathedral in Padua (Italy), but after three months he left and entered into the Papal Chapel in Rome of which he would be a member until 1507. In 1507, he also became a member of the Illustere Lieve Vrouwebroederschap in ‘s Hertogenbosch. In 1509, Van Stappen traveled to Cambrai where he was responsible for the recruitment of new singers for the cathedral and the Papal Chapel.  


Van Stappens motets appeared between 1503 and 1508 in the collections of the Venetian music editor Ottaviano dei Petrucci. The often short pieces correspond with the reigning standards of style of his time while simultaneously showing a great diversity in styles: from the simple and homophonic hymn Ave verum to the refined polyphonic chanson Gentil galans, which was based on the war king Charles VIII waged against the rebellious Bretons in 1488. Van Stappens’ later pieces were probably lost in Cambrai during the French revolution in 1789.  

Vocal pieces (selection)

  • Ave Maria, SATB, sheet music.
  • Ave verum corpus, three parts.
  • Beati pacifici / De tous biens plaine, four parts. 
  • Exaudi nos filia, five parts.
  • Non lotis manibus, four parts. 
  • Virtutum expulsus, four parts. 
  • Gentil galans de gerra, four parts. 
  • Vale, vale de Padoa, three parts.
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