Ennemond Gaultier was the first of a series of lute composers by the name of Gaultier. Therefore he is often referred to as Gaultier le Vieux, the Old Gaultier. He was called Gaultier of Lyon because he was born near that city, or Gaultier of Vienna because he worked there. Other nicks include The True or The First Gaultier. So I guess we'll just stick with Ennemond.

Ennemond was born about 1575 and composed during the beginning of the French Baroque. He was one of the originators of the Style Brisé, or Broken Style of luteplaying. His music is soft and gentle, perfect for a near-quiet moment, but somewhat lacking in excitement.

With his Pièces de luth, Ennemond was one of the first to write a collection for one specific instrument. 22 pieces attributed to him survive today, and are still played by the wielders of the lute. Most of them were based on popular contemporary melodies.

The music of Gaultier revels in the melancholic. The pieces have titles such as La Pleureuse (The Crying Woman), Les larmes de Monsieur Boisset (The Tears of Mister Boisset), and La belle homicide (The Beautiful Homicide). However, he also wrote happier pieces, dance music called chaconnes, courantes and canaries.

Ennemond was a valet to Maria de Medici, wife of Henry IV and queen of France. He is also reported to have played for Charles I in 1630, but in this he may have been mixed up with another Gaultier. Decidedly he was praised by his contemporaries as well as those who came after him, and was played throughout Europe long after his death. He is thus described in a lute tutor belonging to a Mary Burwell from about 1670:

'Many musicall Lights have risen in France amongst whom a single one as the Sun among the Starres hath drawen the admiration and the praises of all the world. It is the first Gaultier who is named in regard of his age and his meritt old Gaultier to which fortune not soo deafe as blind hastened and through the liberality of Kings Queenes and other Princes Crowned with honour and fulfilled with Riches'.

Ennemond Gaultier died in 1651.

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