Description: Favorable judgment of a work of art, or of a man, usually means that the work of art, or a record of the man, will be preserved for future generations to judge for themselves. An unfavorable judgment may result in a richly deserved obscurity or an irreplaceable loss, unless favorable circumstances combine to preserve the evidence for a more perspicacious generation. One can be forgiven if he distrusts history's judgment; mistakes which have been corrected are legion (the case of J. S. Bach comes most vividly to mind) and skepticism is warranted unless or until the facts are available for confirmation. It is difficult to explain the paucity of information about Jacques-Christophe Naudot, Not that he is another J. S. Bach; neither Fleury, who made the first serious effort to revive interest in his music in the early 1920's, nor Ruf, who has done much in this regard recently, nor this writer makes any such claim. He does not, however, deserve the obscurity that has been his lot. If his music is not always profound, it nevertheless has both intrinsic and historical value, and some of his works reveal considerable contrapuntal skill. It may be that Naudot stood in the shadow of Blavet, whose prowess as a flutist bolstered his reputation as a composer, or that his music was never quite the right style for the time; in any case, although his name was not unknown, he never gained the fame that earned a contemporary biographer. As a result, no autographs and very little biographical data have been found, although one or more printed copies of all his known works, except two, are to be found in various libraries, principally the Bibliotheque National in Paris.
Date: June 1970
Creator: Underwood, T. Jervis (Troy Jervis), 1932-
Partner: UNT Libraries