Regnard – Petite Nymfe folatre


I thought it would be interesting to contrast Regnard’s setting of this short piece with Janequin’s.


Petite Nymfe folatre


François Regnard (dates unknown)


Poésies de P. de Ronsard et autres Poëtes, 1579, by Regnard

(text on site here)
(blog entry here)
(listen to the score here)
(recorded extract here – source: “Ronsard et les néerlandais“, Egidius Kwartet)

(another extract illustrating various combinations of voices and instruments here.)


Regnard offers yet another style of setting – much more homophonic throughout, and I daresay more to Ronsard’s liking as it gives the text primacy.  The melodies, such as they are, tend to be short motifs – often repeated – so that the singers are essentially working in a vertical harmony rather than singing real ‘tunes’ as in Bertrand’s madrigal The exceptions are where Regnard slows the music down to highlight key words, or builds a little flourish on a word to emphasise it. Rhythmically Regnard would also have pleased Ronsard (though so too would Janequin) since this Ode is set in a strongly dactylic (long-short-short) rhythm matching that of the text and of the classical odes Ronsard was reviving.

The recorded extract is from the middle of the piece, showing all three techniques – the repeated motifs, the flourishes on ‘logent mon pis’ and then the slower movement of ‘et mon mieux’.

Unlike Janequin, Regnard includes a second part of the Ode as a ‘response’.

EDIT: I have re-edited this from the original print. In doing so I’ve corrected a couple of errors, and chosen to ignore a few of Expert’s ficta additions. The bass is written in an unusual clef which I have interpreted to mean that the bass is high – a second tenor voice really. This results in a piece which is effectively for 2 sopranos and 2 tenors, both pairs working in close proximity to each other.


Edit:  here are the relevant pages from the tenor part-book, taken from the online copy made available by the Bibliothèque municipale, Orléans, in their Bibliothèques Virtuelles Humanistes.


RegPNF_t1 RegPNF_t2


About fattoxxon

Who am I? Lover of all sorts of music - classical, medieval, world (anything from Africa), world-classical (Uzbek & Iraqi magam for instance), and virtually anything that won't be on the music charts... Lover of Ronsard's poetry (obviously) and of sonnets in general. Reader of English, French, Latin & other literature. And who is Fattoxxon? An allusion to an Uzbek singer - pronounce it Patahan, with a very plosive 'P' and a throaty 'h', as in 'khan')

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