O doux parler, dont l’apast douceureux
Roland de Lassus / Orlando di Lasso
Les Meslanges d’Orlande de Lassus, 1576
After recently posting Lassus’ 8-voice setting of the ‘dialogue between Ronsard and the dove’, here I offer the other 8-voice dialogue. This time the dialogue is an artificial one created by Lassus out of Ronsard’s poem, but the techniques are similar and the setting just as beautiful. [EDIT: my own transcription, replacing the one by Expert which is still in copyright.]
The recorded extract is from the beginning of the ‘seconde partie’, again showing the antiphonal effects.
[In re-editing this score, I’ve taken a less conservative view of the harmonies, ‘regularising’ fewer of the notes which don’t quite fit a ‘tonal’ structure than Expert did – on the basis that Lassus was still working in a modal system rather than modern tonality. There is one oddity at bar 35 where the second Contra part has a B marked with the sign which normally sharpens a natural note or ‘naturals’ a B-flat. As there is no B-flat in the ‘key signature’, I’ve taken this as, literally, a B-sharp (=C). Expert treats it as a B natural. The relevant bit of the score is appended.]