Lassus – O doux parler




O doux parler, dont l’apast douceureux


Roland de Lassus / Orlando di Lasso


Les Meslanges d’Orlande de Lassus, 1576


(text on site here)
(blog entry here)
(listen to the score here)
(recorded extract here – source: Kühn chamber choir “Pierre de Ronsard et la musique“)


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.]



Lassus’s B-sharp is in the second line, the second “O baisers…” LasODP-C2


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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