Lassus – J’espere et crain




J’espere et crain


Orlandus Lassus


Livre de chansons nouvelles … , 1571


(text on site here)
(blog entry here)
(listen to the score here)
(recorded extract here – source:  Lassus – French chansons etc, Cantus Cölln)


After a bit of catching up with myself, re-editing some of the Expert transcriptions, it feels like time to add something new!

Here’s another of the Lassus settings which kicked off the surge of interest in Ronsard among composers of the 1570s. A restrained setting, this:  very little melismatic writing, and very little in the way of ‘madrigalisms’ (though you might note that all voices come together for “cent foys je meur”, slightly slowing the tempo; and for “l’espoir bas, le courage haut” the voices generally hit their lowest (“bas”) and highest (“haut”) notes). The voices generally stay ‘in step’ and the words are thus easy to follow – Lassus uses persistent imitative melodic fragments to help – but he stops well short of French-style homophony, except for brief moments like “cent foys je meur”, and even here cannot resist keeping one voice slightly out-of-step.

The recorded extract is of the ‘seconde partie’.


J'espere et crain_0001
J'espere et crain_0002
J'espere et crain_0003
J'espere et crain_0004
J'espere et crain_0005
J'espere et crain_0006
seconde partie
J'espere et crain_0007
J'espere et crain_0008
J'espere et crain_0009
J'espere et crain_0010
J'espere et crain_0011





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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