J’espere et crain
Livre de chansons nouvelles … , 1571
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’.