Janequin – Pourquoy tournés vous

Standard

Title

Pourquoy tournés vous voz yeux

Composer

Clément Janequin

Source

Huitiesme Livre de Chansons, published by Le Roy & Ballard, 1557

(text on Lieder.net site here)
(blog entry here)
(listen to the score here)
(recording here – source: Janequin – La Chasse & autres chansons, Ensemble Clément Janequin)

By coincidence (I guess!) the two Ronsard texts chosen by Sweelinck are also the only two Ronsard texts in the 1575 edition of the 8th book of songs published by Le Roy and Ballard. This is one of those books which, in its various editions, saw songs come and go: the full listing is on the ‘sources’ page. It’s faintly odd that in the mid-1570s, when volumes devoted (almost) entirely to Ronsard song were very much the fashion, Le Roy and Ballard actually reduced the number of Ronsard songs included in the new edition of their 8th book!

My transcription uses the 1557 S-T-B parts which are on Gallica, and the 1559 Contra (where the word underlay is fractionally different – I’ve standardised it here) which I enjoyed handling in the British Library. The tiny size of the book caught me by surprise – the pages are much smaller than a modern postcard.

Janequin’s setting – nearly 50 years older than Sweelinck’s! – naturally sounds old-fashioned beside it. Long stretches of homophony, relieved by patches of polyphony; a much less consistent (or insistent) use of melodic ‘themes’. But Janequin does play with triple-rhythm at several points, though in a way which is less audible in performance than it is visible in the score…  The selection I’ve chosen includes a couple of these triple-time segments.

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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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