Je suis un demi dieu
Huitiesme Livre de Chansons, published by Le Roy & Ballard, 1557
(text on Lieder.net site here)
(blog entry not yet available)
(listen to the score here)
(recording here – source: Mary’s Music: Songs & Dances from the time of Mary Queen of Scots, Scottish Early Music Consort)
It’s a bit of a shock moving back from Lassus to the very French style of Pierre Certon. It seems hardly possible that there are only 14 years, and a stylistic (French-Italian) boundary between them. Indeed, the middle section of this setting sounds like a (not very good) psalm setting suitable for church use, in completely homophonic style with each line moving inevitably to an ‘open’ cadence at its halfway point, then back to a ‘closed’ one. It doesn’t help that this section, with the succeeding more freely composed and attractive conclusion, is then repeated with some minor variations!
But that would be to ignore the attractively polyphonic opening, and the sections which succeed those very dully-homophonic ones, which make a much better impression. The recording (dating from the mid-80s) succeeds in making the music live and breathe appealingly, showing it very definitely in the best possible light!