Bon jour mon coeur, bon jour ma douce vie
Philippe de Monte (1521-1603)
Le Rossignol Musical … , Phalèse 1597
(text on Lieder.net site here)
(blog entry here)
(listen to the score here)
(recording here: source, Philippus de Monte – Motets, madrigals & chansons, Ensemble Orlando Fribourg)
A new composer, and this time a Flemish one well-known for his polyphony in the Italian/Flemish style rather than for chansons in the French style. But of course like Lassus and others he wrote in many styles. This is an interesting setting, since it consciously adopts the French style in the homophony of the opening, though the solo soprano contrasting with the rest of the group is rather a ‘modern’ & non-French touch. The section in triple time which follows allows de Monte to show off (still homophonically) a variety of different groupings within his choir; and then he allows himself to indulge in something more like his usual dense polyphony, before showing his versatility by setting the second verse in a nicely varied repeat of the first – similar but rarely quite the same for any length of time. It’s also quite an intriguing setting, in that it sounds rather like one of those ‘epigrammatic’ settings which set perhaps half a sonnet, yet in fact sets the whole 18 line chanson.
The 1597 Rossignol musical is a late source, but the setting originally appeared in de Monte’s own book of Ronsard settings in 1575.
The recording is an attractive one from a Swiss choir I’ve not come across before, though they have been around for some 20 years!