Clereau – Mais dequoy sert




Mais dequoy sert le desirer


Pierre Clereau (or Cler’eau)  (c.1520-c.1567)


Dixiesme Livre de Chansons, Le Roy & Ballard 1559

(text on site here)
(blog entry not yet available)
(listen to the score here)
(recording not available)


Time to meet another composer. Clereau’s first published song also appeared under Pierre Certon’s name, and the two have stylistic similarities as well as that of their name.

Clereau was obviously popular and well-known enough to merit a whole book to himself: Le Roy & Ballard’s 10th book was devoted entirely to his works, in contrast with all the other numbered volumes in the series; and in the same year a book of his 3-part songs also appeared. Nevertheless the information we have today about him is sparse. He was quite a prolific Ronsard-setter too, so will be appearing here frequently!

clereauHis style, while broadly homophonic, is often attractive – more so (in my view) than Certon’s. And this is a nice example of one of his simple yet attractive songs.

Little of Clereau has been recorded – just three of the Ronsard songs as far as I know – and unfortunately this is not one of them… Watch this space, though: there will be some Clereau to listen to soon.








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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