Je ne veux plus que chanter de tristesse
Pierre Clereau (c.1520-c.1567)
Dixiesme Livre de Chansons, Le Roy & Ballard 1559
(text on Lieder.net site here)
(blog entry not yet available)
(listen to the score here)
(recorded extract here, live recording by Ensemble Enthéos, but now available on their disc Le chant des poètes)
Here is Clereau’s version of a song set by Lassus and others – though Clereau’s version is nearly 15 years earlier than Lassus’, and not surprisingly somewhat different in style. That said, it is still quite ‘modern’ in its approach, flexing the generally-homophonic word-setting with assorted short melismas in the different voices to create musical interest rather than just shifting chords on each syllable. It sits on the page opposite ‘Mais dequoy sert’, presenting a nice message about Clereau’s flexibility in approaching Ronsard.
One curiosity is Clereau’s use of ‘triplet’ figures as an alternative to a dotted figure: see bar 34 at the bottom of page 2, where the superius has the triplet while two other voices have the dotted figure. I’ve left the parts as marked by Clereau, but in performance I imagine the two would be sung the same.
The recording isfrom YouTube, though now (I think) no longer available since the group produced their CD version. They performed the song twice, once as solo with instruments, once as a four-part choir. I’ve extracted the opening of the solo version, then jumped to the middle of page 3 in the choral version.