Pevernage – Bon jour mon coeur




Bon jour mon coeur


André Pevernage


Livre quatrieme des chansons d’André Pevernage… (published by Christophe Plantin, Antwerp)

(text on site here)
(blog entry here)
(listen to the score here)
(recorded extract not available)


Today, the culmination of Pevernage’s brief engagement with Ronsard: in his 4th book, he expands his forces again for the Ronsard poem, and presents an 8-voice setting. The style is – inevitably – different again. The individual voices tend to work in neat segments, often starting mid-bar and ending neatly at the end of a bar. this helps the double-choir effects, but also helps Pevernage keep things under control! But this is not a double-choir piece, nor is it an exercise in monumentality: in fact, if we set aside the half-bars of overlap between one phrase ending in one group, and the next starting in another, there are only a couple of bars of the full 8-voice sonority until right at the end (three-and-a-half bars only, even then!)

Although Pevernage begins with double-choir effects, he quickly starts playing with the format – adding one voice from the first choir to the second choir, but dropping the bass from that second choir; then mixing up 3 voices from each choir; and virtually every other combination of 5, 6, 7 or 8 voices he can manage. It’s cleverly and beautifully done, and confirms the impression gained from his previous pieces of a very capable composer. My only complaint is that the ending is not, in my view, adequately prepared and the final cadence and full stop all comes rather suddenly.

Sadly, modern recording has not yet reached most of Pevernage’s work! So, I am unable to offer more than the midi effects of the score …

(This is of course one of the most popular texts for Ronsard songs: you may wish to compare the very famous setting by Lassus, and the slightly less well-known one by de Monte.)


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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