Petite nimfe folatre
Alexander Utendal (c. 1543-1581)
Fröhliche neue Teutsche und Frantzösische Lieder, Dieterich Gerlach (Nuremberg) 1574
(text on Lieder.net site here)
(blog entry here)
(listen to the score here)
(recorded extract here: source, Hofmusik auf Schloss Ambras: Froeliche newe Teutsche vnnd Frantzoesische Lieder, Neue Innsbrucker Hofkapelle)
It’s a while since we had a song from outside France, so let’s return to Utendal – the Flemish-Belgian working in Innsbruck, who published a mix of French and German songs in 1574. This is nearer the chordal French style than some of his other settings, but he knows how to make it an attractive piece, with some more adventurous melody & harmony than his French contemporaries, and he varies the flow of the music with rests and particularly with triple-time segments (occasionally very short – bars 60ff of the second part – for specific effects) as well as ‘syncopations’ (dotted rhythms) and occasional melismatic ‘runs’, with imitation from voice to voice. A very accomplished and attractive piece.
And to go with the score, a lovely recording too. This comes from the Neue Innsbrucker Hofkapelle, who recorded the entire Utendal book in a concert at the very castle in Innsbruck where Utendal wrote it. They shape the music – perhaps a shade too much – and consequently perhaps this song goes a little slower than it might; but it’s beautifully-sung. The extract is from the top of page 7 to the bottom of page 8 (bars 36-57 of the second part), which includes some imitative runs and the single triple-time bars showing their effect.