Start

Related sources
   Copenhagen
   Dijon
   Laborde
   Nivelle
   Wolfenbüttel

Other sources
   Music
   Text

Compositions
   
by first line
   by composer

Bibliography

Abbreviations

Papers and notes

General Index of music editions
   
by first line
   by composer

 

Editions and papers
on this site:

Complete Works of Gilles Mureau

Amiens MS 162 D

Uppsala MS 76a

Homepage
Peter Woetmann Christoffersen


Papers on

Basiron’s chansons
Busnoys & scibes PDF
Caulaincourt
Chansons in Fa-clefs
Chansoner på nettet
Fede, Works
Dulot’s Ave Maria
Open access 15th c.
MS Florence 2794

 

 
Je ne requiers que vostre bien vueillance 3v · Anonymous

Appearance in the five chansonniers:

*Copenhagen ff. 19v-20 »Je ne requier que vostre bien vueillance« 3v PDF · Facsimile

*Laborde ff. 39v-40 »Je ne requier que vostre bien vueillance« 3v PDF · Facsimile

*Wolfenbüttel ff. 17v-18 »Je ne requiers que vostre bien vueillance« 3v PDF · Facsimile

- The three versions in one PDF package

Editions: Jeppesen 1927 no. 15 (Copenhagen); Gutiérrez-Denhoff 1988 no. 16 (Wolfenbüttel).

Text: Rondeau cinquain; full text in all three sources, after Wolfenbüttel:

Je ne requiers que vostre bien vueillance
pour estre hors de toute desplaisance
et pour estre sur tous le plus heureux
et vous aymer et servir en tous lieux,
maiz que ce soit vostre bonne plaisance.

Car en vous a trop plus grant habundance
de biens, d’onneur, de beauté et savance (1)
qu’en nul’ autre, ou ainsi m’aide Dieux. (2)

Je ne requiers que vostre bien vueillance
pour estre hors de toute desplaisance
et pour estre sur tous le plus heureux.

Mon cueur et moy en grant obeisance (3)
vous servirons tant a vostre ordonnance (4)
plus que nesun qui soit desoubz les cieulx, (5)
car d’autre riens je ne suis envieux;
et pour avoir de tous biens souffisance

je ne requiers que vostre bien vueillance
pour estre hors de toute desplaisance
et pour estre sur tous le plus heureux
et vous aymer et servir en tous lieux,
maiz que ce soit vostre bonne plaisance.

I only require your favour
to be free of all displeasure
and to be happier than all others
and to love and serve you everywhere,
if only it might well please you.

For you have much greater abundance
of virtue, honour, beauty and wisdom
than anybody else, so help me God.

I only require your favour
to be free of all displeasure
and to be happier than all others.

My heart and I will in obedience
serve you wholly at your order
more than anyone living under the sky,
for I desire nothing else;
and to have more than enough of everything good

I only require your favour
to be free of all displeasure
and to be happier than all others
and to love and serve you everywhere,
if only it might well please you.

1) Lines 7-8, Copenhagen, “de biens, d’onneur, de leauté, de savence / qu’en nul autre ainsi mist Dieux”; Laborde, “de biens, d’onneur, de leauté, de plaisance / que nul’ autre jamais, ainsi m’eist Dieulx.”
2) Wolfenbüttel, line 8, “en …”.
3) Laborde, line 12, “… obediance
4) Laborde, line 13, “… auecques grant ordonnance”.
5) Copenhagen and Laborde, line 14, “plus que nulle …”.
Several additional differences in spelling.

Evaluation of the sources:

This rondeau cinquain probably was composed in the area where the scribes of its three sources worked, and there is no reason to believe that it was old when it entered the chansonniers. The same exemplar or closely related ones could have been used for all copies.

Musically Wolfenbüttel and Laborde are nearly identical. There are differences in the use of ligatures, but two of the differences involve changes of staff (T bb. 17-18 and 23-25). Wolfenbüttel omits an accidental flat before e’ in bar 21.1 in the tenor and has a notation of bars 64-65 in the contratenor without ligature and coloration. The last bars of the contratenor in Laborde is an instructive example of how scribal variants could happen: There was very little space left for the long last line, and the scribe already had extended the staff as far as possible into the margin of the page, so he had to reduce the notes of this harmony-filling passage to save space, three notes d’-g-d’ became a longa d’ (bb. 73.2-75.1) and the two notes e’-a were reduced to a brevis e’ (b. 77) enabling him to squeeze in the last notes.

The Dijon scribe probably interpreted a very similar exemplar slightly different. After bar 29.2 he transformed the accidental flat in the superius, which appears in all three sources, into a key signature for the remainder of the voice. He had probably noticed that the accidental reappeared in bar 64 (cf. Laborde and Wolfenbüttel). He also wrote the three breves as one ligature – they appear as single notes in the superius bars 31-33 in the two other sources – correctly thinking that the text syllables had to be placed far apart in the long third line. In the contratenor he changed two figures involving two semiminimae and a semibrevis (bb. 30 and 36) into a row of even minimae. All of this lies within the normal procedures of the Dijon scribe’s editorial work.

Thus even if differences appear to justify the three separate editions above, the sources are copied from the same or identical exemplars. This interpretation can find some support from the scribes’ handling of the poetic text, which may have been difficult to read in the exemplar. The Wolfenbüttel scribe was most successful in creating a consistent reading of the text. They all agree on the refrain, but the couplet and tierce were problematic. Disregarding the differences in spelling, the variants are quite easy to explain: In line 13 the Laborde scribe wrote “vous servirons avecques grant ordonnance”, which fits the meaning perfectly, but produces a line of one syllable too many. He misread the abbreviation for “vostre” and repeated “grant” from the line above; The Dijon and Wolfenbüttel scribes got a better reading with “tout/tant a vostre ordonnance”. Lines 7 and 8 were certainly corrupt in the exemplar. Copenhagen has in line 7 “de biens, d’onneur, de leauté, de savence”, and Laborde “de biens, d’onneur, de leauté, de plaisance”; “léauté” is normally a word of three syllables, but then the line has a syllable too many. “Leauté” was probably a writing error in the exemplar for “beauté”. The Wolfenbüttel scribe was able to see through this and found a workable solution.

Comments on text and music:

The poem is pure convention, a compilation of courtly stock phrases, and the music is not much better when heard in the vicinity of composers like Busnoys and his kind. It is written for a superius and tenor in conventional tessituras and a contratenor in almost the same range as the tenor, and it often lies above the tenor, a layout that probably was a bit old-fashioned at the time when it was composed. Each section of the rondeau starts out in homorhythmic declamation, but in the continuations relies much on canonic imitation between superius and tenor at the fifth and at the octave.

There is, however, some things quite extraordinary about this song: It is the way in which the first line of music is reused at the end the rondeau’s extended fifth line. Bars 2-11 are simply repeated in toto as bars 70-80. They are ‘sewn on’ to a setting of the fifth verse line of normal length (bb. 58-68) as an extension of the ‘ignored’ cadence on F, and in all sources sung to only the word “plaisance”/(souffisance). In this way the composer created a rounded form in a rondeau cinquain refrain: ABC/DEA, and at the same time made the two sections of equal length, 42 and 39 bars respectively. This uniformity is underscored by the rhythmic and melodic similarity of the openings of the two sections; and just before the medial cadence (b. 42), the superius paraphrases the opening melodic gesture. Moreover, the second section develops in an unusual schematic procedure: The raising scale segment from f to c’ in the tenor is repeated and at the same time answered and extended in imitation by the superius, and the whole fourth line then becomes an exercise in imitating hexachordal figures on F, C and G.

It is thinkable that this schematism and the rounded form represented something new to the scribes, an exciting musical experiment, and it may be the reason why this song found its way into the three chansonniers, even if it to modern ears seems a bit unimaginative and dull.

See also the article ‘The chansons of Basiron’s youth and the dating of the ‘Loire Valley’ chansonniers’.

PWCH April 2010