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Open access 15th c.
MS Florence 2794

 

 
Vostre regart si tresfort m’a feru 3v · Tinctoris, Johannes

Appearance in the group of related chansonniers:

*Dijon ff. 27v-28 »Vostre regart si tresfort m’a feru« 3v Tinctoris PDF · Facsimile

*Laborde ff. 79v-80 »Vostre regart si tresfort m’a feru« 3v Jo. tinctoris PDF (see Dijon) · Facsimile

Other sources:

*Florence 176 ff. 3v-4 »Vostre regard« 3v PDF
Paris 15123 ff. 120v-121 »Vostre regart si tresfort m’a feru« 3v · Facsimile
Sevilla 5-1-43 ff. 85v-86 »Vostre regart si tresfort m’a feru« 3v

Editions: Droz 1927 p. 46 (Dijon); Tinctoris 1976, p. 131 (Laborde).

Text: Rondeau cinquain; full text in Dijon and Laborde.

After Dijon and Laborde:

Vostre regart si tresfort m’a feru
d’un dart poignant bien cler, fort esmoulu
jusques au cueur, que ne sçay que je face; 1)
si la pitié de vous ou vostre grace
ne m’y sequeurt, je me tiens abatu.

Si fort m’actaint que parfont l’ay sentu
tout a travers si tres roide est venu,
que tout pasme en suis cheu en la place. 2)

Vostre regart si tresfort m’a feru
d’un dart poignant bien cler, fort esmoulu
jusques au cueur, que ne sçay que je face.

Si la doulceur qu’en vous croist et a creu 3)
n’envoie confort, que tant j’ay actendu,
ne l’a doulcist le grant mal que j’embrasse, 4)
vendra la mort qui ung checun amasse
et me prendra du lit tout estendu.

Vostre regart si tresfort m’a feru
d’un dart poignant bien cler, fort esmoulu
jusques au cueur, que ne sçay que je face;
si la pitié de vous ou vostre grace
ne m’y sequeurt, je me tiens abatu.

Your regard has pierced me so violently
by a radiant blinding dart, solidly forged
and aimed at the heart, that I do not know what to do;
if your pity or your mercy
does not save me, I reckon myself crushed.

It hits me so hard that deeply I have felt
it has penetrated entirely at such great speed
that I at the spot have fallen into stupor.

Your regard has pierced me so violently
by a radiant blinding dart, solidly forged
and aimed at the heart, that I do not know what to do.

If the sweetness, which grows and has grown in you,
does not send the comfort, for which I have waited so long,
or it has sweetened the great unhappiness that I embrace,
let come the death, which amasses everyone,
and fetch me from the bed, where I lie stretched out.

Your regard has pierced me so violently
by a radiant blinding dart, solidly forged
and aimed at the heart, that I do not know what to do;
if your pity or your mercy
does not save me, I reckon myself crushed.

1) Laborde, line 3 “...que je ne sçay que face”,
2) Laborde, line 8 “que tout paume ... on la place”,
3) Dijon, line 12, “... croist a creu”,
4) Dijon, line 14, “... j’ambrace”,
– a few additional differences in spelling.

Evaluation of the sources:

The Dijon scribe copied this song twice using the same exemplar, and in both instances he named Tinctoris as its author. The independence of the Dijon scribe is clearly demonstrated here, as he against all other sources decided that a key signature of one flat in the tenor did not serve the setting. His exemplar probably had the standard configuration of no signature in the upper voice and a flat in each of the lower voices. The  reason for this assumption is the following: When he copied the song into the Dijon chansonnier, he very carefully changed a semibrevis B in the contratenor (bar 24.2) into two minimae sounding the notes A-B, because he wanted to hear an e-natural in bar 23.2, thus maintaining this three-part imitative complex (bb. 21-31) without any flattening of the Es. A performance according to his exemplar, which with great probability is preserved in the MS Florence 176, would have a quite different sound at the end of the rondeau’s first section, and this influences the balance of the song (see the edition according to Florence 176). Concerning Florence 176, this source was probably copied from a French exemplar, which was contemporary with Dijon and Laborde; see further the description in The Complete Works of Gilles Mureau.

When the Dijon scribe some time later entered the song into Laborde using the same exemplar, he forgot about this needed change in the contratenor, but insisted on omitting the signature in the tenor. In return, he this time included the word “et” in the poem’s tierce and exchanged the word “pasme” with a synonym “paume”.

The Pixérécourt MS (Paris 15123) and Sevilla 5-1-43 both have the same version as Florence 176 with a few variants, primarily concerning cadential decorations (see Tinctoris 1976 p. XIV).

Comments on text and music:

The depressed and rather heavy-handed poem, a rondeau cinquain, is set for a structural duo of superius and tenor placed an octave apart, which is complemented by a wide-ranging contratenor that occasionally crosses above the tenor. The setting is quite syllabic with some melismatic endings; especially the first two lines in the tenor are concisely formulated. The most interesting in this song is the two spots of imitation, in which all three voices participate: the 3rd line (bb. 21-31) where contratenor and tenor start an octave and a fifth below the upper voice, and the 4th line (bb. 32-42) in reversed order and restricted to the octave. As reproduced in Florence 176, the composer surely intended a contrast between the end of the first section with a sound moving towards the flat side and the start of the 2nd section clearly formulated in the rising D-scale displaying natural Es in all voices – recalling the natural E of the opening gesture. The Dijon scribe undid this contrast by his removal of the flat signature in the tenor and by changing a crucial note in the contratenor. Thereby his version, while still sounding well, became more lacklustre than Tinctoris probably had wished for.

Florence 176 has two interesting traits not found in other sources: In the contratenor bar 39 a note repetition makes the text underlay smoother, and in bar 54 the breaking up of a brevis in note repetitions forces the repetition of the last four syllables of the line – and now the repeated Gs in bar 53 (also in Dijon, Laborde, and Paris 15123) make sense. If they reflect Tinctoris’ intentions, he was a bit more conscious of the placement of the text in the contratenor than many of his contemporaries.

This song was composed while Tinctoris worked in Central France, probably during his years in Orléans in the 1460s, and contemporary with his setting of »Helas, le bon temps que j’avoie« [or “Helas m’a tresparfecte amye”].

PWCH October 2011