Mon cueur a demy se depart 3v · Anonymous
Appearance in the group of related chansonniers:
*Laborde ff. 87v-88 »Mon cueur a demy se depart« 3v PDF (see Dijon) – Facsimile
Florence 176 ff. 48v-49 »Mon cueur a demy se« 3v
Edition: Droz 1927, no. 37 (Dijon).
Text: Rondeau quatrain; full text in Dijon, Laborde and Nivelle.
After Dijon and Laborde:
Mon cueur a demy se depart,
Ainsi demeure seul a part
mon cueur a demy se depart,
Or s’il vous plaist de vostre part (1)
Mon cueur cueur a demy se depart,
My heart breaks in halves,
Thus it remains alone by itself
my heart breaks in halves,
But if it on your side could please you,
My heart breaks in halves,
1) Dijon and Laborde, line , “Or si ...”, Nivelle, “Or sil ... ”
2) Dijon and Laborde, line 11, “... menant lesse” _ two syllables short, changed after Nivelle.
In addition some minor differences in spelling.
Evaluation of the sources:
The Dijon scribe copied the versions in Dijon and Laborde after the same exemplar. There are very few differences between these copies. In Dijon we find some careless errors in the upper voice (bb. 2-3); there are some differences in the use of coloration especially in the upper voice, where he in Laborde used it much more than in his first copy; but they agree on an error in the poem’s line 11, which is missing two syllables (see above).
The song was entered into the Nivelle chansonnier by its main scribe who used an exemplar very similar to the one used by the Dijon scribe. Some smaller differences appear in the use of decorative figuration (S bb. 16 and 23) and of coloration plus the omission of a repeated note in the tenor (b. 5.2-3). Most remarkable is the differences in the text underlay in the superius, which in Nivelle does not underscore the staggered cadences in superius and tenor as clearly as in the Dijon version.
The transmission of this anonymous rondeau was apparently very stable. Also in the Florentine chansonnier of c. 1480 (Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Ms. Magl. xix.176) it is copied after an exemplar similar to those used for the “Loire Valley” chansonniers. In superius bars 16 and 23 it follows Nivelle, but in bars 5 and 12 the tenor is like Dijon. Its only independent variants appear in superius bar 6.1, where the dotted figure is changed into two minimae, in tenor bar 6.1-2 with two semibreves instead of the brevis, and bar 14.1-2 in the contra has been simplified into two semibreves f-g. Its rendering of the poem’s refrain is missing some words.
Comments on text and music:
A rondeau about the breaking heart set in quite unremarkable music. The structural duet between tenor and superius, which includes snippets of imitation near the end, claims all attention. The low contratenor clearly is a supporting part. The composer seems to have experimented with an exaggerated use of cadential suspensions. They follow each other closely in bars 4-5 and 8-9, first staggered in superius and tenor, then sequential in the upper voice. They contrast with endings without tension in the medial cadence (bb. 11-12) and in bar 20, dividing the final line. The song is quite modern for the 1460s in its voice disposition and use of imitation, but its realization is not exiting.
PWCH May 2016