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Der fochs swantcz 3v · Anonymous

Sources:

Augsburg 25 f. 11v [Without text] 1v (3v) End of C only
Florence 229 ff. 210v-211 »Coda di volpe« 3v
Kraków 40098 ff. F5v/F10v/F12v »Der fochs swantcz« 3v · Facsimile
*Sevilla 5-1-43 ff. 80v-81 [Without text] 3v PDF
Trento 89 ff. 243v-244 »Sancta genitrix sit tibi onor« 3v · Facsimile

Related compositions: Instrumental piece based on the beginning of the anonymous song, which in French sources appears as the rondeau »Aime qui vouldra«; see Fallows 1999 pp. 79 and 422.

Text: Without text, titles only in Florence 229 “Coda di volpe” and Kraków 40098 “Der fochs swantcz”; in Trento 89 the upper voice has been given a Latin prose text “Sancta genitrix sit tibi onor assidue pro popule ...”.

Evaluation of the sources:

Entered into the French-Italian chansonnier of the early 1480s in Sevilla, Biblioteca Capitular y Colombina, MS 5-1-43, by a scribe different from the one who copied the related textless »Fuyh schwamz« on ff. 94v-95. The copy contains some errors, especially in the contratenor, which was very closely written in order to accommodate it on the page. It has no key signatures from the beginning, but a signature of one flat is introduced in the upper voice in the two last staves and in the tenor in staves 2-4.

The same version of the piece – with the inevitable differences in decorative notes and in the use of ligatures – is found in three other sources: It is without text in Glogauer Liderbuch (Kraków 40098) under the title “Der fochs swantcz”, also without key signatures, but supplied with some accidental flats; its contratenor has a less successful variant in bars 66-68 (cf. the edition in Ringmann 1936, I, p. 82). In the Florentine chansonnier of the early 1490s, Firenze, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, MS Banco Rari 229, the title has been translated into Italian “Coda di volpe”, and the music has been transposed down a fourth, which presupposes key signatures of one flat in all three voices at the original pitch (cf. the edition in Brown 1983 no. 194). In its presumably oldest source – it has been added to Trento, Castello del Buonconsiglio, Monumenti e Collezioni Provinciali, Ms. 89 around 1470 – it has been turned into a motet with the upper voice singing the Latin text “Sancta genitrix”; here the tenor has a key signature of one flat.

The “Fox’s tail”-piece seems to have entered the Italian tradition via an exemplar similar to the version in Glogauer Liederbuch. Its German title then was ignored or translated, and the piece was “contrafacted” into a motet.

Comments on text and music:

A presumably instrumental fantasy on motives from the three-part textless piece, which is copied into Sevilla 5-I-43 as »Fuyh schwamz« on ff. 94v-95; in the Glogauer Liderbuch (Kraków 40098) it is found as a Latin contrafactum with the title “Der Fochss schwantz”, and in the “Loire Valley” chansonniers it appears as an anonymous French rondeau »Aime qui vouldra« (see this song for further information). The long fantasy borrows and expands the original piece’s opening imitation and then proceeds freely with the use of imitation between the upper voices – with the ascending motive, which opens the original’s second section, in a prominent place. Furthermore, it seems to use the scheme of main cadences of the original “Fox’s tail”, C-F-a-F, for its far longer stretches of music.

PWCH December 2017