Harmonia Early Music

Déploration

This week, a look at the Renaissance lament known as the déploration. Also, the debut release of the Canadian ensemble I Furiosi.

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Photo: Ivet Angelova

The earliest known "déploration" also happens to be the only surviving composition by the composer Fransiscus Andrieu, who set to music a ballade that marked the death of Guillaume de Machaut.

It might seem a little morbid to say that death can be an inspiration, but for the late-medieval and Renaissance composers who wrote déploration, it was the impetus to set to music poems written lamenting the deaths of significant composers; most of which were focused on Ockeghem and Josquin.

The earliest known déploration also happens to be the only surviving composition by the composer Fransiscus Andrieu, who set to music a ballade that marked the death of Guillaume de Machaut. The poem itself, a double ballade entitled “Armes, Amours” was written by Eustache Deschamps.

Josquin’s death was the inspiration for Nicolas Gombert’s own composition entitled Musae Jovis, based on the cantus firmus “Circumdederunt me gemitus mortis,” “The sighs of death surround me.”

Gombert’s déploration is one of three written in memory of Josquin. The other two composers who created their own works were Jheronimus Vinders and Benedictus Appenzeller.

Earlier we traced a line of laments that connected Ockeghem with Gombert, but there is a further connection to be made if we look at Ockeghem himself, who composed a déploration after the death of Gilles Binchois. Ockeghem’s work not only praises Binchois but paints a biographical picture of his life. The first line opens the lament in an elegant and touching manner:

“Death, you have wounded with your dart the Father of joyousness…”

Similar works to the déploration were being composed in other parts of Europe, including England and Italy. When Thomas Tallis passed away, William Byrd wrote a piece entitled Ye sacred Muses for voice and viola da gamba consort. Also, Andrea Gabrieli marked the passing of Adrian Willaert in his “Sassi palae, Sabbion, del Adrian lio.” Both respond to dedicatee’s death in ways that clearly reflect the aesthetic and culture of each composer.

Our new release this week is titled “Crazy.” The performance marks the debut release of the Canadian ensemble I Furiosi on the Dorian label.

Here’s a video of I Furiosi performing Andrea Falconiero’s “Folias”:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkEb1OksPzw

The music heard on this episode was performed by Ensemble P.A.N., The Clerks’ Group, Piffaro, The Hilliard Ensemble, and I Fagiolini.

Music Heard On This Episode

Francesco Maria Veracini : Pasagallo from Sonata XII in D minor
I Furiosi — Crazy (Dorian, 2008)
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Francesco Maria Veracini : Pasagallo from Sonata XII in D minor
I Furiosi — Crazy (Dorian, 2008)
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Fransiscus Andrieu: Armes, Amours/O flour (Eustache Deschamps’ ballade for Machaut)
Ensemble PAN — Secular Music from the Chantilly Codex (New Albion Records, 1994)
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Josquin Des Prez: Déploration sur le trépas de Jean Ockeghem
The Clerks’ Group/Edward Wickham — Ockeghem: Missa Ecce Ancilla Domini (Asv Living Era, 2001)
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Nicolas Gombert: Musae Jovis
Piffaro — Chansons et danceries: French Renaissance wind music (Archiv, 1996)
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Nicolas Gombert: Musae Jovis
The Hillard Ensemble — Nicolas Gombert: Missa Media Vita in Morte Sumus (ECM, 2006)
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Johannes Ockeghem: Mort, tu as navré
The Clerks’ Group/Edward Wickham — Ockeghem: Missa Au Travail Suis, Missa Sine Nomine a5 (ASV, 2000)
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Andrea Gabrieli: Sassi palae, Sabbion, del Adrian lio
I Fagiolini/Robert Hollingsworth — Andrea Gabrieli: The Madrigal in Venice (Chandos , 2003)
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William Byrd: Ye sacred Muses
Concordia/Mark Levy — William Byrd: Songs and Sonnets, Music For Voice And Viols (Meridian, 1993)
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Dario Castello: Sonata Decima a 3
I Furiosi — Crazy (Dorian, 2008)
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G.F. Handel: Menuet from Trio Sonata in G major, op. 5, no. 4
I Furiosi — Crazy (Dorian , 2008)
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Bernard Gordillo

Bernard Gordillo was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and raised in New Orleans. He holds degrees from Centenary College of Louisiana, the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Bernard also writes and hosts the Harmonia Early Music Podcast.

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