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Open access 15th c.
MS Florence 2794

 

 
Je te veulx desavouer oeil 3v · Anonymous

Sources:

*Florence 176 ff. 77v-79 »Je te veulx desadvoyer« 3v PDF

*Florence 2794 ff. 47v-48 »Je te veulx desavouer oeil« 3v PDF

Paris 15123 ff. 175v-176 »Je te veulx desavoye oeil« 3v · Facsimile

Text: Bergerette; incipits only in Florence 176; full text in Florence 2794; Paris 15123 misses the tierce.

After Florence 2793:

Je te veulx desavouer oeil,
que sans mon congie t’abandonnes;
tu m’emblez mon cueur et le donnes
a ton plaisir et a ton vueil. (1)

Or avise bien que tu fais;
il me semble que tu mesfais
de vouloir mon cueur asservir. (2)

Tu me tues et le desfais,
car je ne croy pas que tes fais
vallent si hault bien deservir. (3)

Se tu es prins par Bel Acueil
de la meilleur d’entre les bonnes,
s’il ne luy plaist quoy qu’en ordonnes,
ja n’avait pitie de ton vueil.

Je te veulx desavouer oeil,
que sans mon congie t’abandonnes;
tu m’emblez mon cueur et le donnes
a ton plaisir et a ton vueil.

I wish that you withdrew the look,
which you threw without my permission;
you steal my heart and assign it
to your pleasure and your will.

Know for sure what you do;
I think that you hurt me
on purpose by enslaving my heart.

You kill me and destroy it,
for I do not believe that your deeds
are worthy to deserve such high praise.

Even when you are received by Warm Welcome
of the best woman among the good,
if it [the heart] cannot please her whatever you try,
she never took pity on your will.

I wish that you withdrew the look,
which you threw without my permission;
you steal my heart and assign it
to your pleasure and your will.

1) Paris 15123 line 4, “aton plysir nuul ou mon veul”
2) Paris 15123, line 7, “de mon voloir mon cueur asservir”
3) Paris 15123, lines 9-10, “… tel fais / nullent hault bien deservir”
Many differences of spelling in the sources.

Evaluation of the sources:

In the oldest source, Florence 176, the song is entered by the main scribe without any errors in the music. Of the text he only copied the incipits of the two sections (in the 2nd only in the tenor). The contemporary French MS, Florence 2794, exhibits a few writing errors in the music (see the edition), but has the complete poem. The slightly later Florentine chansonnier, Paris 15123 (the MS Pixérécourt), has a somewhat corrupted version of the French poem, which misses the tierce.

The music shows that this song very well could be copied into Florence 15123 from the same exemplar as was used for Florence 176. The differences are few and all of the sort of editorial changes that scribes make when copying (in Florence 15123 all voices miss indication of the ouvert and clos endings in the couplets; T, b. 23.2-3 dotted rhythm, b. 24.1 notated flat before e’, bb. 39.2-40.1 no ligature, b. 42 brevis; C, b. 3 dot placed after f (error), b. 24.1 f-d (dotted rhythm); b. 36 no ligature). All three sources have a key signature of two flats in the superius combined with a G2-clef (Florence 2794 starts in C1-clef, but changes in the 3rd staff to G2 with two flats).

All three sources transmit the music in nearly identical versions. Florence 176 combined with the text in Florence 2794 makes a completely satisfying version. However, the small differences in ligatures in these sources give Florence 2794 a slight preference owing to an easier reading of the text distribution in the lower parts (see e.g. bb. 28-32).

Comments on text and music:

This bergerette in artful rime équivoque is about the dangers overwhelming a heart, which receives an inviting glance from a demanding lady. It is composed for three voices in high tessitura (underscored by the flat before f’’ in the key signature of the superius) placed roughly a fifth apart, but with the contratenor crossing above the tenor several times, especially at cadences. Varied setting with a clear declamation of the words alternating with melismatic passages; snippets of octave canon between tenor and superius (bb. 18 ff and bb. 44-47); the second section are rhythmically differentiated from the first, but there is an unmistakable thematic relation between the sections – compare bb. 1-4 and bb. 27-34.

This song is a good candidate for an ascription to the composer and poet Gilles Mureau. In addition to its general stylistic compatibility with his chansons and its use of artful poetic devices, it is placed in a series of songs in Florence 176 in which a later hand has identified two songs as being the works of Mureau (nos. 48-49; this is no. 51). Compare also the upper voice’s setting of the second line (bb. 7-13) with Mureau’s »Pensez y se le povez faire« bb. 25-32.

See further my Introduction to The Complete Works of Gilles Mureau.

PWCH July 2011