As I mentioned earlier, I have been asked to create singable translations for all the pieces at St. Cecilia Press, and I am happy to be able to say that I have finished! (Or, at least, I’m caught up until Monique adds more pieces.)
My recent translations include 16 pieces to accompany Monique’s editions, plus two I’ve done just on my own initiative. 🙂 They are as follows: Continue reading
Have I mentioned that French is the worst?
There are a couple of reasons that dealing with French in my business is such a pain:
- Everything, just absolutely everything*, written before 1600 is in French.
- English is not French.
Another piece from our friend, Guiraut Riquier. I’m so enthusiastic about this guy’s passion for form – and the sincerity of his words – that I want to keep exploring his work! 🙂
In this one, Guiraut experiments with a circular form in which the final line of each stanza is the first line of the next stanza (and the final line of last stanza is, of course, the first line of the poem). In addition, odd-numbered (1, 3, 5) and even-numbered (2, 4, 6) stanzas have an inverted structure: the rhyme pattern of the first half of the odd stanzas is the same as the rhyme pattern of the second half of the even stanzas, and vice versa. Yet the two halves of each stanza are connected because they share a rhyme throughout (lines 2, 4, 7, and 9).
Guiraut employs the same form in the melody. In general, lines that rhyme share melodic information. And he also echoes the two-half structure: In the manuscript, he uses a special sign to indicate that Verses 1, 3, and 5 should be sung as written, but Verses 2, 4, and 6 should be sung differently. For the even-numbered verses, the singer begins on line 6 of the tune and, after reaching the end, returns to the top of the page to eventually end on line 5. I’ve never seen instructions like that for a troubadour piece before, so I am super-excited!
“Be.m meraveill co non es envejos” is an example of one of my favorite genres of music and poetry: trobar.
Sharing this piece is a good chance for me to talk about the process of translating and arranging a work of trobar. And, since this piece also proselytizes quite a bit for Courtly Love, this is a good chance for me to talk about what Courtly Love is.
For my first post, I think it’s appropriate to begin with my favorite piece ever written.
You should begin by listening to it, because then you’ll fall in love with it, too, and you’ll want to learn more about it.