"Chansons de regretz" in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries
MetadataShow full item record
Musical allusion and intertextual play, well established practices in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, were especially apparent in the realm of sacred repertory as well as in settings of particular song models ( De tous biens plaine, Fortuna desperata ). Yet one can observe musical networking of a less conspicuous kind among chansons whose only apparent means of connection are a shared literary theme and/or word(s) of the incipit. The late 1400s witnessed an abundance of regretz; these chansons feature the word " regretz " (and/or similar orthographies of the word) in or close to their incipit. This dissertation deals with the referential world of the regretz on the levels of music, text, and context, extending the discursive context of the " regretz complex" beyond the previously discussed reworkings of such popular chansons as Allez regretz and Mille regretz. Scrutiny of a group of more than forty regretz chansons considered in the dissertation brings to light intertextual associations of a broad spectrum that ranges from instances of overt relation (shared incipits, prominent musical motives and gestures) to non-apparent intersections of broader shared codes (narratives, musical structures and textures, and alignment of musical material). Prominent literary figures of the fifteenth century such as Jean II de Bourbon and Charles d'Orléans were essential in initiating the regretz as a literary theme. The poetic texts of the regretz chansons are composed of a shared vocabulary of constants (code-words and themes), which embodies a rhetoric of sorrow and suffering. Speculating upon musical connections within the regretz complex may help us in gaining insight into the ways such composers as Compère, Fresneau, Ghiselin, Ghizeghem, Josquin, La Rue, Longueval, and the later Gombert, among others, acknowledged the regretz as a literary topos and shaped them into a cult musical tradition. Regretz chansons discussed at length include, among others, Ghizeghem's Allez regretz and La Regretée, Compère's Venés regretz, Josquin's Mille regretz, Parfons regretz, and Plus nulz regretz, and La Rue's Tous les regretz. A non-inclusive list of other pieces considered includes Fresneau's Nuit et jour, Ghiselin's Le cueur la suyt, Josquin's Plusieurs regretz and Regretz sans fin, La Rue's Dueil et ennuy, Plusieurs regretz and Pour ung jamais, Longueval's Alle regres, and Weerbeke's Sans regretz.