L’Ensemble Cantabile

Title Composer Date Key Lang. Type Subject
Sumer is icumen in Anonymous 1250 D Eng Mundane Nature
Mille regretz de vous abandonner Josquin Desprez 1475 c D Fr Classic Love Lost
El grillo Josquin Desprez 1475 c F It Mundane Love games
Alla cazza Anonymous 1490 F It Mundane Hunting
Cucú, cucú! Juan del Encina 1498 c G Sp Mundane Domestic Life
Fatal la parte Juan del Encina 1498 c Gm Sp Mundane Domestic Life
Pasa el agoa, ma Julieta Anonymous 1510 c G Fr-Sp Classic Love Celebrated
Marfira, por vos muero Anonymous 1510 c Fm Sp Classic Love Lost
Lirum Bililirum Rossino Mantovano 1510 fl D It Mundane Love Games
Ach Elslien, liebes Elselien Ludwig Senfl 1515 c Gm Ger Classic Love Won
Au feu d'amour Pierre de la Rue 1518 F Fr Mundane Love Penitent
Reconfortez le petit cueur de moy Clément Janequin 1528 A Fr Classic Love Games
Jouyissance vous donneray Claudin de Sermisy 1528 Gm Fr Classic Love Celebrated
Au joli jeu du pousse avant Clément Janequin 1529 F Fr Mundane Love Games
Ce moys de may Clément Janequin 1529 G Fr Mundane Love Games
Au joly boys Claudin de Sermisy 1529 Em Fr Classic Love Lost
Tourdion Anonymous 1530 Fm Fr Mundane Drink
Petite nymphe folastre Clément Janequin 1530 c G Fr Mundane Love Games
J’ay double dueil Clément Janequin 1530 c Am Fr Classic Love Unrequited
Languir me fais Claudin de Sermisy 1530 c A flat Fr Classic Love Lost
Pastyme with good company Henry VIII 1530 c G E Classic Love Philosophical
Tant que vivray Claudin de Sermisy 1530 c G Fr Classic Love Faithful
Vive la serpe Claudin de Sermisy 1530 c G Fr Mundane Drink
L'hiver sera et l'été variable Jacques Arcadelt 1535 c Gm Fr Classic Love Faithful
Margot labourez les vignes Jacques Arcadelt 1535 c G Fr Mundane Love Games
Il bianco e dolce cigno Jacques Arcadelt 1535 c G It Classic Love Celebrated
Conque la lavare Juan Vasquez 1538 Em Sp Classic Love Lost
Vitrum nostrum gloriosum Anonymous 1540 Am Lat Mundane Drink
Allon, gay bergeres Guillaume Costely 1540 c Dm Fr Mundane Christmas
Il est bel et bon Pierre Passereau 1540 c Em Fr Mundane Domestic Life
À ce joly moys Clément Janequin 1543 G Fr Mundane Love Games
L'amour de moy Anonymous 1550 c E flat Fr Classic Love Celebrated
Laet varen alle fantasie Lupus Episcopius 1550 c F Fl Mundane Drink
Doulce Mémoire Pierre Sandrin 1550 c Fm Fr Classic Lamentation
En voz adieux Cyprian de Rore 1551 A flat Fr Classic Lamentation
De los álamos vengo Juan Vasquez 1551 B flat Sp Classic Love Celebrated
Lindos oios aveis, señora Juan Vasquez 1551 Am Sp Classic Love Celebrated
Ave Maria Jacques Arcadelt 1557 G Lat Sacred Prayer
La Puce Claude Le Jeune 1558 c G Fr Mundane Love Games
O Bone Jesu Gi. P. da Palestrina 1560 Am Lat Sacred Prayer
Mon coeur se recommande à vous Roland de Lassus 1560 F Fr Classic Love Lost
Mignonne, allons voir si la rose Guillaume Costely 1560 c F Fr Classic Love celebrated
Quand le berger vit la bergère Guillaume Costely 1560 c Am Fr Mundane Love Games
Un gentil amoureux Claude Le Jeune 1560 c G Fr Classic Love Won
Matona, mia cara Orlando di Lasso 1560 c G It Mundane Love Games
Bonjour mon coeur Roland de Lassus 1560 c F Fr Classic Love Lost
Un jour vis un foulon qui foulait Roland de Lassus 1576 Bm Fr Mundane Love Games
La nuit froide et sombre Roland de Lassus 1576 fl Dm Fr Classic Nature
Amor vittorioso Giovanni Gastoldi 1580 Em It Classic Love Militant
Voyci le verd et beau may Jacques Maudit 1586 fl A flat Fr Classic Nature
Puis que le ciel veult ainsi Jean Planson 1587 Gm Fr Classic Love Lost
Pavane Thoinot Arbeau 1589 Gm Fr Mundane Love Games
April is in my mistress' face Thomas Morley 1594 Gm Eng Classic Love Lost
Tanzen und springen Hans-Leo Hassler 1594 c C Ger Mundane Love Games
Ach, weh des Leiden Hans Leo Hassler 1594 c B flat Gr Classic Love Lamented
Come again John Dowland 1597 G Eng Mundane Love Lost
Now, O now I needs must part John Dowland 1597 G Eng Mundane Love Lost
Fair Phyllis I saw sitting John Farmer 1598 F Eng Mundane Love Games
Adieu, sweet Amaryllis John Wilbye 1598 Gm Eng Classic Love Lost
Lady,when I behold the roses John Wilbye 1598 Gm Eng Classic Love Celebrated
Weep, weep, mine eyes John Wilbye 1598 c E E Classic Lamentation
Weep, O mine eyes John Bennet 1599 Am Eng Classic Lamentation
Fine knacks for ladies John Dowland 1600 F Eng Mundane Love Games
So ben mi ch'a bon tempo Orazio Vecchi 1600 Em It Classic Love Celebrated
Say, love if ever John Dowland 1603 G E Classic Love Celebrated
Time stands still John Dowland 1603 G E Classic LoveCelebrated
Of all the birds that I do Know John Bartlet 1606 G Eng Mundane Love Games
Four arms two necks one wreathing Thomas Weelkes 1608 Em Eng Mundane Love Games
Come, sirrah Jack, ho! Thomas Weelkes 1608 G Eng Mundane Tobacco
Contrappunto bestiale alla mente Adriano Banchieri 1610 C It Mundane Animals
Have I found her? Francis Pilkington 1613 C E Classic Love Celebrated
Beau le cristal Roland de Lassus 1619 fl C Fr Classic Philosophy
O yes! Has any found a lad? Thomas Tomkins 1622 A flat Eng Classic Love Games
Lasciate mi morire Claudio Monteverdi 1623 C It Classic Lamentation
Quel augellin, che canta Claudio Monteverdi 1623 E It Classic Love Celebrated
Lamento della ninfa Claudio Monteverdi 1638 Am It Classic Love Lost
In these delightful pleasant groves Henry Purcell 1676 B flat Eng Classic Love Celebrated
If music be the food of love Henry Purcell 1680 Fm Eng Classic Love Celebrated

About the Musicke

For anyone with a European heritage an encounter with Renaissance music is a bit like going home.  In it we find the foundation for modern western musical harmony.  (Country and Western too, I guess. )

Singing Renaissance music is an extremely pleasurable experience no matter which part you take.  The most probable reason for this, is that a great number of composers were also singers and choir directors.  For them melody was of prime importance and each part had its own.  Polyphony (meaning many voices) preceded any idea of chords.  Harmony was a very practical and intuitive exercise.  Modern choral works can sound wonderful, but most require each voice to serve the over-all texture and harmony of the piece at the expense of the interweaving of individual melodies. Then voices and instruments were interchangeable and the players wrote the music.  Dowland's music can be mostly instrumental with either a tenor or soprano singing the main melody or it can be sung with the bass taking over the viol part and the others giving words to the lute part.  (This is discussed really well by Anthony Rooley in the album notes for his recording of Dowland's First Book of Songs.)

Most of our repertoire is taken from the secular side of the music.  In comparison to the Medieval period, Renaissance secular music is in overwhelming abundance.  We can really thank people like Gütenburg and Caxton for this. Prior to 1450, anything written was copied by hand.  Most of the copying was done in monasteries.  They also had the best chance of preservation with their well developed libraries.  With the introduction of the printing press came an explosion of books, and with it, music.  But behind most pieces of secular music was a composer with a religious day job. Sermisy, de Lassus, Arcadelt,  Senfl, Janequin, and even Weelkes were all found in churches and court chapels across Europe doing their major work for Sunday morning, while always finding a little time for Saturday night.  The sexual allusion of Blues and Rock'n Roll has nothing on the raunchy Renaissance. (As long as you can read between the lines.)

If you wish to hear any of these pieces as MIDI files, email:  Brian Fisher at lepage_fisher@videotron.ca