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Doulce mémoire is a justly famous four-part chanson with music by Pierre Regnault (Sandrin, c. 1490 – 1561) and text by François I of France, in this 1555 two-part adaptation by Lyonese arranger and publisher, Antoine Gardane (1509 – 1569).

lyrics

Douce mémoire en plaisir consommé,
Ô siècle heureux qui cause tel savoir.
La fermeté de nous deux tant aimés
Qui, à nos maux, a su si bien pourvoir.

Or maintenant a perdu son pouvoir
Rompant le but de ma seule espérance,
Servant d’exemple à tout piteux avoir,
Fini le bien, le mal, soudain commence.

* * *

Sweet memory consummated in joy,
O happy time of such understanding;
The loving steadfastness of our [united] love,
Which knew so well how to attend our ills,

But now alas has lost its [former] strength
Severing the thread of my only hope.
A sad example all afflicted see,
Cease therefore joy, for sudden evil comes.

credits

from Au Pres de Vous: French chansons of the 16th century, released September 1, 2009

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Mignarda Danby, New York

Mignarda specializes in thoughtful programming illuminating the vibrant mingling of renaissance music & poetry. Noted for awakening modern audiences to an appreciation for historical music, their work encompasses concertizing, teaching & recording, with ten critically-acclaimed CDs, a series of 12 music editions, scholarly articles, reviews and the internationally-popular blog, Unquiet Thoughts. ... more

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