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Sans cuer, dolens de vous departiray (Rondeau: from 'Le Voir Dit')

Sans cuer, dolens de vous departiray (Rondeau: from 'Le Voir Dit')

Sans cuer dolens de vous departiray,
Et sans avoir joie jusqu’au retour
Puis que mon corps dou vostre a partir ay.
Sans cuer dolens de vous departiray.
Mais je ne say de quele part iray,
Pour ce que pleins de doleur et de plour.
Sans cuer dolens de vous departirai,
Et sans avoir joie jusqu’au retour.

With no heart, in pain I’ll leave you

With no heart and in pain I’ll leave you,
With no joy till my return
Because forced to separate my body from yours.
With no heart and in pain I’ll leave you,
Yet I know not where to go,
I’m so full of misery and tears.
With no heart and in pain I’ll leave you,
With no joy till my return.

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Composer

Guillaume de Machaut is presumed to have been born around the year 1300; the first surviving documentary evidence from 1330 lists him as a ‘clerk’ in the household of John of Bohemia and suggests that he had been in service since 1323. Machaut was instated as a canon of Reims Cathedral in 1337 and established a residence in the city in 1340. During his later years he enjoyed the patronage of a number of French nobles, including the wife and son of Jean II. In his sixties he enjoyed a close relationship with a young noblewoman, a relationship he chronicled (and embellished) in a long narrative poem, Le Voir Dit, which included many of their lyrics and letters. From these we learn something of his view of his own music, and of the process by which he preserved his work for posterity. His poetry also supplies a limited degree of biographical information; he suffered from gout and was blind in one eye, yet he was evidently enthusiastic about falconry, horseback riding and the French countryside. Machaut died in Reims in 1377.

© Daniel Leech-Wilkinson

 


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