Hyperion Records

Quant Theseus / Ne quier veoir
4vv; Ballade 34
author of text
late 1360s; from Le Voir Dit; VD57/58

'Machaut: Songs from Le Voir Dit' (CDA67727)
Machaut: Songs from Le Voir Dit
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 88.2 kHz £12.00ALAC 24-bit 88.2 kHz £12.00 CDA67727  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Quant Theseus / Ne quier veoir
Quant Theseus / Ne quier veoir (Ballade 34) is a song of which Machaut was especially proud. The lyrics are the product of a competitive lyric ‘joust’ between Machaut and a certain Thomas Paien, one of the composer’s real-life peers at the cathedral of Rheims, which forms an interlude in the story. In the narrative, Machaut laments how Thomas composed his own lyric (Quant Theseus) first, thereby taking ‘all the grease from the pot’ in terms of poetic conceits and imagery. Machaut endeavoured to surpass Thomas’s effort by providing a greater number of extravagant images, many from classical mythology. But from his comments to his lady, it seems that where Machaut considered he had trumped his opponent was in the musical setting he crafted for the two poems. Quant Theseus / Ne quier veoir is unusual in its scoring for two equal texted voices over two accompanying lower voices. The novelty of this song and its lyrics may explain why these were imitated and quoted by a variety of Machaut’s contemporaries.

from notes by Yolanda Plumley © 2013

Track-specific metadata
   English   Français   Deutsch