The beautiful rondeau Rose, lis, printemps, verdure
(Rondeau 10) seems to have circulated after Machaut’s death, though no copies of the song itself survive in manuscripts other than the ‘central’ Machaut collected works sources. However, an anonymous rondeau found in two northern Italian sources from around 1400, Rose sans per
(‘Rose without equal’), quotes the opening of Machaut’s rondeau, clearly inspired by the shared metaphor of the rose representing the lady. The composer of this anonymous song also drew upon one of the most striking musical features of Rose, lis, printemps, verdure
: the alternation between two metrical patterns, a procedure known as hemiola, that gives the song its beautiful lilting quality. This rhythmic play was innovative at the time Rose, lis, printemps, verdure
was composed (by 1350), and the anonymous composer of Rose sans per
seems to have drawn on this innovation, and expanded upon it, in his own song, which combines not two but three different metres.
from notes by Anne Stone © 2015