Mourey: In Memoriam – Marcelo de la Puebla

Colette Mourey’s In Memoriam is a set of variations on Anna Marley’s famous Song of the Partisans.

According to Wikipedia:

The Chant des Partisans was the most popular song of the Free French and French Resistance during World War II.

The piece was written and put to melody in London in 1943 after Anna Marly heard a Russian song that provided her with inspiration. Joseph Kessel and Maurice Druon wrote the French lyrics. It was performed by Anna Marly, broadcast by the BBC and adopted by the maquis. The lyrics of the song revolve around the idea of a life-or-death struggle for national liberation, and they also carry elements of a communist political message (for example, calling upon the workers and peasants to rise up).

After the war the Chant des Partisans was so popular, it was proposed as a new national anthem for France. It became for a short while the unofficial national anthem, next to the official La Marseillaise.

In this concert, Chilean guitarist Marcelo de la Puebla gives the world premiere performance of the piece. The video opens with a few words from the composer, who, via Skype, was able to address the audience and enjoy the concert from her home in France. The Skype connection was poor, so the communication was difficult, but I thought it was good to keep it in the video to document the event. The music begins at the four-minute mark.

Josquin and Narvaez: Mille Regretz – Jeff Ashton

Jeff Ashton playing his new Maxwell Sipe guitar. Recorded at the 2014 Marylhurst Handmade Instrument Show.

Jeff plays two versions of Josquin des Prez’s Mille Regretz. He starts with his own guitar arrangement of the original four-part chanson by Josquin.

Jeff follows with the 1538 vihuela adaptation by Luis de Narváez, called Cancion del Emperador, later transcribed for guitar and made famous by Segovia.

As a reference for Jeff’s arrangement of Mille Regretz, here’s the work for four voices:

Text:
Mille regretz de vous abandonner
Et d’eslonger vostre fache amoureuse,
Jay si grand dueil et paine douloureuse,
Quon me verra brief mes jours definer.

In Modern French:
Mille regrets de vous abandonner
et d’être éloigné de votre visage amoureux.
J’ai si grand deuil et peine douloureuse
qu’on me verra vite mourir.

English Translation:
A thousand regrets at deserting you
and leaving behind your loving face,
I feel so much sadness and such painful distress,
that it seems to me my days will soon dwindle away.