Music Clément Janequin (v. 1485-1558), four mixed voices a cappella, restitution Jacques Barbier
Published in a collection of 24 songs written by Clément Janequin alone, which shows its importance and the editorial confidence that Pierre Attaingnant placed in him, La plus belle de la ville is one of the rare songs to feature a division of voices, in this case on the superius. This echoing, spatialisation of the discourse is also noteworthy. The brevity and number of lines make this an atypical example in the output of the period.
The story has to be told, mimicked and dramatised.
With no difficulty whatsoever, and with an explicit desire to have the characters talk to each other, we are here in the familiar register of the chanson récréative, the one that returns to the love relationship, to this "joli bois" to keep with the metaphor so often used in other songs of this Parisian generation, whether by Clément Janequin or Claudin de Sermisy. Close to the trestles of farce, it evokes strongly François Rabelais, Panurge is not far away listening to us...
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