The Chansonniers

Songs and dances from around the sixteenth century

This is what we sound like


A la guerra! by Bartolomeo Tromboncino (c1470 - after 1535)

An Italian song (a 'frottola') saying that love is like war, so let's get on with it

Fantasia for 3 instruments by Giovanni Bassano (c. 1550 - 1617)

Giovanni Bassano published his book of three-part fantasias in 1585. We play it on three viols, a cheerful little piece where the motifs are taken up in turn by each instrument, as usual in fantasias.

Mille regretz by Josquin des Pres (attr) (c. 1450 - 1521)

The text is in old French.
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.

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.

Hole in the Wall by Purcell (1659-1695) and Horses Branle from Arbeau (1519-1595)

After a gentle introduction on harp and viol we let our hair down. 'The Hole in the Wall' was originally a dance for the stage, written by Purcell, while 'Horse's Bransle' comes from Orchesographie by Arbeau, a cheerful little tune for a sprightly dance. Both tunes have gone into standard use as session and country dance tunes.