Mon Coeur Se Recommande a Vous is a beautiful piece written by the Flemish composer, Orlandus Lassus, for four voices. Now anyone who may have heard of this composer before might be thinking right now, “It’s not Lassus, it’s di Lasso”. Well actually, Lassus went by five, yes five different names: Orlande de Lassus, Orlandus Lassus, Orlando di Lasso, Roland de Lassus and Roland Delattre (hereinafter referred to as Orlandus Lassus). As a composer from the Renaissance era, Lassus was known mainly for his well-developed polyphony. However, in this piece, we get to see slightly different side to Lassus. The majority of the piece remains homophonic with little rhythmic variation between voices. Therefore, in a piece like this, it is important that each part looks not only “horizontally” to create a musical line, but works with the other parts to enhance the “vertical” or group aspect of the piece.
Lassus composes a gentle setting to the text which, surprise, is related to the loss of a lover. Although the group has previously sung the song, it has taken a considerable group effort for us to swallow the French text. However, our resident multilingual expert, Kayleigh, has provided us with much help in learning the correct pronunciation. I personally find it helpful when learning French to remember that NOTHING is pronounced the way it is written. Nothing.
My heart is offered still to you,
Full now of woe and deep despairing;
Be not to constancy untrue.
Say one farewell, my sorrow sharing!
My mouth which once could smile in gladness,
And charming stories improvise,
Now can only curse at its madness
Those who banished me from your eyes.