Doulce Mémoire The 16th-Century Art of Variation
The name Doulce Mémoire comes from one of the best-known madrigals of the 16th century: Doulce Memoire by Pierre Regnault, who was also known as Sandrin. This song, with its beautifully simple melodic lines and elegant poetry, was immensely popular throughout the 16th century, and some 30 versions of it are known, written for all kinds and combinations of instruments, from the simplest to the very complex. We have chosen to play some of these for you tonight. As well, we have chosen some other equally celebrated songs — English, Italian, and French —which have also inspired composers to write variations. For most of these you will first hear the song, followed by the instrumental variations.
Listen : Divisions on a ground
Recercada primera, quarta, ottava Diego Ortiz (1510-1570
Divisions on a ground Mr John Banister (c. 1624–1679) The Duke of Norfolk (Pauls Steeple) The Division Violin (John Playford – 1684)
Gagliarda, Chiacona, Gagliarda, Corrente a la Francese Andrea Falconieri (c. 1585-1656)
Ricercata Ottava Giovanni Bassano (1560? – 1617) Diminutions sur « Ancor che col partire » Ricardo Rogniono (c.1555 c.1620)
Roger of Coverly The Division Violin (John Playford – 1684) Divisions upon “John come kiss me now”
Duo « Doulce Mémoire » François de Layolle (1475-1540) Recercada seconda sobre « Doulce Mémoire » Diego Ortiz
Loves Constancy Nicolas Lanier (1588-1666)
Tollets Ground The Division Violin (John Playford – 1684)
Courante, Sarabande, Chacone Anonyme (Goess Ms c. 1650)
Ricercata per viola bastarda Aurelio Virgiliano (c. 1540-c. 1600) Dolce Memoy Vincenzo Bonizzi (début XVIIe)
Faronells Division on a Ground (Folia) The Division Violin (John Playford – 1684)
This intimate concert can easily be presented in a small concert hall or a church.