Van Antwerpen tot Parijs  /  Rans & Flagel

De la Seine à l'Escaut | |
Eufoda  1307


1. Pieronelle  [3:54]
2. Gaillarde La Perronnelle/La Perronnelle  [3:44]
3. Te Haerlem in den Houte/La meunière du moulin à vent  [2:25]
4. Une jeune fillette  [4:27]

5. Maraen, hoe moogt gy spies en lans verheffen  [1:46]
6. Weest nu verblyt, te deser tyt  [2:07]   (Pacificatie van Gent, 1576)
7. Duivelsliedeken  [2:14]

8. Le beau prince d'Orange  [4:08]
9. Nieu kluchtigh liedeken van den Geusen haes-op uyt Calloy  [2:32]
10. Je m'en vay à Livarro  [3:51]
11. Datmen eens van drincken spraeck  [2:25]

12. Les gorriers  [2:24]
13. Die Nachtegael int wilde  [4:07]
14. Quand le gril chante  [2:43]
15. Beso los manos, myn soete schelmtje  [4:43]

16. Réveillez-vous, Piccarz  [1:41]
17. Het vertrek der cale Fransche  [1:13]
18. La prise de Mons  [2:40]

19. La bataille de La Hougue/La bataille de Steinkerque  [2:28]
20. Quand ce beau printemps je voy/Schoonste nymfe van het wout  [2:59]
21. La belle Flamande  [4:01]
22. Floris en Blanchefleur  [7:25]

zang, luit / voice, lute

zang, draailier, trom / voice, hurdy-gurdy, drum

doedelzakken, zang / bagpipes, voice

luit, theorbe, cister, colascione, hakkebord, percussie, zang / lute, theorbo, cittern, colascione, hammered dulcimer, percussion, voice

viola da gamba, barokcello, colascione, zang / viol, baroque cello, colascione, voice

barokviool, zang / baroque violin, voice

blokfluiten, dulciaan, zang / recorders, dulcian, voice

Sound Recording Centre Steurbaut, Gent
29.6.2001, 1-2.7.2001
SuperBit Mapping
20 bit digital recording on Sony PCM 9000 magnetic optical disc


Jan Massys, Vrolijk gezelschap/ Merry Company
Wien, Kunsthistorisches Museum (foto: AKG Berlin/Erich Lessing)

Foto Rans & Flagel: Björn Tagemose

© 2001 Davidsfonds/Eufoda, Leuven



Over België wordt graag gezegd dat dit de plaats is waar de Germaanse en de Latijnse culturen elkaar ontmoeten. Die wisselwerking tussen noord en zuid, waar vaak dezelfde thema's in regionale varianten werden bezongen, die Vlaams-Waalse en Nederlands-Franse voces populi, vormen de rode draad van het programma dat Claude Flagel en Paul Rans presenteren in Van Antwerpen tot Parijs/De la Seine à l'Escaut. Overigens ligt de oorsprong van het repertoire soms ook wel iets verder af dan Parijs of Antwerpen. Franse of Waalse en Vlaamse of Nederlandse liedjes wisselen elkaar af, en vullen elkaar aan, begeleid door luit en blokfluit, gamba en viool, draailier of doedelzak...

Hedendaagse uitvoerders fuseren graag traditionele muziek en liederen uit verscheidene delen van Europa, of zelfs uit de hele wereld. Zij versmelten dit repertoire tot wat nu wereldmuziek heet. Die interactie tussen de verscheidene Europese culturen heeft echter altijd al bestaan. Een puur, maagdelijk en ongerept Vlaams (of Duits, Frans, Grieks...) volkslied is niet meer dan een hersenschim. Wat nog niet wil zeggen dat er geen regionaal karakter zou bestaan, maar onze gezamenlijke erfenis — zowel uit de Griekse en Latijnse mythologie als uit het christendom — heeft op het Europese volkslied een duidelijke stempel gedrukt. Dit Europese volkslied-repertoire vormt één grote familie, waarin verwante thema's en motieven bezongen werden (of warden) van Scandinavië tot Sicilië en van de Oeral tot de Atlantische Oceaan. Op grote en kleine school. En dus ook van Antwerpen tot Parijs.

De Vlaamse, Nederlandse, Waalse en Franse liederen op deze cd illustreren hoe het Nederlandse en het Franse taalgebied muzikaal en thematisch met elkaar zijn verbonden. Stilistisch reflecteren de uitvoeringen vooral de geest van dit repertoire, zonder het verleden letterlijk te willen hercreëren, in een sfeer van Bourgondisch Vlaams tot hoofs Frans en omgekeerd.

It is often said that it is in Belgium that Latin and Germanic cultures meet. In popular song the cross-fertilisation between North and South, where similar themes were often sung in their regional versions in Dutch and in French. These voices of Flemish and Walloon, and Dutch and French people form the thread that binds together the present programme offered here by Claude Flagel and Paul Rans. The title Van Antwerpen tot Parijs/De la Seine à l'Escaut means, 'From Antwerp to Paris/From the Seine to the Scheldt', but some of the repertoire comes from either a little further North or further South. French or Walloon and Flemish or Dutch songs alternate and complement each other, supported by a variety of instruments — from lute, recorder and bass viol to bagpipes and hurdy-gurdy.

Today's performers like to borrow traditional music and songs from various parts of Europe or the world, and to fuse them into what is now called world music. This is happening on a large scale, but there is in fact nothing new in European cultures interacting and fertilising each other. A pure and unadulterated Flemish (or French, German, Greek...) folk song does not really exist. This does not mean of course that there isn't such a thing as regional character, but our common heritage from Greek and Latin mythology and from Christianity has left its mark on European folk songs. They are part of one big family with themes and motifs that run from Scandinavia to Sicily, and from the Ural Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. And from Antwerp to Paris.

The present programme shows a small part of this common heritage in a repertoire of Flemish, Dutch, Walloon and French songs that are linked musically and thematically. Stylistically the interpretations reflect the spirit of this repertoire, rather than trying to produce literal recreations of the post, and evoke an atmosphere that changes from festive Flemish to courtly French and vice-versa.

1. Pieronelle

Haerlems Oudt Liedt-boeck, Haarlem, 1716 (stem: Ey, wilder dan wilt)/
Souterliedekens ghemaect ter eeren Gods, op alle die psalmen van David, Antwerpen, 1540 ('na de wijse Roosken root, seer wijdt ontloken')/
Jan Fruytiers, Ecclesiasticus, Antwerpen, 1565, nr. 53 ('op die wijse Och roosken root')/
Jan Frans Willems, Oude Vlaemsche Liederen, Gent, 1848, nr. 106/
Florimond van Duyse, Het Oude Nederlandsche Lied, Antwerpen-Den Haag, 1903-1905, nr. 290/
Arr. Piet Stryckers

Pieronelle, a Flemish girl, is lured away by three frenchmen. Her three brothers organise a search for her, but when they finally find her she refuses to go back home. There she would have to suffer the disgrace of having lost her honour and she prefers life with the frenchmen who have a taste for good living and good wine.

2. Gaillarde La Perronnelle/La Perronnelle

Chorearum Molliorum, Antwerpen, 1583/
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, ms. fr. 12.744/
Gaston Paris & Auguste Gevaert, Chansons du XVe siècle, Paris, 1875

In the French version Perronnelle is taken away by three gendarmes, dressing her like a page-boy to take her out of the country. Her three brothers find her eventually by a fountain and ask her to come home with them, but she refuses to go back to France whilst, like the Flemish girl, giving her fond regards to her parents. The popularity of this French song is reflected in the galliard which Pierre Phalèse published in Antwerp in 1583.

3. Te Haerlem in den Houte/La meunière du moulin à vent

Amsterdamsche Vreughde-Stroom, Amsterdam, 1655/
Luitboek van Thysius, 1621-1653. Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, hs. hys. 1666/
Florimond van Duyse, Het Oude Nederlandsche Lied, Antwerpen-Den Haag, 1903-1905, nr. 281/
Arr. Piet Stryckers —
Léonard Terry & Léopold Chaumont, Recueil d'airs de cramignons et de chansons populaires à Liège, Liège, 1889/
Albert Boone, Het Vlaamse volkslied in Europa, Tielt, 2000

Millers have always had a reputation as being ladies' men. In the Dutch song the miller plans to serve wine to a girl's mother, hoping he'll be able to take her daughter unnoticed to his bedroom. In the French song a miller girl rebuts the advances of young colin, too worried about the village gossips. The tune is obviously popular but the text may have a more literary origin, although the refrain 'Par derrière et par devant' occurs regularly in ribald songs from the 16th century to today.

4. Une jeune fillette

Jehan Chardavoine, Le recueil des plus excellentes chansons en forme de voix de ville, Paris, 1576

A young woman is forced to enter a convent, where she longs for her lover. This unhappy theme was very popular and this version by Chardavoine is the most complete. Five of the seven verses are sung here. The tune was also used as a dance, Allemande Nonette, borrowed in France for a Christmas carol which is still sung today. In the Low Countries the tune was used for a song against the Spanish occupation in the 16th and 17th centuries, Maraen, which follows the French version here.

5. Maraen, hoe moogt gy spies en lans verheffen

Adriaen Valerius, Nederlandtsche Gedenck-Clanck, Amsterdam, 1626 (stem: Almande Nonette/Une jeune fillette)

'Maraen' was a word to designate the Spanish occupiers who, among other injustices, forced the infamous Inquisition on the population. The 'geuzen' (literally 'beggars' but they carried the name with aride) revolted against Spain and Catholicism and 'geuzen-songs' played an important part in this historic fight which ended with the Netherlands becoming independent and Protestant, whilst Flanders remained Catholic under the rule of the Habsburgs. This song accuses the Spanish of thinking that they are above God, who is the true ruler of the world.

6. Weest nu verblyt, te deser tyt
(Pacificatie van Gent, 1576)

In November 1576 the Seventeen Provinces agreed to remain united in eternal peace, getting rid of ail foreign troops. Catholicism remained the official religion, except in Holland and Zealand where there was to be freedom of religion under William of Orange. This song celebrates this agreement, known as the Pacification of Ghent, and reflects the brief feelings of hope and happiness — soon to be dashed.

7. Duivelsliedeken

Abraham Verhoeven, Den tocht van de Brandt-stichters, Antwerpen, 1622 (stem: Guillelmus van Nassouwe)

In May 1622 Frederic Henry of Nassau and his troops looted and burned down great parts of the province of Brabant. This song — a pamphlet from Antwerp — is against the 'geuzen', satirising the cruelty and hypocrisy of so-called God-fearing men in the dutch army. This is done to the tune of the Wilhelmus, which became the Dutch national anthem, but here in a ternary rather than the usual binary time.

8. Le beau prince d'Orange

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, ms. fr. 12.666/
Arr. Piet Stryckers

The death of René of Nassau, the 'handsome prince of Orange', who fought with Charles V against the French king François I. An eye-witness brings a letter describing how he was killed in the battle of Saint-Dizier (1544) and subsequently buried — a scene reminiscent of that famous song Malbrouck s'en va-t-en guerre, but preceding it by two centuries. The French did not like this handsome prince and made it clear in the derisory tone of the song.

9. Nieu kluchtigh liedeken van den Geusen haes-op uyt Calloy

Maurits Sabbe, Brabant in 't verweer, Antwerpen, 1931 (stem: Hebbense dat gedaen, doense, doense...)

This is a second song against the 'geuzen' who suffered a serious defeat in Kallo on the river Scheldt in 1638. The Dutch had found an ally in France to attack the Spanish in Flanders, but this was to no avail as the Spanish troops managed to fight back the Dutch. Prince William of Nassau's son was killed in the battle. This was to the taste of pro-Catholic Flemings who satirised the 'geuzen' in this text set to a well-known traditional Flemish tune.

10. Je m'en vay à Livarro

Jacques Mangeant, Recueil des plus belles chansons des comédiens françois, Caen, 1615

A very French drinking song with a tune that invites the singer (and the piper) to let the voice reach high and far. Even in France eating and drinking well was often associated with the vision of Flemish feasts as depicted by Brueghel, Teniers, Van Ostade or Jan massjis (see CD cover). Bacchanals such as this one make up about half of the songs in Jacques Mangeant's collection of 1615.

11. Datmen eens van drincken spraeck

Jan Jansz. Starter, De Friesche Lusthof, Amsterdam, 1621

Drinking songs were as popular in the Low Countries as in France, and this song — written in the style of chambers of rhetoric — extols the benefits of drinking good wine (especially French) such as making people talk, dance and sing: farewell wisdom, see you in the morning.

12. Les gorriers

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, ms. fr. 12.744/
Gaston Paris & Auguste Gevaert, Chansons du XVe siècle, Paris, 1875/
Arr. Piet Stryckers

In late 15th century Paris 'gorriers' were trendy young people who liked to live in style but who lacked the means to do so. Gaston Paris and Auguste Gevaert's research resulted in the publication of 143 songs that were popular in France at the end of the 15th century. For many of these songs this is the only source.

13. Die Nachtegael int wilde

Een Aemstelredams Amoreus Lietboeck, Amsterdam, 1589 ('op de voys Brande Matresse')/
Luitboek van Thysius, 1621-1653. Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, hs. Thys. 1666

A bilingual song, in Dutch but with a French chorus, set to a 'Brand' or branle, one of the most popular French dances. The wording and the story itself are wholly permeated by Frenchness: a lover pleads for his lady to return his feelings, her heart is already taken, but — as he threatens to take his life — she doesn't want to be ungenerous and welcomes him as well. Even if the pope was her father she would not forego the love of this faithful servant.

14. Quand le gril chante

Jehan Chardavoine, Le recueil des plus excellentes chansons en forme de voix de ville, Paris, 1576

This is a typical 'air de cour' which, supported by the lute, evokes an idealised life of rural bliss. It cames from a collection of 153 songs published in 1576 by Jehan Chardavoine. Many of these songs were not only pleasant to listen to but also very suitable for dancing.

15. Beso los manos, myn soete schelmtje

Jan Jansz. Starter, De Friesche Lusthof, Amsterdam, 1621

A satirical song about the enthusiasm with which all nations keep going to war, always to the detriment of the pensants. This is one of Starter's coarse songs, the 'boertigheden' at the end of his Friesche Lusthof. Jan Jansz Starter was of English descent, a 'minor poet' but an excellent songwriter who liked to borrow tunes from other European countries, including England, Flanders and France. Of the eight verses six are sung here.

16. Réveillez-vous, Piccarz

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, ms. fr. 12.744/
Gaston Paris & Auguste Gevaert, Chansons du XVe siècle, Paris, 1875

This song evokes the wars at the time of emperor Maximilian of Austria, who opposed the kings of France as well as the Flemish towns until 1489. Wake up citizens of picardy and burgundy, it's time to go to war, a sad state of affairs. The duke of Austria is in the Low Countries, in Flanders with his Picards who want to conquer Burgundy for him. Farewell Besançon and Beaune, home of good wine. The Picards have drunk it and the Flemish will have to pay. If they refuse they will be beaten up.

17. Het vertrek der cale Fransche

Ms. Di Martinelli, Diest, ca. 1743-1770 (P206). Leuven, Katholieke Universiteit/
Arr. Piet Stryckers

18. La prise de Mons

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, ms. fr. 12.669 ('timbre Nous voyageons parmi le monde')

The end of the 17th century was marked by the wars between France under Louis XIV and the Augsburg League which was joined by the Low Countries and England. The siege of Mons (in Wallonia) and the bombing of Brussels which destroyed part of the Grand' Place are just two of the many violent events of those years.

19. La bataille de La Hougue/La bataille de Steinkerque

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, ms. fr. 12.670 ('timbres La petite fronde/Les Rochellois')/
Arr. Piet Stryckers

Two defeats suffered by the French army in 1692, one at sea near La Hougue, the other on land at Steinkerque (Steenkerke in the province of Brabant). Both battles left many people dead, with winners and losers exhausted and the singer complaining that too many glorious battles end with funeral music.

20. Quand ce beau printemps je voy/Schoonste nymfe van het wout

Jehan Chardavoine, Le recueil des plus excellentes chansons en forme de voix de ville, Paris, 1576/
Den Bloemhof van de nederlantsche ieucht, Amsterdam, 1608 ('voys Bella nympha fugitiva')/
Florimond van Duyse, Het Oude Nederlandsche Lied, Antwerpen-Den Haag, 1903-1905, nr. 130

'Quand ce beau printemps je voy' (When I see this beautiful springtime) is a poem by Pierre de Ronsard which was included in Adrien le Roy's Airs de Cour (1571). The tune proved so popular that many contrafacta were made in French, Dutch, German and Italian, setting it to bucolic, political and even religious lyrics. There is a political Dutch 'geuzen-song', but this version dwells in the same pastoral spheres as the original and is sung alternately with the french, to a slightly different tune.

21. La belle Flamande

Patrice Coireault, Formation de nos chansons folkloriques, Paris, 1959

The French campaigns in Flanders consisted not only of battles. For the French soldiers the wealth of the Flemish regions was often like a vision of the land of Cockaigne. The beautiful Flemish girl of this song has so many lovers that she doesn't know which one to choose and the same proverbial girl features in numerous songs which became popular throughout France.

22. Floris en Blanchefleur

Edmond de Coussemaker, Chants populaires des Flamands de France, Gent, 1856, nr. 51/
Arr. Piet Stryckers

The origin of this ballad is a medieval french poem, Flore et Blanchefleur. This version was transmitted orally and collected by Edmond de Coussemaker in the middle of the 19th century in French Flanders (Northern France, formerly part of the Low Countries, where older people still speak a Flemish dialect). Blanchefleur is not allowed to marry the king's son and is sold to the Turkish emperor, while her beloved Floris is told that she has died. He finds out that she is alive and travels to Turkey where he manages to find a way inside the palace, hiding in a basket which is pulled up with a rope by Blanchefleur. He enters her room, they fall into each other's arms and spend the night together. In the middle of the night the emperor enters the bedroom and wants to kill them both, but they plead for forgiveness. The emperor holds back, forgives them and lets them be married in church which, after 19 verses (here somewhat shortened), is a suitably happy end.