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Medieval Music Database

Comment qu'a moy lonteinne

monophonic virelai by Guillaume de Machaut


New York: Wildenstein Collection, fol. 323v (1/1);
Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 843 (text); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1584 (MachA), fol. 483 (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1585 (MachB), fol. 321v (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1586 (MachC), fol. 150 (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 9221 (MachE), fol. 159 (1/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 22546 (MachG), fol. 155v (1/1);
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Library, French MS 15, number 185 (text).


1. Guillaume de Machaut: Musikalische Werke. Erster Band: Balladen, Rondeaux und Virelais, edited by Friedrich Ludwig, Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1926, p. 72.
2. The Works of Guillaume de Machaut, Second Part, edited by Leo Schrade, Monaco: Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre, 1956. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century III, p. 169.
3. Historical Anthology of Music. Vol. I. Oriental, Medieval and Renaissance Music, edited by Archibald T. Davison and Willi Apel, Cambridge/Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1966, no. 46a.
4. Musikgeschichte in Beispielen von der Antike bis Johann Sebastian Bach, edited by Otto Hamburg, Wilhelmshaven: Heinrichshofen, 1976, p. 24.
5. Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377), p. 3.

Text Editions

Guillaume de Machaut: poésies lyriques, 2 vols., edited by V. Chichmaref, Paris: 1909, p. 585.


1. MACHABEY, Armand. Guillaume de Machault, 130?-1377: La vie et l'oeuvre musicale, 2 vols, Paris: Richard-Masse-Editeur, 1955. Bibliothèque d'études musicales, p. 178.
2. GÜNTHER, Ursula. Der musikalische Stilwandel der französischen Liedkunst in der zweiten Hälfte des 14. Jahrhunderts, dargestelt an Virelais, Balladen und Rondeax von Machaut., Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hamburg: 1957, Chapter 4.3.
3. DÖMLING, Wolfgang. Die mehrstimmigen Balladen, Rondeaux und Virelais von Guillaume de Machaut: Untersuchungen zum musikalischen Satz, Tutzing: Schneider, 1970. Münchener Veröffentlichungen zur Musikgeschichte 16, p. 49.
4. ARLT, Wulf. 'Aspekte der Chronologie und des Stilwandels im französischen Lied des 14. Jahrhunderts', Forum Musicologicum (Aktuelle Fragen der musikbezogenen Mittelalterforschung), vol. III, Basel: Amadeus Verlag, 1975, pp. 268-270.
5. GÜNTHER, Ursula. 'Contribution de la musicologie à la biographie et à la chronologie de Guillaume de Machaut', Guillaume de Machaut, poète et compositeur. Colloque - Table Ronde, 1978, pp. 95-116.


1. Music of Mediaeval France 1200 - 1400 [Songs of Birds, Battles and Love, and the Flowering of the French Chanson], Deller Consort, Concentus Musicus Vienna, directed by Alfred Deller, Nicolaus Harnoncourt (1961): Bach Guild BG 70656 (mono BG 656).
2. [Machaut], Joseph Sage (C-T) (1961): Studio S.M. 45-71 [45rpm.].
3. Historical Anthology of Music in Performance. Vol. 1: Late Medieval Music (1300 - 1400), University of Chicago Collegium Musicum, South Illinois Univ, directed by Howard Mayer Brown, Wesley Morgan (1968?): Pleiades P 250.
4. Guillaume de Machault. Balladen - Motetten - Rondeaus - Virelais, Capella Lipsiensis, directed by Dietrich Knothe (1971): Philips 6580 026.
5. Guillaume de Machaut. Chansons I, Early Music Studio, directed by Thomas Binkley (1972): EMI-Reflexe 1C063-30-106 (GER)/ 1C-163-30-101/6 (GER).
6. Douce Dame: Music of Courtly Love from Medieval France and Italy, The Waverly Consort, directed by Michael Jaffee (1973): Vanguard VSD 71179.
7. [Machaut], Accademia Monteverdiana and soloists, directed by Denis Stevens (1973): Musical Heritage Society Orpheus 437.
8. Guillaume de Machaut: 1. The Musical Art of Machaut. 2. Le Remède de Fortune. 3. Veoir Dit., Ensemble Guillaume de Machaut of Paris (1975-1977): Adés 7078 (3 discs).
9. Instruments of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Early Music Consort of London, directed by David Munrow (1976): EMI SLS 988(2) (GB).
10. The Medieval Romantics, Gothic Voices, directed by Christopher Page (1991): CDA66463.


Comment qu'a moy lonteinne
Soies, dame d'onnour.
Si m'estes vous procheinne
Par penser nuit et jour.

Car Souvenir me meinne.
Si qu'ades sans sejour
Vo biaute souvereinne.
Vo gracieus atour.
Vo maniere certeinne
Et vo fresche coulour
Qui n'est pale ne veinne
Voy toudis sans sejour.

Comment qu'a moy lonteinne...

Comment qu'a moy lonteinne...

Dame, de grace pleinne.
Mais vos haute valour.
Vo bonte souvereinne
et vo fine doucour
En vostre dous demeinne
M'ont si mis que m'amour.
Sans pensee vilainne.
Meint en vous que j'aour.

Comment qu'a moy lonteinne...

Comment qu'a moy lonteinne...

Mais Desirs que se peinne
D'acroistre mon labour
Tenra mon cuer en peinne
Et de mort en paour.
Se Dieus l'eure n'ameinne
Qu'a vous, qui estes flour
De toute flour mondeinne.
Face tost mon retour.

Comment qu'a moy lonteinne...


However far from me
You may be, noble lady.
You are near to me
In thought night and day.

Your memory remains with me
So that straightaway without ceasing
Your surpassing beauty.
Your graceful attire.
Your assured manner
And your fresh complexion
Which is neither pale nor wan
I always see without ceasing.

However far from me...

However far from me...

Lady, full of grace.
But your great worth.
Your surpassing goodness
And your delicate sweetness
In your gentle power
Have so placed me that my love.
Without any unworthy thought.
Rests in you whom I adore.

However far from me...

However far from me...

But Desire, who strives
To increase my labours.
Will keep my heart in distress
And in terror of death.
If God does not bring the happy hour
When to you, who are the flower
Of all earthly flowers.
I soon make my return.

However far from me...

Text revision and translation © Jennifer Garnham

Content Approved by: MMDB Director
Last updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2003

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