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Medieval Music Database

Plus dure que un dyamant

virelai by Guillaume de Machaut


New York: Wildenstein Collection, fol. 332v (2/1);
Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 843 (text); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1584 (MachA), fol. 491v (2/1); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 1585 (MachB) (lost); Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds français 22546 (MachG), fol. 161v (2/1);
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Library, French MS 15, number 217 (text).


1. Guillaume de Machaut: Musikalische Werke. Erster Band: Balladen, Rondeaux und Virelais, edited by Friedrich Ludwig, Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1926, p. 86.
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. 187.
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. 46b.
4. Guillaume de Machaut (1300-1377), p. 16.

Text Editions

Guillaume de Machaut: poésies lyriques, 2 vols., edited by V. Chichmaref, Paris: 1909, p. 620.


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, pp. 192-193.
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. SALOP, Arnold. 'The secular polyphony of Guillaume de Machaut', [chapter 2 of his] Studies on the History of Musical Style, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1971, pp. 73, 74.
4. COVINGTON, K. 'A theory of dissonance in the fourteenth-century', Indiana Theory Review, II/1 (1978): 29-40.
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. French Chansons. Vol. 1: La fleur des chansons d'amour. Vol. 2: Chansons polyphoniques françaises, Vocal Ensemble: J. Archimbaud (Tr), J. Dutey (B), A. Doniat, directed by Roger Blanchard (1955?): Philips N 00993/4R.
2. [Guillaume de Machaut], Illinois Collegium Musicum, Thomas Binkley (lute), directed by George Hunter (1956): Westminster XWN 18166.
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. Französische Musik aus Mittelalter und Renaissance, Studio für Alte Musik, Düsseldorf (1969): Da Capo SM 91702.
5. [Machaut], Accademia Monteverdiana and soloists, directed by Denis Stevens (1973): Musical Heritage Society Orpheus 437.
6. The Art of Guillaume de Machaut, Ars Antiqua Paris, directed by Michel Sanvoisin (1974): Arion ARN 38252 (FRA)/ ARN 90814 (USA).
7. [Renaissance and Contemporary Works], Solveig Faringer (S), Jörgen Rörby (lute), Clas Pehrsson (re (1974): BIS LP 2 (SWE).


Plus dure que un dyamant
Ne que pierre d'aymant
Est vo durte.
Dame, qui n'aves pite
De vostre amant
Qu'ocies en desirant
Vostre amitie.

Dame, vo pure biaute
Qui toutes passe, a mon gre.
Et vo samblant
Simple et plein d'umilite.
De douceur fine parT.
En sousriant.
Par un accueil attraiant.
M'ont au cuer en resgardant
Si fort navrT
Que ja mais joie n'avrT.
Jusques a tant
Que vo grace qu'il atant
M'aures donnT.

Plus dure que un dyamant...

Plus dure que un dyamant...

J'ay humblement endurT
L'amoureus mal et portT.
En atendant
Vostre bonne volente
Que j'ay en tous cas trouvT
Dure et poingnant.
Et quant tous en vo commant
Suis, je me merveil comment
Vostre bonte
M'a sa grace refusT.
Quant en plourant
Vous ay et en souspirant
Merci rouvT.

Plus dure que un dyamant...

Plus dure que un dyamant...

Helas! dame, confortT
Ne m'avez en ma griete.
Ne tant ne quant.
Eins m'avez desconfortT.
Si que tout desconfort he.
Mais nonpourquant
J'ameray d'or en avant
Plus fort qu'onques mais, et quant
Mort et minT
M'ara vostre cruaute
Qui m'est trop grant.
Lors sera bien apparant
Ma loyaute.

Plus dure que un dyamant...


Harder than diamond
Or than adamant
Is your hardness.
Lady, who have no pity
On your lover
Whom you are killing with desire of
Your friendship.

Lady, your pure beauty
Which surpasses all, to my taste.
And your appearance
Simple and full of humility.
Adorned with great sweetness.
And with smiles.
By their welcome attraction.
Have in looking at me
So sorely wounded my heart
That I will never have joy.
Until that time
When you will have given me your grace
Which it awaits.

Harder than diamond...

Harder than diamond...

I have humbly endured
And borne the wounds of love.
While awaiting
Your good will
Which I have always found
Hard and wounding.
And since I am all at your command.
I marvel how
Your goodneess
Has refused me its grace.
When weeping
And sighing I have
Begged your mercy.

Harder than diamond...

Harder than diamond...

Alas! Lady, you have not
Comforted me in my grief
In any way at all.
Rather you have given me discomfort
So that I have every distress.
But nevertheless
I will love now and henceforth
More strongly than ever, and when
I am dead and destroyed
By your cruelty.
Which is too great toward me.
Then will be most apparent
My loyalty.

Harder than diamond...

Text revision and translation © Jennifer Garnham

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

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