Kalenda Maya for alto voice, recorder, temple bells and percussion


Song by Raimbaut de Vaqueiras, court musician (and also troubadour) of Marquis Bonifacio of Monferrato (referred to in the song as Lord Engles).
It is a song of courtly love rather than of spring but it calls itself an “estampie” (a stamping song), so I suppose it is rather more “rustic” than the courtly songs of later times. It is performed here with David W Solomons singing countertenor, along with temple bells and various recorder and drum soundfonts.

The translation from Provençal (ie old Occitan) is mine, using help from various sources.

Kalenda Maya (a troubadour song in Provençal) Raimbaut de Vaqueiras (fl. 1180-1205)

Kalenda maya, ni fuelhs de faya It’s the first of May but neither leaves on the beech tree,
ni chanz d’auzelh ni flors de glaya nor birdsong, nor gladiolus flower,
non es que.m playa pros domna guaya, will please me, my pretty lady.
tro qu’un ysnelh messatgier aya Until a swift messenger
del vostre belh cors, que.m retraya comes here to me from your lovely self
plazer novelh qu’Amors m’atraya, and gives me delightful news of love
e jaya, em traya vas vos, domna veraya; and joyfully brings me to you my true lady:
e chaya de playa l gelos, ans que.m n’estraya. and may the jealous one die of his wounds before I take my leave.

Ma belh’ amia, per Dieu no sia … My lovely friend, God forbid
que ja l gelos de mon dan ria; … that the jealous one should laugh at me.
que car vendria sa gelozia, … He would pay dearly for his jealousy
si aitals dos amans partia; … if he caused two lovers had to part.
qu’ieu ja joyos mais no seria, … I would be joyful no longer,
ni joys ses vos pro nom tenria; … without you.
tal via faria, qu’om ia mais no.m veiria; …. I would make my way and would no longer be seen.
selh dia morria, donna pros,qu’ieus perdria. …. That day I would die, lady, if I were to lose you.

Dona grazida, quecx lauz’e crida … Gracious Lady, let them praise and shout
vostra valor, qu’es abelhida; …. your nobility, which pleases all.
e qui.us oblida, pauc li val vida. … anyone who who can forget you is unworthy of life.
Per qu’ie us azor, don’ eyssernida? …. Because I adore you my lady without equal
qar per gensor vos ai chauzida, …. For I have chosen you as most noble,
e per melhor de pretz complida, …. and best and perfect in esteem, and I have courted you
blandida, servida genses qu’Erecx Enida. …. and served you better than Erec served Enida.
Bastida fenida n’Engles*, ai l’ESTAMPIDA. … Oh lord Engles, I have now completed this estampie.

(*Engles was Marquis Bonifacio of Monferrato for whom Raimbaut wrote many songs and dances)