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Uppsala 76a, no. 34, ff. 30v-31 »Helas madame« Duo 3v[!] (unicum)

Entered by Hand B. A setting for three low voices of a popular tune; text incipit in the upper voice only. The setting is clearly vocal in concept with many note repetitions demanding a text in all three voices. While it is easy to fit a text from the second section of no. 42 »Dame venez moy secourir« to the other “Helas madame”-setting, no. 26, it is more difficult in this case. The lines "Helas madame ... mourir" fit the first section, bars 1-11, just as perfectly, and it is possible to fit words from the poem's continuation to the two next sections, but not in the same obvious way, and it becomes rather unsure. Moreover, here the voice copied in the position of the tenor on the pages seems to be the principal voice in the composition, and it has a different tune, more like the tenor of no. 33 »Adieu Soulas«. The two upper voices are in the same tenor range with the "Tenor" as the highest sounding voice in most instances, but still the "Superius" has the most distinct melodic profile in the "Helas madame"-tradition.

The song is labelled “Duo” on top of f. 30v. Why is difficult to answer. As they stand, the two higher voices will not work as a duet (cf. the fourths between the voices), and a duet of superius and bassus would be rather boring. The only successful way to perform this song as a duet is to sing the “Superius” an octave higher in perfect counterpoint with the “Tenor”.

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