In a book of old French songs, Alain found a theme attributed to Janequin that fascinated him with its oscillation of F and F sharp at its cadences. The theme turned out not to be by Janequin at all, but by some anonymous sixteenth century composer (it's a love song, "L'Espoir que j'ai d'acquérir votre grace," that appeared in a 1529 collection edited by Pierre Attaignant). Nevertheless, Alain used it as the basis of a tribute to Janequin, employing registrations and a style of writing not too far removed from the sixteenth century norm. The piece falls into three main parts. In the first, the theme is initially laid out with few alterations from Alain, the simple harmony closely hews to the original and Alain invents only a sketchy countermelody for the left hand. Upon the theme's repeat, though, the left-hand melody creates a more sour, modern harmony. The second section is a very simple fugato based on the theme's rising-and-falling first phrase. The final and most extensive section focuses on the rhythm of the theme's last two bars, which propels the music through several distant keys before allowing the work to settle into a serene and noble conclusion.
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Description by James Reel
|2015||Raven Records||OAR 967|
|2012||Editions Hortus||HOR 092|
|2007||Erato / Erato Disques||4699287|
|1997||York Ambisonic||YORKCD 112|
|1996||RBW Records||CD 009|