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Tarik O'Regan

Publisher: Novello & Co

Virelai: Douce dame jolie (2007)
Commissioned by the Orlando Consort
Text Writer
Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377)
Novello & Co Ltd
Chorus a cappella / + 1 instrument
Year Composed
5 Minutes
ATTBar solo quartet
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Programme Note
Tarik O'Regan Virelai: Douce dame jolie (2007)
This work, commissioned by the Orlando Consort, is based on Machaut’s eponymous virelai (a form of medieval French verse in poetry and music). Machaut’s original melody is carried in an augmented and modally-transposed form in the alto part over a pattern of offset syncopated rhythms in the lower three voices. These underlying rhythms are themselves based on the occasional syncopated phrase held in the melody itself. A more meditative central section is loosely based on the middle part of Machaut’s virelai. Here the syncopation in the lower parts is slowed down, whilst the upper two parts toy with Machaut’s melody in canon. There follows an altered re-statement of the opening material, after which the work ends with a short coda formed entirely from the underlying rhythms.

Tarik O’Regan
April 2007

  • Ensemble
    Orlando Consort, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
    Paul Hillier
    Harmonia Mundi USA:
Although the audience had turned up for an early music festival, the listeners reserved their most enthusiastic response for O'Regan's... Machaut-inspired Virelai: Douce dame jolie, which the Orlando Consort offered as an encore.
Michael Dervan, The Irish Times,20/05/2008
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