Luys de Narvaez'
Cancion del Emperador
transcribed and arranged by Jeffrey Goodman
Click here to view and/or download the score.
The great Spanish composer Luys de Narváez published his "Los seys libros del Delphin de musica" in 1538. His "Cancion del Emperador" is one of him most famous pieces, and has been performed and recorded by many of the greatest classical guitarists of today and the 20th century.
Narvaez based his piece on the chanson "Mille Regretz" by Josquin des Prez (1450/55 - 1521). During the 16th century, Josquin became known as the greatest composer of his age, and Narvaez demonstrates his admiration by the skill and fidelity of his setting.
This arrangement presents a transcription based on the original tablature of Narvaez' work, and, in score form, it is presented with the four vocal parts of the original Josquin chanson. Long before today's guitarists made arrangements of Beatles's or Rolling Stones' songs for solo guitar, lutenists and vihuela players from centuries past were making arrangements of popular vocal songs (these are called "intabulations.")
I decided to share this arrangement so that todays guitarists can easily view, hear and study the original Josquin chanson in score form with Narvaez's setting.
Here is the original text of Mille Regretz:
Mille regretz de vous abandonner
Et d'eslonger vostre fache amoureuse,
Jay si grand dueil et paine douloureuse,
Quon me verra brief mes jours definer.
A thousand regrets at deserting you
and leaving behind your loving face,
I feel so much sadness and such painful distress,
that it seems to me my days will soon dwindle away.
Also note that some of the Josquin pitches have been adjusted chromatically so that they may be heard properly in relation to the Narvaez setting. All the pitches of the Narvaez are an exact match to the original tablature.
Jeffrey Goodman Los Angeles, April 2014.