The Lyrics of Henry VIII/Fortune esperee (Busnois, Incipit)

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Lyrics  |  Manuscript  |  Authors and Composers
The Lyrics of Henry VIII
Appendix 1: Lyrics by Occasion/Theme  |  Appendix 2: Textual/Musical Witnesses  |  Appendix 3: Bibliography

Benedictus Alles regretz uuidez dema presence

[ff. 4v-5r]

Fortune esperee

Textual Commentary[edit]

This piece appears as an incipit in H in four voices, each with a large block initial capital, though with little room left within the musical notations for text. “Fortune esperee” is listed in the manuscript’s table of contents as the second work. The origins of this piece are in a work by Antione Busnois. “Fortune esperee” has been interpreted by others (including Felice) and is more commonly known as “Fortuna Desperata,” but remains unattributed in H.

“Fortune esperee” also appears in BQ16 (ff. 117v–118r), CT3.b.12 (ff. 79v–80r), Fl121 (ff. 25v–26r), FlP27 (ff. 22v–23r), Fr20 (f. 1r), L35087 (ff. 11v–12r), Le1494 (ff. 62r, 162v), P676 (ff. 24v–25r), PBCan (ff. 126v–127r), PBS07 (I #29), Pe431 (ff. 93v–94r [entered and then deleted], ff. 94v–95r), Ps1144 (25–7, 31–5), PT1 (#103), RC2856 (ff. 147v–149r), RG27 (ff. 56v–57r / ff. 63v–64r), S/P (n11v–n12r), SAM (ff. 115v–116r, f. 174r, f. 182r), SG462 (20–1), SG463 (#144), and Zw78 (2, #54), among others (see Fallows [Catalogue]). Of these, Atlas notes that full texts of the lyric are extant in L35087, P676, FlP27, Pe431 (second instance), SAM, S/P, and SG462; fragmentary texts, incipits, and alternate texts are extant in BQ16, CT3.b.12, Fr20, Fl121, Le1494, PBCan, Pe431 (first instance), Ps1144, PT1, RC2856, RG27, SG463, and Zw78.

The text given below is that of L35087:

Fortuna dessperata
Inigua maledicta che di tal dona
electa la fama la fama ay denegata
Ay deniga ta electa la fama ay denigata

Stevens notes that the music of S/P is closest to that in H (MCH8 2); this text is as below:

FOrtuna fortuna despera ta
Ini qua emalede ta che de tal dona
elle ta la fama ay denega ta
fortuna desperatta

“Fortune esperee” is printed in Atlas (ed., 2.38), Geering (ed., 17–18), Smijers (ed., des Prés 1.105–107), Smijers (ed., Obrecht 1.170–71), Stevens MCH8 (2), Torrefranca (297–98), Wolf (ed., Isaac 190), Wolf (ed., Obrecht 1[suppl.].136), and elsewhere. It is indexed in Fallows (Catalogue 518), among others.