About this Recording

Tielman Susato's Publishing House "Inden Cromhorn", 1551

A milestone in the history of European culture was the invention of printing around 1440. The first occurrence of printed music is generally reckoned to be the Venetian Ottavino Petrucci's famous note-books from 1501. Around the middle of the sixteenth century another important music printer was active in Antwerp. This was Tielman Susato, who was also a composer, arranger and municipal musician. He was born around 1500 and evidence exists to suggest that he may have been German, Dutch or Flemish. He died sometime between 1561 and 1564. Susato began publishing music in 1541-42, at first together with two associates, but from 1543 he published music on his own, mostly by Flemish composers: Masses, motets, madrigals and chansons. His successors used more common printing methods which did not produce such polished results, but were much cheaper, which made published music more accessible, especially for the middle classes who were becoming more and more culturally aware.

By 1551 Susato could afford to move his business to a new location, Inden Cromhorn (At the sign of the Cromhorn). He felt sufficiently secure financially to strike a blow for the Dutch, or Flemish, language. Flemish songs or liedekens had previously been dispersed throughout Europe in hand-written manuscripts, but they were not held in very high regard. Most often they were either translated into one of the 'major' languages such as French or German or simply used as a melodic underlay or cantus firmus for other types of compositions such as Mass movements, motets and purely instrumental works, sometimes retaining the first line of text in the title. With great enthusiasm Susato succeeded in persuading some Franco-Flemish composers to join his cause to further the Dutch language, including in his collection the work of a few composers who had already died. The oldest of these was Johannes Ghiselin, alias Jean Verbonnet, who was active in the fifteenth century ([22]). Indeed Susato displays in his own compositions ([10], [13], [24]) both awareness of and fondness for such archaic composition styles and inflections ([24]). There is, however, amongst his songs, one composition which sounds to be almost half a century ahead of its time [14].

Thus Susato was able to gather 55 settings of Dutch texts in the first two musyck boexkens (music books) of 1551, 28 in the first and 27 in the second, in some cases variants of the same song, such as [27] and [55]. The title page reads as follows: amoureuse liedekens in onser nederduytscher talen, Gecomponeert by diuersche componisten, zeer lustich om singen en spelen op alle musicale Instrumenten, Gedruckt Tantwerpen by Tielman Susato wonende uoer die nieuue waghe Inden Cromhorn (Amorous songs in our Netherlandish tongue, composed by divers composers, very pleasing to sing and play on all musical instruments, printed in Antwerp by Tielman Susato, residing at the sign of the Crumhorn).

Susato's third publication that year was entitled Danserye, Het derde musyck boexken (Danserie, the third Music Book) with a subtitle Alderhande danserye (All manner of danceries) and it is this collection that is most closely associated with the name of Susato. The collection's 59 four-part dance movements, based in many cases on French, Dutch or German folk-songs, end up sooner or later in the repertoire of most of today's early music ensembles, and rightly so, as Susato's dance arrangements with their carefully prepared parts are shining examples of their kind. To a greater extent than the music of his contemporaries, the parts in Susato's dance arrangements are often tightly constructed, lying in close proximity of one another. Susato probably had in mind a typical configuration of a descant in G, two tenors and a bass of the crumhorn family. One conservative feature of Susato's collection is the presence of thirteen basse-dances, despite the fact that by the middle of the sixteenth century this dance form was deemed old-fashioned. Sadly it seems that after his third collection Susato had set his sights on more artistic endeavours, and he published no further dance books.

Although there was no direct successor to the books of secular liedekens, between 1556 and 1557 Susato published 150 Souterliedekens or psalms in Dutch, in three-part settings by the renowned Jacobus Clemens non Papa, and in 1561 he published a further 123, in four-part settings by his pupil Gerardus Mes. These psalm settings formed volumes 4-8 of Susato's musyck boexkens.

A large number of the works on this disc are by anonymous composers, most of whom were probably Franco-Flemish. Some of the composers, such as Carolus Soulia(e)rt or Swill(i)art are really only known to us through their compositions that appear in Susato's Musyckboexkens. Of the other composers represented on this disc, biographical detail is often sketchy.

Benedictus Appenzeller was born between 1480 and 1488, probably of Swiss origin and may have been a pupil of Josquin Desprez. He was in charge of choral music at the court in Brussels from 1542 to 1551 and in 1542 he published a collection of chansons. He was also active in Bruges.

Josquin Baston (fl.1542-1563) was a Franco­-Flemish composer of motets and songs. Six of his liedekens are preserved in print. After 1552 he seems to have worked abroad, at the courts of Poland, Denmark and Sweden.

Jacobus Clemens non Papa (c.1510-c.1555), also known as Jacques Clément, was also of Franco-Flemish origin. He produced a rich and varied body of work. Like his predecessor (and possibly teacher) Lupus Hellinck, he was a priest who managed to combine a variety of positions as choral director and Kapellmeister at various cathedrals and royal courts. After his music was published in 1530 by Pierre Attaignant in Paris, he began a lengthy period of collaboration with Tielman Susato in Antwerp, with Susato publishing the bulk of his work. Clemens non Papa wrote sixteen Masses, fifteen Magnificats, more than 230 motets for four to eight voices, 159 three-part psalm settings or Souterliedekens, around ninety chansons for three to eight voices, eight liedekens and assorted Mass movements and instrumental works.

Johannes Ghiselin (c.1455-c.1511), also known as Jean Verbonnet, is another highly regarded Franco-Flemish composer of which we know relatively little. For many years, at least between the years of 1492 to 1503, he worked in Italy, and it was probably Ghiselin who persuaded Josquin Desprez to move to the court in Ferrara. He returned to Flanders however, as we know he was employed as a singer in Bergen op Zoom in 1508. His works include Masses, motets, chansons and instrumental pieces as well as four liedekens. One of his Masses, the Missa Ghi syt di wertste boven al (Thou art the most treasured of all) is based on one of his own liedekens.

Lupus Hellinc(k) (c.1496-1541) was primarily active in Bruges. He was a priest and lay vicar, later subcantor or succentor and master of the choristers at the churches of Our Lady and St Donatius. His work is almost exclusively sacred, including thirteen Masses, fourteen motets, eleven German chorales, six chansons and four liedekens. His Nieuwe almanack ende pronosticatie [9] (New almanack and prognosis), performed here on cornamuses and crumhorns, is actually a song dedicated to his bishop on the feast of the Holy Innocents.

Sven Berger
English Version: Andrew Smith



Lupus Helliuck (c.1496-1541)

J Compt alle uut

Compt alle uut by twe by drye

en hoertu lot met zinne blye

Wat u toe sendt fortune loterye.


Die met een quaat wyf is geplaacht

en elders gerne te(n) neste draacht,

wat sal hy hebben maket ons wys:

Ramp en roy voer den iersten prys.


Die gerne poyt en is beroit,

wat sal men hem borghen,

segt ons t'bediet nyet.


Die gerne veel heeft aan den sack,

Die niet en pryst syns selfs ghemack,

wat sal hem int eynde gheschien:


drupende neuse en coude knie[n],

Blauwe caken en qualic sien

sonder gheschil

twe houte crucken en eenen bril.



Come out all (Voices with viols, fiddle and lutes)

Come out all by two and by three

and listen with a glad heart to your fate

sent to you by Fortuna's lottery.


He who is cuckolded

and easily attracted to another,

what can he teach us?

Unhappiness and sorrow are the first prize.


He who likes a drink and is drunk

why should we pay him?

Tell us, it is not worth it.


He who has a lot in his sack

He who does not value his lot

What will happen to him at the end?


A runny nose and cold knees,

Blue cheeks and bad sight

without doubt

two wooden crutches and glasses.




Josquin Baston (fl.1542-53)

Naelden, naelden



Needles, needles (Shawms, trombones)





Den III Ronde + Den VI Ronde

+ LES quatre Branles



Den III Ronde + Den VI Ronde + LES quatre Branles

(Shawm, dulcians, trombones, percussion)





In drucke moet ick sterven

In drucke moet ick sterven,

derven doet my die doot.

Venus wilt my bederven

met haren strale groot.


Nooit schicht so snel en schoot

dan myn liefs mondeken root.

Mach ick geen troest verwerven,

sterven moet ick die doot.



In sorrow must I die (Countertenor, fiddle, viols)

In sorrow must I die,

only death can save me.

Venus wants to corrupt me

with her great light.


Never did lightning strike so fast

as my beloved's little red mouth

If I am not consoled,

then I must die.





Ick draeghe in mynder herten



I carry in my heart (Viols, fiddle, alto cornamuse)





Carolus Souliaert

Wilt doch mit maten drincken

Wilt doch mit/met maten drincken,

want ick onmatelyc den drincpot vercaes,

En al gae ruyters wilt hier op dincken,

Den drinckpot maeckt menighen geldelas.



Be sure to drink in moderation (Viol, tenor, lutes)

Be sure to drink in moderation

for I chose the drinking cup without measure,

And all good knights should think on this,

that drinking cup makes many penniless




Benedictus Appenzeller (fl.1542-51)

Een venus dierken

Een venus dierken heb ick uutvercoren,

gheen schoender en weet ick ter werelt ront.

Om haren wille wil ick frucht orboren

int aanschyn van haren lachende mont.


Haar kelken wit, haar borstkens ront

maackt my vrolic van sinne.

Schoender van moeder en was noyt geboren,

tes recht dat ick se beminne.



A Venus creature (Tenor, counter-tenor, viols, lutes)

A Venus creature I have chosen,

I know of none fairer in the whole world.

For her sake I want to pick the fruits

at the sight of her laughing mouth.


Her white neck, her round breasts

makes my heart glad.

Never was a greater beauty born of a mother,

it is right that I should love her.





Hoe druklic is dat herte myn



How sorrowful is my heart (Cornamuses, crumhorns)




Lupus Hellinck (c.1496-1541)

Nieuwe almanack



New Almanack (Cornamuses, crumhorns)




Tielman Susato (c.1500-c.1564)

Int midden van den meye


Int midden van den meye

laat ons vruucht orboren.

Al aan gheen groene heyde

heb ick een lief uut vercoren.


Noit schondre'en was geboren,

die mey wil ick haar gaan planten

met dicht, met spel, met sanck soet

met hulpe van Venus clanten.


Neempt alder schoenste lief toch in danck goet,

u liefde my zeer im bedwanck doet



In the middle of May

(Soprano, tenor, recorder, lutes, viols)

In the middle of May

let us pick fruit.

On yonder green heath

I chose a beloved.


Never was one more beautiful born,

in May I want to cultivate her

with verse, games and sweet song

with the help of Venus's boys.


Accept this, most beautiful, with thanks,

your love holds me completely in its power.




Josquin Baston (fl.1542-53)

Een gilde heeft syn deerne



A Guild has its wench (4 recorders)






Myn herteken is my heymelic wuyt ghetoogen


Myn herteken is my heymelic wuyt getooghen,

Om een te dienen naar myn vermogen,

Om een die liefste boelen myn,

AI vry eyghen soe wil ik syn

al doort ghesichte van haar bruyn ooghen.



My heart has secretly departed

(Tenor, treble viol, lutes)


My heart has secretly departed,

to serve one person to the best of my abilities,

my most beloved,

completely her own I want to be

all for the sight of her brown eyes.




Tielman Susato

Myns liefkens bruyn ooghen



My beloved's brown eyes (Shawm, trombones, dulcian)





Ghy eedel jonghe gbeesten

Ghy eedel jonghe gheesten,

ghesellekens van der lucht,

dryft amoureuse feesten

al en isser ghenen bucht,

al sou(de)t u namaals rouwen,

maact daar af gheen geclach,

bedryft salaas met vrouwen

alst u ghebueren mach,

sonder verdrach

syt nacht en dach

on u beiacht,

maaact gheen gheclach,

nature geeft verdrach.



Ye noble young spirits (Voices)

Ye noble young spirits,

fellows of the air

hold feasts of love

even if the cupboards are bare

and even if you regret it later,

do not complain about it,

seek solace in women

as is your right

without contract.

Be night and day

on your guard,

do not complain,

Nature give, you respite.





Den IIII Ronde + RONDE, Pour quoy

+ Den VI Ronde



Ronde IV-I-VI

(Shawms, dulcians, trombones, percussion)





Entre du fol



Fool's entr'acte

(Lutes, recorder, fiddle, viols, percussion)




Jacobus Clemens non Papa, (c.1510-c.1556)

Een venus schoen



Beautiful Venus (4 recorders)





Den hoboecken dans



Hoboken Dance (Fiddle, recorder, viols, lutes, perc.)




Carolus Souliaert

Ick ginck noch gister avent


Ick ginck gister avent za heymelyck eenen ganck,

Al voer myns liefkens duere, die ick ghesloten vant.

Ick clopte so lyselyck aan den rinck:

Stant op, myn alder liefste, slant op en laat my in.



I went out last night

(Soprano, recorder, tenor viol, lutes)

I went out last night so secretly,

to my beloved's door which I found closed.

I knocked so silently and called:

"Get up, my beloved, get up and let me in."





Den IIII Allemaingne + Den III Allemaingne



Allemande IV-III-IV (Shawm/cornett, dulcians, trombones, perc.)





Den iersten Gaillarde + Gaillarde II + Gaillarde III



Gaillarde I-II-III (4 crumhorns)




Jean Ghiselin, alias Verbonnet (c.1455-1511)

Ghy syt die wertste


Ghy syt die wertste boven al int eertsche daal

kuysch ende smal, gheen schoender creature

aan hoert myn claghen, myn misval is sonder ghetal

tot alder huere schoen edel pure,

ghy syt myn troost alleine

Nocht ans sy dy der werelt ghemeine.



You are the most precious

(Counter-tenor, lutes, traverso, viol)

You are the most precious in this earthly vale

chaste and slender, there is no fairer creature.

Listen to my lament, my misfortune knows no bounds,

at all hours, beautiful, noble and pure,

you are my only consolation,

yet you are consolation for the whole world.




Carolus Souliaert

Druck en verdriet + Ick truere


Druck en verdriet soe moet ick altyt

in myn herteken verborghen draghen

Om die alderliefste myn,

Die ick int herte hebbe uutverkoren,

Gheen schoonder en isser ter werelt ront,

Dat duncke my in mynen sin,

Och doot, compt my doch halen,

Want derven van haer

dat doet my sterven.


Ick truere en ick ben

van minnen alsoe zieck

En ick en cans ghenesen miet.

Schoen lief,

dat doet ghy my,

en anders niemant dan ghy.



Pain and sorrow + I mourn

(Viols, soprano, tenor, lutes)

Pain and sorrow must I always

carry hidden in my heart

for my beloved,

whom I in my heart have chosen.

There is no fairer in the whole world,

I truly believe that.

Oh death, come and take me,

for being without her

kills me


I mourn and am

quite sick from love

and I cannot be cured.


You do this to me

and no other but you.




Tielman Susato

O tyt zeer lustich vul melodyen



O time so heartily full of melodies

(Fiddle, lute, dulcian, viol)





Aen merckt nu (Anon.)



Now take note (Shawms, trombones)





Wy comen hier ghelopen



Here we come (Shawms, trombones)





Een meysken eens voerby passeerde I



A girl came walking by I

(Kortholt, cornamuse, crumhorus)





Een meysken eens voerby passeerde II


Een meysken eens voerby passeerde,

Aan hoerde eenen soeten rel,

Hoe dat een meysken diviseerde

teghen een haare nichte soe wel.

Commeeret wel naer uwen rel,

d'een commeere kent d'ander wel.

Commeere, commeere, commeeret wel,

d'een commeere kent d'ander wel.

Commeeret wel met moede fel,

d'een commeere kent d'ander wel.


Men soude niet moeghen een baeken draghen,

ghemaeckt al naer den nieuwen sne.

Men soude dees commere moeten vraghen,

of sy moyen haer altyts me,

speelt uwen rel, commeret wel,

commere, compere, voucht dat niet wel,

d'eene commeere kent d'ander wel.


Wy sullent draghen en niemant vragen,

triumpheren achter ste, want tvoucht ons wel,

commere, compere, voucht dat niet wel,

naer uwen rel, commeret wel,

d'eene commeere kent d'ander wel.



A girl came walking by II

(Voices, kortholt, fiddle, viols, lutes)

A girl came walking by,

heard a little commotion,

how a girl discussed

so well with her little cousin.

Gossip on in your way

the one gossip knows the other well.

Gossip, gossip, gossip on,

the one gossip knows the other well

Gossip on with heated passion,

the one gossip knows the other well


One should not wear a skirt

fashioned with the latest cut.

One should ask this gossip,

who always meddles,

play your game, gossip on,

gossip, gossip, does it not fit well

the one gossip knows the other well.


We will wear it and ask no-one,

and triumph afterwards, for it fits us well,

gossip, gossip, does it not fit well

according to your argument, gossip on,

the one gossip knows the other well.



Den III Ronde + Den IIII Ronde


Ronde III-IV (Shawm/cornett, dulcians, trbs, perc.)


Translations: Andrew Smith

Close the window