De tous biens plaine
Hayne van Ghizeghems chanson De tous biens plaine is possibly the most famous chanson of the second half of the 15th century. Apart from the many sources transmitting the original chanson there are 28 fantasias to be found today. Some of them just add new voices, the bigger group reworks the tenor of the original. Only rarely do we know the composers as this is just a written down version of improvisational practice. The big exception is Alexander Agricola from whom we know five fantasias and some more pieces related to them, possibly also by Agricola himself. Most of the pieces were published in the first printed sources of instrumental music, the collections of Petrucci in Venice. They were possibly aimed at able lay musicians who, however, were not able to improvise themselves.
The edition of these pieces affords a great chance to study improvisational forms and also embellishments and diminuations.
The pieces have been published already by Cynthia J. Cyrus, accessible via Google books:
This publication comprises all the necessary source informations and details. We are grateful for this work. However, our policies of edition are quite different, especially in our notation which is close to the original mensural source. Moreover, many pieces were already published in our library.