Douglas Geers
Mille Regretz (fache amoureuse)

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Mille Regretz (fache amoureuse)
Genre: SATB choir + computer
Duration: approximately 5 minutes
Score: available upon request
Audio: (U. Minnesota Singers, Matthew Mehaffey, conductor. Live performance, 2013)
On Soundcloud
MP3 here. AIFF here.

[empty space] The Text and music for this work are adapted from Josquin des Prez’s (1450-1521) four-part chanson Mille Regretz. See this link to hear the original composition: Mille Regretz on

All melodic materials of the new work and its text setting are drawn directly from Josquin’s work, with some altered note durations.  The intent of the new piece is to create a meditative “memory field” from coherent but rearranged fragments of the Josquin composition, accompanied by computer-generated sounds. The software instrument for this composition was created by the composer specifically for this piece.  In performance it listens to the choir, analyzes  what it hears, and synthesizes accompaniment materials in response.  All of the computer sound in the composition is created live in performance. Because of this live interaction, the computer part sounds somewhat different every time the work is performed. 

Mille Regretz (amoureuse fache) was written for the innovative New York City choir Choral Chameleon. This piece is dedicated to the memory of Ms. Celia Machado Cooke, a dear friend and strong advocate for new music who left this world much too soon.

Text and translation:

The complete text of Josquin’s chanson Mille regretz is
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.

(Translation courtesy of

Mille Regretz (amoureuse fache) excerpts the text of Josquin's piece, using nearly the entire first three lines, with emphasis on the phrases “vous abandoner” and “fache amoureuse:”

Mille regretz de vous abandoner
Et d’eslonger vostre fache amoureuse.
…et paine…