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The Folger Spotlight

ENCORES: ‘Trop est mes maris jalos (My husband is so jealous)’ performed by Folger Consort (2017)

Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darkness
Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darkness

Folger Public Programs is pleased to present ENCORES, a weekly online series highlighting past performances and recalling the rich history of programming on the historic Folger stage. As many arts and cultural institutions remain closed during this time, these ENCORES provide a way to connect and revisit the breadth of Folger offerings with a wider audience.

ENCORES presents

Folger Consort
‘Trop est mes maris jalos (My husband is so jealous)’
Performed as part of The Play of Love
Recorded at Folger Theatre, April 2017
Learn more about the concert on Folgerpedia

Performed by

  • Robert Eisenstein, Vielle
  • Shira Kammen, Vielle
  • Christopher Kendall, Citole
  • Emily Noël, Soprano

Read the introduction by multi-instrumentalist Shira Kammen:

Hello and welcome to Folger ENCORES! I’m Shira Kammen and I am happy to be able to speak with you today. The Folger has been sharing selections from their plays, music, talks and readings with you in this ENCORES series.

This week, we’re revisiting a Folger Consort performance titled The Play of Love. I joined the Consort’s medieval ensemble for this program and played several medieval instruments, including the vielle, which is a bowed instrument similar to a modern violin.

From that program, I’d like to introduce a 13th-century trouvère song, “Trop est mes maris jalos” – “My husband is so jealous.” This song belongs to a genre called the “song of the ill-wed.” In five stanzas we hear the lament of an unhappily married woman who protests the control of her jealous husband who thinks he can stop her from loving another man. She defiantly ignores his jealousy and his riches, and asserts that she is “determined to be in love!” Musically, you’ll hear a wonderfully catchy melody, the vocalist alternately hurling angry insults and finding flirtatious turns of phrase, and from the band you’ll hear all sorts of fun instrumental fills including some col legno bowing – using the wooden part of the bow – from yours truly.

In the text of this song the name “Etienne de Meaux” is mentioned. For this reason, the song is often attributed to this male figure about whom nothing is known. However, some scholars have argued that given the themes and language of the poetry that it is time to reassign it to an anonymous female author.

I hope you enjoy this performance of “Trop est mes maris jalos.” Please be sure to join us again for these weekly episodes of ENCORES, highlighting all that the Folger has to offer.

Thank you.

Encores LogoCheck back each Friday for a new “from the archives” performance, introduced by some of our favorite artists, showcasing the best of Folger TheatreFolger ConsortO.B. Hardison Poetry, and lectures.