Fors seulement

Fors seulement is a French chanson, popular as a basis for variations and as a cantus firmus. An early version is attributed to Johannes Ockeghem - this is sometimes called Fors seulement l'attente to distinguish it from his similarly titled Fors seulement contre.

"Du tout plongiet – Fors seulement", Brumel's double setting

Brumel wrote a polytextual version, combining a tenor setting of Du tout plongiet with the words and superius from Ockeghem's Fors seulement l'attente for the baritone.


Fors seulement latente que je meure,
En mon las cueur, nul espoir ne demeure,
Car mon malheur si fort me tourmente
Qui n'est douleur que par vous je ne sente,
Pourceque suis de vous perdre bien seure.[1][2]

Except in waiting for death
There dwells in my faint heart no hope...

Versions and settingsEdit

Many versions of the chanson were produced including those by Ockeghem, Josquin des Prez, Pierre de La Rue, Matthaeus Pipelare, Johannes Ghiselin, Jacob Obrecht, Brumel and Alexander Agricola.

Mass settings include those by Ockeghem, Obrecht, Pipelare, and Carpentras.[3]


  • George H Black (2003). Matthaeus Pipelare’s Fors Seulement (II) Chanson and its Related Motet and Mass Performance Editions and Commentary. DMA thesis. Louisiana State Univ. (online, PDF, 3,13 MB)


  1. ^ Text at the LiederNet Archive
  2. ^ A full translation to a slightly different version of the French text is to be found in Appendix A of Black (2003) pp. 309 f.
  3. ^ Black (2003), pp. 48; 65.