Enríquez de Valderrábano

Diferencias [44] sobre el tenor de Conde Claros


Silva de sirenas (1547), fol. 97v


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Source title Siguense las difere[n]cias sobre el tenor del cõde claros, estas primeras sõ del primero y segu[n]do grado/y adelãte se hallarã pa discãtar cada difere[n]cia del dicho cõde claros/se conoscera e[n] vna señal como esta [congruence sign] pa[ra] q[ue] cada vno taña la difere[n]cia q[ue] meior le agradare, el cõpas sea de tañer algo leuãtado porq[ue] si va despacio no parecera bie[n].
Title in contents   Diferencias sobre el tenor del conde claros por dos partes, y para discantar, la pauana real.
Text incipit


Category variations

Genre conde claros

Fantasia type

Mode 6

Voices 3

Length (compases) 295


Tuning G

Courses 6

Final V/5

Highest I/10

Lowest VI/0

Difficulty not specified

Tempo medium

Song Text


Vocal notation


This is a very long set of 44 variations on the Conde Claros formula. It demonstrates Valderrábano’s ingenuity in several ways; through his clever counterpoint, but also through his ability to shape the piece in a way that is different from the typical growth model of variations pieces. The piece is in many ways quite beguiling.

A duet version was published by Phalèse, Hortus Musarum [1552/11, p. 102, nº 100] combining this version with Valderrábano’s following setting (va168), specifying that the second lute should be a fourth higher, therefore obviating the need to transpose either of the Valderrábano settings. The duet finishes on the first note of the 24th variation.

Information on the original romance and its text is in Binkley Spanish Romances (with English translation), 120-30
• “Conde Claros” (Don Claros de Montalbán) was the protagonist of a popular Carolingian romance. See diaz1978

Song Text

Media noche era por filo,
los gallos querían cantar,
Conde Claros, con amores
no podía reposar.
(1st stanza. from Trend, The Music of Spanish History to 1600, p 104)

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