I Fiamminghi Booklet



I Fiamminghi Booklet
454 518-2
Italian madr igals
ANTIPODES is a sub-label of ABC Classics
devoted to the historically informed
performance of music from the Renaissance,
Baroque and Classical periods.
by Flemish composers
The Song Company
I Fiamminghi in Italia
Italian madrigals by Flemish composers
Chi chilichi (a sei )
ORLANDO DI LASSO (intab. Emanuel Adriaenssen)
Madonna mia pietà
Tommie Andersson lute
CIPRIANO DE RORE 1515/16-1565
Lieta vivo e contenta
M’ha punt’Amor
Donna, tu sei si bella
Se le stelle cascassero
Non mi conosci tu
Come la cera al foco
Di pensier in pensier
S’io esca vivo
Hor vi riconfortate
CIPRIANO DE RORE (intab. Giovanni Paolo Paladino)
Ancor che col partire
Tommie Andersson lute
Qual musico gentil
Grazie ch’a pochi
Sorgi e rischiara
Vieni dolce Himineo
Hai, Lucia, bona cosa
Chi chilichi (a tre)
Catalina, apra finestra
Giunto alla tomba
Vezzosi augelli
Forsennata gridava
Usciva omai dal molle e fresco grembo
Sovente all’or’
Misera, non credea ch’a gl’occhi miei
Total Playing Time
The Song Company
Roland Peelman artistic director
Tommie Andersson lute
Ruth Kilpatrick soprano (except on tracks !, @, $, *, ™-¢)
Nicole Thomson soprano (except on tracks 3, !,*, (, #)
Jo Burton mezzo-soprano (except on tracks !, *, ¡)
David Hamilton tenor (except on tracks 5, !, £, %, *, ¢)
David McKenzie tenor (except on tracks !, *)
Clive Birch bass-baritone (except on tracks !, ^-*, ¢)
was ever to witness until the forced export of
African slaves to America in the 19th century.
The entire musical knowledge was exported,
developed on foreign soil, transformed and
ultimately lost to its home ground. By the time
the Reformation and the subsequent religious
wars in the Netherlands took their toll, very little
indeed was left of the extraordinary musical
activity Flanders was renowned for. All the
major exponents were firmly established
elsewhere: Lasso in Munich, de Monte in
Prague, Willaert in Venice, de Wert in Mantua,
de Rore in Ferrara and then Parma and so on.
Not only had they found a new home there, the
exposure to different literary traditions as well
as a whole variety of colourful vernacular music
during their travels led to new genres or gave
new impetus to the Italian madrigal. Most
importantly, as Willaert’s case in Venice testifies,
the theoretical consolidation of Flemish
counterpoint (or ‘prima prattica’ as it was soon
to be known) actually took place in Venice
through Willaert’s pupil Zarlino.
Sustained economic prosperity in Flanders
during the 14th and 15th century triggered off
an unprecedented level of artistic activity in all
fields. Van Eyck and Van der Weyden became
the pioneers of oil painting, and with Dufay, the
still new polyphony in music attained a
remarkable level of sophistication and elegance.
By the 15th century the so-called ‘Flemish
School’ or ‘Franco–Flemish school’ (since the
border between France and Flanders was
somewhat different to what it is these days) had
become the envy of Europe. The contrapuntal
techniques developed to unify musical
composition were to become standard
discipline for composition in the Western world
and the intellectual rigour with which the
Flemish polyphonists applied them has baffled
many generations since. The fame of Ockeghem
and Josquin in particular spread very quickly
throughout Europe so that Flanders soon came
to be regarded as the breeding ground for
composers, singers and musicians alike
(although there was hardly a distinction
between these three occupations, as
composers were mostly referred to as ‘cantor’).
When the wealthy and art-loving rulers of the
Italian ducal states eventually established court
chapels, it was hardly surprising that singers
were sought, recruited and if necessary
abducted to provide the chapel with the very
best material. The scale on which this took place
made the 16th century thus a period of the
most profound musical emigration the world
Of all Flemish composers working abroad, the
most accomplished, cosmopolitan and generally
most typically associated with the broad sweep
of the ‘rinascimento’ was Orlando di Lasso
(Mons 1532 – Munich 1594). He started off in
Mantua and then spent all of his early years in
Italy up to his return to Antwerp in 1554.
However, his Italian muse was kept alive
through many travels even after having settled
Just as the respected Lasso did not shy away
from publishing these rather risqué works, his
contemporary Giaches de Wert (Antwerp 1535
– Mantua 1596) published a whole book of
villanelle incorporating Spanish elements and the
folksy rhythms of popular dances towards the
end of his life. While the actual settings are very
skilful, their demeanour is full of wit and lighthearted banter that gives us some insight into
the taste for ‘entertainment’ that most of the
Italian houses shared. As a composer, de Wert
was associated with the house of Gonzaga in
Novellana and later in Mantua. It was the
challenging artistic environment of the Palazzo
Ducale in Mantua and its connections with the
court of the Este family in Ferrara that was to
foster the talent of this most Italian of Flemish
composers. Italian in the sense that his life
reads like a very colourful saga of professional
and romantic intrigue with escapades, affairs
and scandals that were the trademark of most of
the Italian dynasties during that time. His artistic
output betrays a similar taste for passion and
heightened emotion which led the Italian
madrigal directly into its last stage of
development. Italian, too, in the sense that his
settings of Tasso in particular must count
amongst some of the highest musico-literary
collaborations ever. Indeed there is evidence that
both men knew each other well. Torquato Tasso
was more than a welcome guest in the circles
of both the Gonzaga and Este houses. His epic
masterpiece Gerusalemme liberata recounts the
at the court of Albrecht V (and later his son
Wilhelm) in Bavaria. Undoubtedly too, his
genuine love of the Italian Renaissance culture
(as we know from the fascinating
correspondence with the duke) is responsible for
an extensive Italian oeuvre that ranges from
serious madrigals to bawdy morescas. The three
six-part Petrarch madrigals on this recording,
obviously intended as a small ‘trittico’, are
amongst the most distinguished Petrarch
madrigals ever written, yet at a time (late 1570s)
when most madrigalists in Italy had already
moved on to the more contemporary verse of
Tasso and Guarini. Every nuance of the text is
captured and all the literal devices are perfectly
integrated into seamless six-part counterpoint.
His voicing is free-flowing, only at some wellchosen moments turning into homophony and
rarely using the strict canonic style of his
predecessors. Nevertheless, the technique
never eludes him, as can be heard at the end of
‘S’io esca vivo’ and the brief but most ingenuous
double canon ‘Come la cera al foco’. Genuine
humour on the other hand can be experienced in
the three morescas selected for this disc. The
genre of the moresca (Moorish dance) originated
in Naples and features black men (Giorgia or
Martina), equally debauched parlourmaids (Lucia
or Catalina) and a saucy brand of southern Italian
dialect. Musically they use a mix of contrasting
dance rhythms and essentially homophonic
textures slipping into playful counterpoint
whenever Lasso’s fancy takes to it.
last 30 days of the crusading army’s battle
leading up to the fall of Jerusalem in 1099. The
scale of the work is similar to Ariosto’s Orlando
furioso and pays homage to the grand Homeric
and Vergilian epics of the past. While constrained
by some formal and religious preoccupations (in
the context of the sometimes stifling
atmosphere of the Counter-Reformation), it is
the passion and poetic imagination of Tasso’s
verses that wins out. The most famous sections
– and the ones from which de Wert has drawn
his madrigals – tell the tragic story of Clorinda,
who in disguise attacks Godfrey’s army and dies
in the hands of her lover Tancredi, and the
heartbreaking account of the Christian knight
Rinaldo, whose enforced departure from
Armida’s palace leaves her grief-stricken,
angered and destroyed. For these verses de
Wert chose five-part settings which allowed him
maximum melodic expression as well as a full
harmonic pallet. How rich this pallet is can be
appreciated in ‘Usciva omai dal molle e fresco
grembo’ or at the end of ‘Sovente all’or’, or
even more strikingly at the beginning of ‘Giunto
alla tomba’, where cold harmonic stillness and
the frequent major–minor ambiguity (‘color di
morte’) achieve dramatic results, traces of
which can be found as late as in Monteverdi’s
eighth book of madrigals. This recording
contains all of de Wert’s Tasso settings as well as
two madrigals, one on a text by Petrarch
providing interesting comparison with the Lasso
style, and the pièce d’occasion ‘Sorgi e
rischiara’ which was written for the occasion of
the wedding between Vincenzo Gonzaga and
Margherita di Parma in 1581.
The other wedding madrigal on this disc is by
Cipriano de Rore (Mechelen 1515/16 – Parma
1565) celebrating another political marriage in
the Medici family, although his career was
associated for more than 10 years with the court
of Ercole II at Ferrara. When his successor
decided not to continue the association in 1559,
it was the above-mentioned Margherita di Parma
who acquired de Rore’s services. The Venetian
affinity that the short villanelle ‘Lieta vivo e
contenta’ reflects (Willaert-like counterpoint
followed by unbridled syncopation) can be
explained perhaps by the fact that he did spend
two years in Venice as Willaert’s successor
before returning to Parma. Ultimately it was
Monteverdi himself, holding the same post as
maestro di cappella at San Marco in Venice, who
frequently paid tribute to the achievements of
the Flemish master and the decisive impact he
had on the development of the madrigal. While
Lasso’s madrigals may seem retrospective and
conservative in style, de Rore already breathes a
different taste and de Wert achieves a level of
writing which eventually relinquishes most of
the old Flemish tools in favour of a free and
sensuous tonal language.
A note on the intabulations
The practice of lute intabulations, which began in
the 16th century, was made possible by a radical
change in the way the instrument was played.
Lutenists began to use fingers rather than a
plectrum to pluck strings, thereby enabling
several notes to be played simultaneously and
therefore to imitate a texture of several
independent voices. Intabulations – in this case
the arrangement for lute of a piece originally
meant for voices – formed a core component of
any 16th-century lutenist’s repertory. The
intabulation of the de Rore madrigal by Giovanni
Paolo Paladino (b. Milan, d. Lyons before Sept
1566) recorded here shows, in a way, a return in
kind of the Flemish artistic investment in Italy:
though active in France, Paladino was an Italian
lutenist who wrote his intabulations in an Italian
notational system and style. In contrast, the
important Dutch lutenist Emanuel Adriaenssen
(Antwerp, c.1554–1604) used French notation
and generally employed a greater degree of
ornamentation in his intabulations that border on
the virtuosic. Recorded here is his arrangement
of a Lasso madrigal, published in the large
collection of fantasias, intabulations and dances
named Pratum musicum longe amoenissimum
(Antwerp, 1584).
Roland Peelman
1 & ¢ Chi chilichi
Chi chilichi?
U, scontienta, u beschina,
u, sportunata me Lucia!
Non sienta Martina Galla cantara?
Lassa canta, possa cliepare,
Porca te piscia sia cicata
Ia dormuta, tu scitata.
Ba con dia non bo piu per namolata.
Tutta notte tu dormuta,
Mai a me tu basciata.
Che papa la sagna,
Metter’uccell’intra gaiola
Leva da loco, piglia zampogna,
Va sonando per chissa cantuna
Lirun li, lirun li.
Cock-a-doodle do
Cock-a-doodle do?
Cuckoo, cuckoo!
Oh unhappy me, oh wretched me,
Oh unlucky me Lucia!
Don’t you hear Martin’s cock sing?
Let it sing, let it screech,
May the pig piss on you, may you be blinded!
I was asleep, you were awake.
Go away, your loving is wanted no more.
All night you have slept,
You haven’t even kissed me.
Cuckoo, cuckoo!
Let’s give it the Pope’s seal,
And put birds into the cage
Cuckoo, cuckoo!
Get away from here, take your bagpipe,
Go and play on the street corner
Lirun li, lirun li.
Sona, se voi sonare
Play, if you want to play
Lassa, carumpa canella,
lassa Martina, lassa Lucia,
u, Madonna, a ti cilum barbuni,
U macera catutuni.
Sona non glidare, lirun li.
La mogliere del Pecoraro
Sette pecor’a no danaro,
Se ce fusse Caroso mio,
Cinco percor’a no carlino.
Auza la gamba, madonna Lucia,
Stiendi la mano, pigli zanpogna,
Sauta no poco con mastro Martino
Lirun li, lirun li, lirun.
Leave it, stop you little bitch,
Stop Martin, leave off Lucia
Oh my lady, may you grow a beard,
May you come to a sticky end.
Play, don’t shout, lirun li.
The shepherd’s wife
Seven sheep to a single coin
If my lover were here,
It would be five sheep for the same money.
Lift up your leg, my lady Lucia,
Hold out your hand, take up the bagpipe
Dance a little with master Martin
Lirun li, lirun li, lirun.
Lieta vivo e contenta
Lieta vivo e contenta
Dapoi che’l mio bel sole
Mi mostra i chiari raggi, come suole.
I live happy and contented
I live happy and contented
When my beautiful one
Shows me his bright sun-like rays,
Ma così mi tormenta
S’io lo veggio sparire
Che più tosto vorrei sempre morire.
But I am so tormented
If I see him disappear
Then I would rather die everlastingly.
M’ha punt’Amor
M’ha punt’Amor con velenoso dardo
E va gridando per mar’e per terra
“All’arm’all’arme! Guerra! Guerra!”
Cupid has hit me
Cupid has hit me with his mischievous arrow
And goes over sea and land calling out
“To arms! War!”
Donna, tu sei si bella
Donna, tu sei si bella
Che pari proprio un sol
Non ch’una stella
Ne vidd’al mondo mai simil’à te
Beso las manos de vuestra mercè.
Lady, you are so beautiful
Lady, you are so beautiful
You seem like the sun itself
Not a mere star
I’ve never seen anyone like you in the world
Let me kiss your hand.
Se le stelle cascassero
Se le stelle cascassero dal cielo,
E ch’ogn arbor e frutto sì secasse,
Poss’io morir se non mene burlasse!
If the stars tumbled
If the stars tumbled from heaven
And if all the fruit on the trees trembled
I could die if only I was not so madly thrown!
Non mi conosci tu
Non mi conosci tu,
io ben conosco
i tuoi detti bugiardi
E i tuoi fallaci sguardi
Ardi pur per amante a te simile
Che doni a l’amor tuo l’empia mercede,
Che desti a la mia fede;
Qual amante lasciasti al fin vedrai
E spero che dirai:
Non conobbi un amator fedele
Foss’io stata più saggia e men crudele.
You don’t know me
You don’t know me,
I know all too well
your deceitful words
And your treacherous looks
You only ignite for your type of love
If it returns material gain only,
What do you say to my loyalty?
In the end you’ll see what a lover you’ve left
And I hope that you will then say:
I have never known such a faithful lover
I wish I had been wiser and not so cruel.
Come la cera al foco,
Come la cera al foco,
ch’accenda esca terrena,
Si va struggendo e manca a poco a poca:
Cosi gli affanni, onde la vita e piena,
e le gioie e i diletti vani e terrestri affetti
si van struggendo a queste fiamme,
ch’accende esca d’amor celeste.
Like wax to the flame
Like wax to the flame
That ascending leaves this earth,
Goes in torment and diminishes little by little:
Thus do cares, of which life is full,
And the joys and the vain delights and earthly likes
Destroy themselves on these flames,
That light up this heavenly love.
Di pensier in pensier
Di pensier in pensier, di monte in monte
Mi guid’amor; ch’ogni segnato calle
Provo contrario a la tranquilla vita.
S’en solitaria piaggia, riv’o fonte,
S’en fra duo poggi siede ombrosa valle,
Ivi s’acqueta l’alma sbigotita;
E, com’amor, m’invita,
Hor rid’hor piange, hor teme hor s’assicura;
E’l volto che lei segue, ov’ella il mena,
Si turba e rasserena,
Et in un esser picciol tempo dura;
Unde a la vist’huom de tal vita esparto
Diria: “Quest’arde, e di suo stato è incerto.”
From thought to thought
From thought to thought, from hill to hill
Love guides me, and every indicated path
I try is contrary to peaceful life.
As on a solitary beach, brook or fountain,
As in a shady valley between two cliffs
Here my bewildered soul finds rest
And like love invites me.
Now it laughs, it weeps, it fears and is reassured;
And my face that follows it, wherever it leads,
Is moved to turmoil and serenity.
And each feeling lasts the briefest moment;
Just by seeing me, a man of like experience
Would say: “He burns up, and his lot is fickle.”
If I escape alive
If I escape alive from these uncertain times
And my exile comes to a good end,
How I wish that I could turn the sail
And put down anchor in any port!
If only I did not burn like blazing wood!
Yes, it is hard for me to finish with this life.
God of my demise and my life,
Before I dash myself completely into pieces
Direct my uneasy sail to a safe haven.
S’io esca vivo
S’io esca vivo de’ dubbiosi scogli
Et arrive il mio esilio ad bel fine,
Ch’i’ sarei vago di voltar la vela,
E l’ancore gittar in qualche porto?
Se non ch’i’ardo come acceso legno?
Sì m’è duro a lassar l’usata vita.
Signor de la mia fine e de la vita,
Prima ch’i’ fiacchi legno tra li scogli
Drizza a buon porto l’affannata vela.
Now be comforted
Now be comforted in your crowds,
Young people, and measure the time at large;
So that the blow foreseen hurts far less.
Perhaps I spread my words in vain;
But I tell you that you are struck
By a heavy and deadly lethargy:
How fast the hours, days, years and months pass;
And together in the briefest interval,
All of us have to seek other worlds.
Hor vi riconfortate
Hor vi riconfortate in vostre fole,
Giovani, e misurate il tempo largo;
Che piaga antiveduta assai men dole.
Forse ch’indarno mie parole spargo;
Ma io v’anuntio che voi sete offesi
Da un grav’e mortifero letargo:
Che volan l’hore, i giorn’e gli anni e mesi;
E’nsieme con brevissimo intervallo,
Tutti havemo a cercar altri paesi.
Giunto alla tomba
Giunto alla tomba, ove al suo spirto vivo
Dolorosa prigion’ il ciel prescrisse;
Di color, di moto privo
Già marmo in vista al marmo il viso affisse,
Al fin sgorgando un lagrimoso rivo,
In un languido oimè proruppe, e disse:
“O sasso amato tanto,
Che dietro hai le mie fiamme, e fuor’ il pianto!
Before her new-made tomb
Before her new-made tomb at last arrived,
The woeful prison of his living spright;
Pale, cold, sad, comfortless, of sense deprived,
Upon the marble grey he fix’d his sight;
Two streams of tears were from his eyes derived:
Thus with a sad alas, began the knight:
“Oh, marble dear! on my dear mistress plac’d,
My flames within, without my tears thou hast
Non di morte sei tu, ma di vivaci
Ceneri albergo, ov’è nascosto amore,
Sento dal freddo tuo l’usate faci
Men dolci si, ma non men cald’al core.
Deh prendi questi piant’e questi baci,
Prendi, ch’io bagno di doglio umore,
E dalli tu poich’io non posso, almeno,
All’amate reliquie, c’hai nel seno.”
Not of dead bones art thou the mournful grave,
But of quick love the fortress and the hold;
Still in my heart thy wonted brand I have,
More bitter far, alas! but not more cold.
Receive these sighs, these kisses sweet receive,
In liquid drops of melting tears enroll’d,
And give them to that body pure and chaste
Which in thy bosom cold entomb’d thou hast.”
Gerusalemme liberata: Book XII, verses 96–97
Vezzosi augelli
Vezzosi augelli in fra le verde fronde
Tempran’a prova lascivette notte.
Mormora l’aura, e fra le foglie e l’onde
Garrir, che variamente ella percote:
Quando taccion gl’augelli, alto risponde:
Quando cantan gl’augei, più lieve scote;
Sia caso od’arte, or accompagn’ed ora
Alterna i versi lor, la Musica ora.
Forsennata gridava
Forsennata gridava: “O tu che porte
Teco parte di me, parte ne lassi:
O prendi l’un’, o rendi l’altra, o morte
Dà insieme ad ambe: arresta i passi,
Sol che ti sian le voci ultime porte.
Non dico i baci: altra più degn’avarssi
Quelli da te. Che temi, empio, se resti?
Potrai negar, poi che fuggir potesti.”
The joyous birds
The joyous birds, hid under greenwood shade,
Sung merry notes on every branch and bough;
The wind, that in the leaves and waters play’d,
With murmur sweet now sang, and whistled now;
Ceased the birds, the wind loud answer made,
And while they sung it rumbled soft and low:
Thus, were it hap or cunning, chance or art,
The wind in this strange music bore his part.
Gerusalemme liberata: Book XVI, verse 12
O thou that leav’st
“O thou that leav’st but half behind,” quoth she,
“Of my poor heart, and half with thee dost carry,
O take this part, or render that to me,
Else kill them both at once: ah! tarry, tarry,
Hear my last words; no parting kiss of thee
I crave, for some more fit with thee to marry
Keep them: unkind! what fear’st thou if thou stay?
Thou may’st deny as well as run away.”
Gerusalemme liberata: Book XVI, verse 40
Now from the fresh, the soft and tender bed
Now from the fresh, the soft and tender bed
Of her still mother, gentle night outflew
The fleeting baulme, on hills and dales she shed,
With honey drops of pure and precious dew,
And on the verdure of green forests spread
The virgin primrose and the violet blew,
And sweet breath’d Zephire on his spreading wings
Sleep, ease, repose, rest, peace and quiet brings.
Usciva omai dal molle e fresco grembo
Usciva omai dal molle e fresco grembo
Della gran madre sua la notte oscura,
Aure lieve portando, e largo nembo
Di sua rugiada preziosa e pura:
E scotendo del vel l’umido limbo
Ne spargeva i fioretti e la verdura:
E i venticelli, dibattendo l’ali,
Lusingavano il sonno de’ mortali.
Gerusalemme liberata: Book XIV, verse 1
Sovente all’or’
Sovente all’or’ che su gl’estivi ardori
Giacean le pecorelle all’ombr’assise,
Nella scorza de’faggi e degl’allori
Segno l’amato nom’in mille guise:
E de’suoi strani ed infelici amori
Gl’aspri successi in mille piant’incise:
E in rileggendo poi le proprie note
Rigò di belle lagrime le gote.
Often during the hours
Often during the hours when in summer’s heat
The lambs lie in the shade,
In the bark of beeches and laurels
He carved his beloved’s name in a thousand guises:
And of his strange and unhappy affairs
The bitter gains he cut in a thousand plaints
And each time he read again the actual words
He furrowed his cheeks with beautiful tears.
Poscia dicea piangendo: “In voi serbate
Questa dolente istoria, amiche piante:
Perche se fia ch’alle vostr’ombre grate
Giammai soggiorni alcun fedele amante,
Senta svegliarsi al cor dolce pietade
Delle sventure mie si varie e tante.”
E dica: “Ahi tropp’ingiust’empia mercede
Diè fortuna ed amore a si gran fede!”
And then he said weeping: “Mark well inside you
That sorrowful story, lamented girls:
Because would ever any faithful lover
Remain in your pleasant shadow,
Feel sweet pity on my adventures
So varied and manifold awaken in your heart.”
And he said: “Woe, too much unjust reward
Fortune and love gave to such great trust!”
Gerusalemme liberata: Book VII, verses 19–20
Misera, non credea ch’a gl’occhi miei
“Misera, non credea ch’a gl’occhi miei
Potessi in alcun tempo esser noioso:
Or cieco farmi volontier torrei
Per non vederti, e riguardar non oso.
Oimè! de’ lumi già si dolci e rei
Ov’è la fiamm’? ov’è’l bel lume ascoso?
De le fiorite guancie il bel vermiglio
Ov’è fuggito ? Ov’è il seren’ del ciglio?
I never thought that to mine eyes
“I never thought that to mine eyes (my dear)
Thou couldst have grievous or unpleasant been:
But now would blind or rather dead I were
That thy sad plight might be unknown, unseen,
Alas, where is thy mirth and smiling cheer?
Where thine eyes clear beams and sparkles sheen?
Of thy fair cheek where is the purple red,
And foreheads whiteness? Are all gone, all dead?
“Ma che? squallido e scuro anco mi piaci,
Anima bella, se quinci entro gire;
S’odi il mio pianto, e le mie voglie audaci,
Perdona il furto e’l temerario ardire.
Dalle pallide labbra i freddi baci,
“Though gone, though dead, I love thee still behold;
Death wounds, but kills not love; yet if though live
Sweet soul still in his breast, my follies bold
Are, pardon, loves, desires and stealthes forgive;
Grant me from his pale mouth some kisses cold,
Since death doth love of just reward deprive;
And of thy spoils sad death afford me this,
Let me his mouth pale cold and bloodless kiss.”
Che piu caldi sperai, vo’pur rapire.
Parte torrò di sue ragioni a morte,
Baciando queste labbra esangui e smorte.”
Gerusalemme liberata: Book XIX, verses 106–107
Così costei, che nella doglia amara,
Già tutti non oblia l’arti e le frodi:
Fa di sospir breve concent’ in prima,
Per dispor l’alm’in cui le voci in prima.
As cunning singers
As cunning singers, ere they strain on high
In loud melodious tunes their gentle voice,
Prepare the hearer’s ears to harmony,
With feignings sweet, low notes,
and warbles choice;
So she, not having yet forgot pardie
Her wonted shifts and sleights in Cupid’s toys,
A sequence first of sighs and sobs forth cast
To breed compassion dear, then spake at last:
Poi cominciò: “Non aspettar ch’io preghi,
Crudel, te, come amante deve:
Tai fumm’un tempo: or se tal esser neghi,
E di ciò la memoria anco t’è greve,
Come nemico al men’ascolta: i preghi
D’un nemico talor l’altro riceve.
Ben quel ch’io chieggio è tal che darlo puoi,
E integri conservar gli sdegni tuoi.
“Suppose not, cruel! that I come to woo
Or pray, as ladies do their loves and lords;
Such were we late, if thou disdain it now,
Or scorn to grant such grace as love affords,
At least yet as an en’my listen thou,
Sworn foes sometime will talk and chaffer words;
For what I ask thee may’st thou grant right well,
And lessen nought thy wrath and anger fell.
“Se m’odii, e’n ciò diletto alcun tu senti,
Non t’en vengo a privar: godi pur d’esso.
Giusto a te pare, e siasi. Anch’io le genti
Cristiane odiai, nol nego, odiai te stesso.
Nacqui pagana: usai varii argomenti,
Che per me fosse il vostr’imperio oppresso:
Te perseguii, te presi, e te lontano
Dall’armi trassi in loco ignoto e strano.
“If me thou hate, and in that hate delight,
I come not to appease thee, hate me still;
It’s like for like; I bore great hate and spite
‘Gainst Christians all chiefly: I wish’d thee ill
I was a pagan born, and all my might
Against Godfredo bent, mine art and skill;
I follow’d thee, took thee, and bore thee far
To this strange isle, and kept thee safe from war;
“Aggiungi a quest’ancor quel ch’a maggiore
Onta tu recchi, ed a maggior tuo danno:
T’ingannai, t’allettai nel nostr’amore:
“And more, which more thy hate may justly move,
More to thy loss, more to thy shame and grief,
I thee enchanted and allur’d to love;
Qual musico gentil
Qual musico gentil, prima chiara
Altamente la lingua alcanto snodi,
All’ armonia gl’animi altrui prepara
Con dolci ricercate, in bassi modi,
Empia lusinga certo, iniqu’inganno.
Lasciarsi corre il virginal suo fiore:
Far delle sue bellezz’altrui tiranno:
Quelle ch’a mille antichi in premio sono
Negate, offrir’a novo amante, in dono!
Wicked deceit, craft worthy sharp reprief!
Mine honour gave I thee, all gifts above,
And of my beauty made thee lord and chief,
And to my suitors old what I denay’d,
That gave I thee, my lover new unpray’d:
“Sia questa pur tra le mie frodi, e vaglia
Si di tante mie colpe in te’l difetto
Che tu quinci ti parta, e non ti caglia
Di quest’albergo tuo già si diletto.
Vattene: passa il mar, pugna, travaglia,
Struggi la fede nostr’: anch’io t’affretto.
Che dico nostra? ah, non più mia! Fedele
Sono a te solo, ldolo mio crudele!”
“But reckon that among my faults, and let
Those many wrongs provoke thee so to wrath
That hence thou run, and that at nought thou set
This pleasant house, so many joys which hath:
Go, travel, pass the seas, fight, conquest get,
Destroy our faith; what, shall I say our faith?
Ah no! no longer ours; before thy shrine
Alone I pray, thou cruel saint of mine!”
Gerusalemme liberata: Book XVI, verses 43–47
Grazie ch’a pochi
Grazie ch’a pochi il ciel largo destina,
Rara virtu, non gia d’umana gente
Sotto biondi capei canuta mente,
E’n umil donna alta belta divina,
Charms that too few
Charms that too few are deigned with from heaven,
Rare virtue, but not of the human race,
A wise mind under fair hair,
And in a modest lady, beauty high divine.
Leggiadria singolare e pellegrina,
E’l cantar che ne l’anima si sente
L’andar celeste e’l vago spirt’ardente,
Ch’ogni dur romp’, ed ogni altezza inchina.
E quei begl’occhi, ch’i cor fanno smalti,
Possenti a rischiarar abisso e notte,
E torre l’alm’a’ corpi e darle altrui,
Looks unique and uncommon,
And a voice that touches the soul,
Heavenly gait and a dimly burning spirit,
That makes every hardship break, all pride
bow down
And those beautiful eyes, that glaze the heart,
With power to light up the darkness of the night,
And cut soul from body and give them back,
Col dir pien d’intelletti dolci ed alti
Coi sospir soavemente rotti,
Da questi magi trasformato fui.
With words full of sweet and exalted conceit
With sighs sweetly broken up,
Through these spells I was transformed.
Le più felici stelle, e l’altre intorno
Celinsi: e’n terr’e’n mar, d’onta e di scorno
Securo ogn’anima viv’ogni stelo.
Rise and light up
Rise and light up the sky with your appearance,
Holy Mother of love, let the new day return.
Let the sun adorned with rays never ever leave,
And let the veil disappear from every cloud.
One gazes at the happiest stars lit
with amorous zeal
While the others surrounding them are hidden.
On earth, in the ocean, let every animal and plant
Live free from shame and scorn.
Scendi Imeneo; copia di te si sdegna,
Non strins’unqua il tuo nodo.
Ecco ch’unita già di fedele
E d’Amor te solo aspetta.
Or ciò che Manto lor predice e insegna,
Cantin Mincio i tuoi cigni, e tu gli alletta
Risonando Vincenz’e Margherita.
Come down, Hymen; couples hold you in contempt,
They do not marry anymore.
Here they are already united by faith
And by love and await only you.
Now what Manto prophesies and teaches them
Your swans sing Mincio, and you entice them
Resounding the names of Vincenzo and Margherita.
Sorgi e rischiara
Sorgi e rischiara al tuo apparir il cielo,
Santa Madre d’amor, rimena il giorno.
Esca il sol più che mai di raggi adorno,
E si dilegui d’ogni nube il velo.
Mirinsi accese d’amoroso zelo
attr. Manfredi
Vieni dolce Himineo
Vieni dolce Himineo,
vieni et infiamma
Di santissimo ardore
A sì gradita e bella coppia’l core.
Come sweet Hymen
Come sweet Hymen
come and inflame
With your most holy ardour
The heart of such an esteemed and lovely couple.
Amor di bianca oliva
D’ambi le tempie cinga,
E in dolce nodo e in pura fiamma viva
Lor alme accend’e stringa.
Love with white olive branches
Crown both their temples,
And in this sweet union and in the pure living flame
Their souls light up and become one.
Indi gli acuti strali
e spenda e indori,
Sciolto dagli occhi il velo;
Spiri gioia ogni parte e l’aria adori,
Hor ch’in terra si vede il terzo cielo:
Thence the darts of love
Employ and gild,
The veil is removed from their eyes;
May joy breathe everywhere and adorn the air,
Now that on earth one sees the heaven of Venus:
Et ogn’antro, ogni lido in dolci temper
Alessandro e Maria risuoni sempre.
And in every cave, on every shore in sweet timbres
Resound forever Alessandro and Maria.
Hai, Lucia, bona cosa
Hai, Lucia, bona cosa, io dic’a tia:
che patrona fatta franca
et vò bella maritare;
Giorgia tua, vò pigliare, tutta negra v’invitare,
nott’e giorno vonno sonare tambilililili,
poi che Dio v’av’agiuta gente negra, vol cantare;
core mi, ascoltare, apri bocc’et non dormire,
acqua madonna al fuoco,
che ardo tutto et tu pigliat’a gioco,
io grido sempre haime et tu non sentuta
et voce mia tutto fatta roca;
acqua madonn’al foco, che ciminera;
ard’e mò fuiuta, cocha.
Lucia, what a good thing you have
Lucia, what a good thing you have, I tell you:
what a candid mistress you’ve become
and I want to marry you;
your all black George wants you and invites you,
day and night to play with his ding-a-ling,
since God’s given you a black man, he wants to sing;
my heart, listen, open up and don’t sleep,
my lady, quench my fire,
because I’m burning up and you’re leading me on,
I always cry out, ‘alas’, and you don’t hear me,
and I’m hoarse from calling out;
my lady, quench my fire, what a chimney;
I’m on fire and now you’ve fled, my darling.
Catalina, apra finestra
Catalina, apra finestra,
se voi senta Giorgia cantara;
se tu sent’a me sonara,
passa tutta fantanasia
fate priega, core mia.
Non volere scorrucciare,
Perché Giorgia vol cantare
Per passare fantanasia
Spetta loco e non par tutta
quant’accordo quissa liuta,
Tron, tron, tirintron...
Cathalina, open your window,
Cathalina, open your window,
if you want to hear George sing;
hearing my sounds,
goes beyond all fantasy
I beg you, my darling
Do not lose hope
Because George wants to sing
For the joy of fantasy.
Stay there and do not leave
while I tune this lute.
Tron, tron, tirintron...
Andar a Valenza già cala già,
schincina bacu, Sana lagua!
Affaci’un poco, quissa pertusa!
Lassa via un poc’a tia
To go to Valencia, how terrible!
no fun or games there
Just wait a bit, it’s a hole!
Let yourself go a little
voglio cant’una canzona
Come fusse tamborina,
Hu, a te bella, Hu a te mania
Hu a te canazza! zuccara mia!
Chissa cappilla come latte
fronte luce come crescere
occhi tua come lanterna
chissa nassa sprofilata
Faccia tua come smeralda
Chissa labbra marza panata
Bocca tua come doanna,
cizza grossa come fiascone
lassa biber’a Giorgia tua
Giorgia tua, bella infanta
vostr’amore mi fa morira!
I want to sing you a song
With a tambourine.
Hey dear, hey mad one
Hey darling! My little pumpkin!
That hair, white as milk
looks like the sunrise
your eyes like torches
that nose like a sculpture
Your face like an emerald
Your lips like marzipan
your mouth like a dove,
and tits as big as a bottle of wine
let your George have a drink
my beautiful little maid
your love makes me die!
Tutta la notte la galla canta:
Giorgia mia non può dormire,
mala francisca possa venire
come la ladra, figlia di cane.
All night the rooster sings:
My George cannot sleep
But you might get the clap
like a thief, son-of-a-bitch.
Tira va trasse intra coccina,
bibe la broda come gatta nigra.
Poi chetu non voi facciare
Yo di qua voglio par tutta.
Su, schiava ladra cana musata,
Diriet ’a la porta, nistillingo,
madonna trovata, nistillingo,
con Giorgi’a abbracciata, nistillingo.
Off you go, into the kitchen,
drinking the soup like a black cat.
If you do not want to do it,
I would rather leave.
Up, you scoundrel, you howling dog
Behind the door, nistillingo,
a woman discovered, nistillingo
in George’s embrace, nistillingo.
Translations of Gerusalemme liberata: Edward Fairfax, Godfrey of Bulloigne (1600)
Other translations: Roland Peelman and Eugene Ragghianti, with assistance from
Diana Cavuoto Glenn
currently planning a collaboration with the
Australian didgeridoo player William Barton and
Kate Champion’s new dance company Force
Majeure. In addition, the ensemble continues to
be involved in some of the most innovative
contemporary music theatre in Australia (The
Burrow, Quito, The Sinking of the Rainbow
Warrior, Little George, Venetian Carnival, deLudo,
Mrs Macquarie’s Cello).
The Song Company
Since its inception in 1984, The Song Company
has developed as one of the most interesting
and outstanding vocal ensembles in the world.
The group’s repertoire covers vocal music from
the 10th century to the present day and is
unique in its stylistic diversity. With the support
of The Australia Council and the NSW Ministry
for the Arts, the company operates full-time,
presenting an average of close to 130 concerts
annually in Australia and abroad. Through a
longstanding commitment to education, an
annual subscription series, as well as many
recordings and broadcasts, The Song Company
has built up an impressive following around
Australia, and increasingly so, around the world.
Regular international tours have taken The Song
Company to some of the most prestigious
festivals and venues around the world such as
the Dubrovnik Festival, MDR Sommerfest,
Festival of Flanders and the Melbourne
International Festival of the Arts.
The year of 2004 represented the ensemble’s
20th anniversary. Featured were major new
works by Ross Edwards, Andrew Schultz and
2003 composer-in-residence Raffaele Marcellino.
There were also a number of overseas
performances, notably at the European mecca of
early music, the Regensburg and Dresden
festivals, prompting great critical acclaim: ‘Their
rendition was perfect, revealing a structural
insight of utmost clarity (…) bringing back
history unexpectedly fresh and alive.’
(Sachsische Zeitung, June 2004).
Under the leadership of Roland Peelman, Artistic
Director since 1990, the six-voice ensemble has
developed a unique style by successfully
integrating serious scholarship, tonal beauty,
vocal daring and unbridled performance
dynamics. The group is equally at home in
medieval songs and chants, 16th-century
polyphony or 20th-century classics.
The Song Company remains at the forefront of
contemporary vocal music through an extensive
and ongoing international commissioning
program and innovative collaborations. Six
Hermits (2002) involved six Chinese musicians
on traditional instruments – hailed by The Age as
‘a mighty accomplishment’; the group is
For more information visit
Roland Peelman
Tommie Andersson
A tireless advocate of new music and a musician
of astonishing versatility, Peelman immigrated to
Australia from Belgium in 1984 before joining
The Australian Opera where he made his debut
as a conductor in a number of productions.
Swedish-born Tommie Andersson is Australia’s
leading specialist in lutes, early guitars and in
the interpretation of works for these
instruments. He arrived in Australia in 1984 after
completing studies on a Swiss Government
scholarship at the renowned Schola Cantorum
Basiliensis where his teachers included Eugen
Dombois and Hopkinson Smith. Before this, he
graduated from the State College of Music in
Gothenburg where he completed a Bachelor of
Music degree and was selected to continue with
a Master’s Degree in Performance studying
under Josef Holocek. He has toured extensively
in Sweden and has given performances and
masterclasses in Scandinavia, France, Holland,
England, Switzerland and as a continuo player in
South America, China and Japan.
During the 1990s he was active in different
roles: as co-founder and Music Director of
Sydney Metropolitan Opera, as Artistic Director
of the Hunter Orchestra in Newcastle and as
ongoing Artistic Director of The Song Company,
now one of the world’s most outstanding vocal
ensembles. In addition, he also enjoyed a close
relationship with Opera Queensland and
Chamber Made Opera in Melbourne with a long
list of acclaimed productions. Having worked
with most orchestras in Australia and with a
number of specialist ensembles such as ACO,
Ensemble Offspring and Ictus in Belgium,
Peelman continues to play an influential role in
the Australian music scene through the
commissioning, recording and conducting of
new work and through the research and
performance of a large repertoire of early music,
including major works by Lasso, Monteverdi,
Schütz and Purcell.
As a continuo player Andersson performs
regularly with the Australian Chamber Orchestra,
Opera Australia, the Australian Brandenburg
Orchestra, Fontana Musica, the Early Dance
Consort, Orchestra of the Antipodes and The
Song Company. As a recitalist he has performed
in all the major Australian capital cities and gives
regular concerts and live broadcasts for the ABC.
Andersson appears on numerous discs and has
released a solo CD on the Musica Redivivia
label, recorded in Sweden in 1990.
Executive Producers Robert Patterson, Lyle Chan
Recording Producer and Editor Ralph Lane
Recording Engineer Paul McGrath
Editorial and Production Manager Hilary Shrubb
Booklet Editor Richard King
Cover and Booklet Design Imagecorp Pty Ltd
Cover Image Melchior d’Hondecoeter 1636-1695
The poultry yard (detail) oil on canvas
148.2 x 170.3 cm Felton Bequest, 1920
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Back Cover Map Image Johannes Van Keulen
Oost Indien (detail) c.1689
For The Song Company
General Manager Joanne Kee
Recorded May, June and October 1996 at the
Chapel of St Scholastica’s Convent, Glebe, Sydney.
ABC Classics would like to thank Eugene Ragghianti,
former General Manager of The Song Company.
1998 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
1998, 2004 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Made in Australia. All rights of the owner of copyright reserved.
Any copying, renting, lending, diffusion, public performance or
broadcast of this record without the authority of the copyright
owner is prohibited.
He lectures in lute and gives classes in the
interpretation of early music at the Sydney
Conservatorium of Music.