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Les Arts Florissants
Saturday 15 June 2013 7.30pm, Hall
Claudio Monteverdi Madrigals, Book 5
Les Arts Florissants
Paul Agnew tenor/director
This concert is part of a complete cycle of Monteverdi
madrigals being performed by Les Arts Florissants and
Paul Agnew throughout Europe between 2011 and 2015.
Programme produced by Harriet Smith; printed by Vertec
Printing Services; advertising by Cabbell (tel. 020 8971 8450)
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Luca Marenzio (1553/4–99)
Sinfonia (from Intermedio II,
La pellegrina, 1589)
Donne, il celeste lume (Il quarto libro
de madrigali a sei voci, 1587)
Sinfonia (from Intermedio II,
La pellegrina)
Claudio Monteverdi
Il quinto libro de madrigali a cinque
voci (1605):
Cruda Amarilli, che col nome
O Mirtillo, Mirtillo anima mia
Era l’anima mia
Emilio de’ Cavalieri
Sinfonia (from end of Act 2,
Rappresentatione di Anima, e di
Corpo, 1600)
Claudio Monteverdi
Il quinto libro de madrigali a cinque
Ecco, Silvio – Prima parte
Ma, se con la pietà – Seconda
Dorinda, ah, dirò mia – Terza
Ecco, piegando le genocchie –
Quarta parte
Ferir quel petto, Silvio? – Quinta
e ultima parte
Luca Marenzio
Sinfonia (from Intermedio II,
La pellegrina)
interval 20 minutes
Claudio Monteverdi
Il quinto libro de madrigali a cinque
Ch’io t’ami – Prima parte
Deh, bella e cara – Seconda parte
Ma tu, più che mai dura – Terza e
ultima parte
Emilio de’ Cavalieri
Sinfonia (from end of Act 2,
Rappresentatione di Anima, e di
Claudio Monteverdi
Il quinto libro de madrigali a cinque
Che dar più vi poss’io?
M’è più dolce il penar per Amarilli
Ahi, come a un vago sol
Troppo ben può questo tiranno
Amor, se giusto sei
T’amo, mia vita!
E così, a poco a poco (for six
Sinfonia. Questi vaghi concenti
(for nine voices)
Musical editions prepared by
Pascal Duc (Les Arts Florissants)
Barbican Classical Music Podcast
Catherine Bott travels to Paris to talk exclusively to Paul
Agnew about the controversy that surrounded Monteverdi’s
Fifth Book of Madrigals at the time of its composition, the
music’s extraordinary depth of passion and the genesis of
the world’s first opera.
Available on iTunes, Soundcloud and the Barbican website
Les Arts Florissants
Miriam Allan
Maud Gnidzaz
Hannah Morrison
Stéphanie Leclercq
Lucile Richardot
Paul Agnew
Sean Clayton
Lisandro Abadie
Marduk Serrano López
Myriam Gever
Sophie Gevers-Demoures
Galina Zinchenko
Simon Heyerick
Viola da gamba
Anne-Marie Lasla
Basso continuo
Thomas Dunford
Massimo Moscardo
Florian Carré
Language coach
Rita de Letteriis
Artusi provided music examples
for three of the offending
madrigals and attacked their use
of certain dissonances ‘in so open
and exposed a manner’. The
compositions, although presented
anonymously in Artusi’s treatise,
would have been widely recognised
as the work of Claudio Monteverdi.
Their supposed shortcomings
included breaches of the golden
rules of harmony and counterpoint,
established and refined over
several generations by composers
such as Adrian Willaert, Cipriano
de Rore and Palestrina and
codified by Zarlino. Artusi subjected
passages from Monteverdi’s
‘Cruda Amarilli, che col nome
ancora’ to particularly severe
criticism. The work, published as
the opening piece in its composer’s
Fifth Book of Madrigals, baffled
Artusi. Its heightened expression
may have been conceived to
please the ear – but that was no
excuse for subverting the rational
rules of textbook composition.
Monteverdi and the ‘moderns’
pushed Artusi and the two
characters in his dialogue to lament
the ‘barbarisms’ and ‘imperfections’
to be found in works by fashionable
‘new inventors’. The so-called
Artusi–Monteverdi controversy,
like so many of today’s culture
wars, was fought over the ground
of convention, pitching tradition
against innovation, academic rigour
against creative freedom. The scale
and substance of Artusi’s attack,
magnified with the publication of
his second anti-modern treatise in
1603, prompted Monteverdi to set
out the case for musical modernity
in print. His response was much
more than a salve for wounded
pride; in fact, it helped define and
clarify what the musicologist Claude
V. Palisca aptly described as ‘one
of the deepest crises in musical
composition’. Monteverdi’s Fifth
Book of Madrigals, published in
Venice in 1605, contains a short
introductory essay in which the
composer announces his intention
to issue a treatise called Seconda
pratica, overo Perfettione della
moderna musica (‘Second practice,
or perfection of the modern music’).
The ‘second practice’ in question,
Monteverdi explained, differed
from the generally accepted
practice of counterpoint established
in various works of the mid-1500s
by Gioseffo Zarlino. ‘Some,
not suspecting that there is any
practice other than that taught
by [Zarlino],’ he continued, ‘will
wonder at this [second practice],
but let them be assured that, with
regard to the consonances and
dissonances, there is still another
way of considering them, different
from the established way, which,
with satisfaction to reason and
the senses, defends the modern
method of composing.’ Although
Monteverdi never completed his
theory book, the essay in his Fifth
Book served as a manifesto for the
‘new music’. Its principal point was
underlined in 1607 in a printed
statement by the composer’s
brother, Giulio Cesare Monteverdi,
who noted that the purpose of
breaking time-honoured rules of
counterpoint ‘has been (in this kind
of music) to make the [poetic text]
the mistress of the [music] and
not the servant’. Giulio Cesare
cited Luca Marenzio and Emilio
de’ Cavalieri among those who, like
his brother, understood the need
to direct melody and harmony to
the service of poetic expression.
Monteverdi’s Fifth Book of
Madrigals opened with a letter
On 16 November 1598, a group
of composers and performers
gathered at the house of the
nobleman Antonio Goretti in
Ferrara. Many of the assembled
company were visitors to the north
Italian city, there to take part in the
wedding festivities for Margaret of
Austria, sister of the future Emperor
Ferdinand II, and Philip III, king
of Spain and Portugal. Details of
what they heard appeared two
years later in a book of music
theory by Giovanni Maria Artusi,
a canon regular of San Salvatore
in Bologna and former pupil
of the composer and influential
theorist Gioseffo Zarlino. Artusi’s
text, presented in the form of a
dialogue, included an account of
Goretti’s impromptu concert of new
madrigals, supposedly reported to
the author by the ‘Austrian Luca’.
‘The madrigals were sung and
repeated, but without giving the
name of the author,’ Luca recalled.
‘The texture was not unpleasing.
But … in so far as it introduced
new rules, new modes and new
turns of phrase, these were harsh
and little pleasing to the ear.’
Programme note
‘Harsh and little pleasing to the ear’:
Monteverdi’s Fifth Book of Madrigals
of dedication to his employer,
Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of
Mantua. In it, the composer noted
how the nobleman had ‘not
scorned’ to hear his madrigals
‘many times in [his] royal
chambers while they were written
in manuscript and … gave sign
of welcoming them with singular
favour’. He hoped that the printed
pieces would, ‘under the protection
of so great a prince … live an
eternal life to the shame of those
tongues which seek to bring death
to the works of others’. Artusi
and his followers were clearly
in Monteverdi’s mind here. The
works of the Fifth Book have much
in common with the composer’s
Fourth Book of Madrigals of 1603,
in terms of musical style, emotional
breadth and choice of verse: 10
of the pieces in the Fourth Book
and nine in the Fifth set texts by
the poet, diplomat and courtier
Battista Guarini, including tales
of unrequited love and loss from
his pastoral tragicomedy Il pastor
fido (‘The faithful shepherd’) of
c1580–5. What sets the Fifth Book
apart from its predecessor was
Monteverdi’s inclusion of a basso
continuo for the harpsichord,
chitarrone or other similar
instrument, which he intended
specifically for the last six madrigals
and for the others ad libitum. The
composer’s addition of parts for
instruments reflected the emerging
practice of converting polyphonic
madrigals into solo songs with
instrumental accompaniment,
among the experiments that led
to the proliferation of monody in
such theatrical works as Cavalieri’s
Rappresentatione di Anima, e di
Corpo and the two settings of
Rinuccini’s Euridice composed by
Caccini and Peri for the marriage
of Marie de’ Medici to Henry IV
of France in October 1600.
‘Ecco, Silvio’ to ‘Ferir quel petto,
Silvio?’ Monteverdi brings the
couple’s narrative to life with
colourful dissonances and, above
all, through his imaginative use of
polyphonic declamation. The spirit
of theatrical interplay also rules
the following group of madrigals,
projected with potent force in
Mirtillo’s self-pitying laments to his
beloved, the bipartite ‘Ch’io t’ami’
and ‘Ma tu, più che mai dura’.
Artusi’s criticisms of ‘Cruda Amarilli’
no doubt influenced Monteverdi’s
decision to place the work at the
beginning of the Fifth Book. The
madrigal’s sudden and unresolved
dissonances, mostly delivered
on strong beats, and striking
chromatic inflections, speak for a
musico-poetic art form of inventive
freshness and intense expression.
‘O Mirtillo, Mirtillo anima mia’
echoes and amplifies the harmonic
richness of ‘Cruda Amarilli’, notably
so in the dissonances used to carry
the words ‘che chiami crudelissima
Amarilli’. Monteverdi here creates
an opening diptych of tremendous
emotional power, exploring the
interior wounds inflicted by love
on the shepherdess Amaryllis
and the shepherd Mirtillo. The
composer also explores Guarini’s
dialogues for the ill-matched rustics
Silvio and Dorinda, developing
a dramatic framework for their
story in the five madrigals from
The last half dozen pieces of the
Fifth Book belong to the category
of continuo madrigals. Monteverdi
here uses various permutations
of instruments and voices to build
extended musical structures, which
in turn support bold contrasts of
texture and expressive tone. He also
employs vocal virtuosity to heighten
rhetorical flourishes in his chosen
texts and possibly to counterbalance
the more reserved vocal style of the
collection’s a cappella madrigals.
As the scholar Gary Tomlinson has
noted, Monteverdi’s first continuo
pieces provided him with ‘the means
to inject a novel representational
realism and immediacy into the
traditional madrigalian framework
of five voices’. The composer
variously exploited those means
in his Fifth Book, marking a clear
break with the style of the foregoing
a cappella madrigals in ‘Ahi, come
a un vago sol’, while retaining
a connection with the past in its
Programme note
Echoes of Venetian polychoral
motets and other works conceived
for multiple groups of singers
and instrumentalists sound in the
closing composition of this book.
It has been suggested that ‘Questi
vaghi concenti’, written for nine
voices and strings, may have been
created as a showpiece to launch
the new madrigal collection’s
publication in Mantua, although
no evidence survives to support this
claim. Whatever the work’s origins,
its use of antiphonal ensembles
and various permutations of
soloists signals Monteverdi’s
progressive credentials.
As a prodigiously talented
teenager, Claudio Monteverdi
explored and imitated the style of
other composers in the process
of finding his own musical voice.
He followed the lead of Luca
Marenzio and Luzzasco Luzzaschi
in his First Book of Madrigals of
1587, absorbing lasting lessons
from Marenzio’s high-spirited
canzonettas for three voices.
Marenzio, around a dozen years
older than Monteverdi, delighted
in the musical setting of individual
words, poetic imagery and even
the sounds of nature. His late
madrigals, published in the second
half of the 1590s, are part of the
great shift away from Zarlino’s
rulebooks towards a new world
of expressive composition, rich in
audacious chromatic harmonies
and arresting dissonances. ‘Donne,
il celeste lume’ from Marenzio’s
Fourth Book of Madrigals of
1587 probably began life as a
musical intermedio or interlude for
Cristoforo Castelletti’s comedy Le
stravaganze d’amore (‘The vagaries
of love’), first performed during
carnival season at the Duke of
Sora’s palace in Rome in March
1585. Marenzio appears to have
been invited to compose the last
of five madrigals in Castelletti’s
entertainment. His response is a
vivacious showpiece for nine voices.
Marenzio’s other surviving works
for theatrical performance were
written in 1589 for the lavish
wedding festivities convened in
Florence for the marriage of Grand
Duke Ferdinando de’ Medici and
the French princess Christine of
Lorraine. La pellegrina (‘The Pilgrim
Woman’), a composite dramatic
work crafted by a group of
outstanding composers, librettists,
instrumentalists and singers, stood
as a landmark for the emerging
new music of emotional expression.
The lyrical Sinfonia to Pellegrina’s
second intermedio sets the scene
for the contest between the Muses
and the Pierians, a mythic singing
competition and eternal metaphor
for the power of artistic inspiration.
The multi-talented composer,
dancer, diplomat and administrator
Emilio de’ Cavalieri, a member of
an aristocratic Roman family, was
charged with the task of overseeing
the 1589 Florentine intermedi and
with contracting the composers
for La pellegrina. Cavalieri turned
this experience to good use when
he wrote the Rappresentatione di
Anima, et di Corpo in 1600, the first
surviving play entirely set to music.
In addition to instrumental sinfonias,
Cavalieri’s Rappresentatione
included speech-like recitatives,
simple and virtuoso madrigals
and solo songs, a pattern soon to
be developed in the new medium
of opera. Although theoreticians
and composers continued to
debate musical style for many
years, it was already clear by the
time of the Rappresentatione that
the expressive art of the ‘second
practice’ stood for music’s future.
Programme note © Andrew Stewart
For texts, see page 6.
haunting ensemble refrain, ‘Ah,
che piaga d’Amor’. Vocal virtuosity
and melodic eloquence serve
the cause of textual expression in
‘Amor, se giusto sei’ and ‘T’amo,
mia vita!’, arguably the richest
jewels in the Fifth Book’s crown.
Lessons learned here were soon put
to use by Monteverdi in works of a
larger scale, among them Orfeo,
the first great landmark of opera.
Luca Marenzio
Donne, il celeste lume
Donne, il celeste lume
de gl’occhi vostri, che sì dolce splende,
I nostri petti accende;
ma l’alma dentro a le gran fiamme vive
non sface, anzi di lor si nutre e vive.
Stravaganza d’amore,
ch’arda in eterno, e mai non strugga un core.
Ladies, the celestial light
Ladies, the celestial light
of your eyes, a light that gleams so soft,
sets our hearts ablaze;
yet amid the bright and leaping flames
the soul dies not, but feeds upon them and lives.
‘Tis a vagary of love,
that a heart may burn eternally and be not consumed.
Cristoforo Castelletti: Le stravaganze d’amore, Act IV
scene 17
Claudio Monteverdi
Fifth Book of Madrigals
Cruda Amarilli
Cruda Amarilli, che col nome ancora
d’amar, ahi lasso, amaramente insegni;
Amarilli, del candido ligustro
più candida e più bella,
ma de l’aspido sordo
e più sorda e più fera e più fugace,
poi che col dir t’offendo
i’ mi morrò tacendo.
Cruel Amaryllis
Cruel Amaryllis, your very name, alas,
betokens the bitterness of love;
Amaryllis, paler and more beautiful
than the pale privet flower,
yet wilder, more elusive and unhearing
than the deaf serpent,
since by speaking I offend you,
in silence shall I die.
Battista Guarini: Il pastor fido, I, 2
O Mirtillo
O Mirtillo, Mirtillo anima mia,
se vedessi qui dentro
come sta il cor di questa
che chiami crudelissima Amarilli,
so ben che tu di lei
quella pietà che da lei chiedi avresti.
Oh anime in amor troppo infelici!
Che giova a te, cor mio, l’esser amato?
Che giova a me l’aver sì caro amante?
Perché, crudo destino,
ne disunisci tu, s’Amor ne stringe?
E tu perché ne stringi,
se ne parte il destin, perfido Amore?
O Mirtillo
O Mirtillo, my beloved Mirtillo,
if you could but see inside
the heart of the one
you call cruellest Amaryllis,
I know full well you would feel
just that pity you beg of her.
O spirits so unhappy in love!
My heart, what good is it to be loved?
What good to me to have so dear a lover?
Why, cruel destiny,
do you divide us, when Love would bind us?
And why do you bind us together,
when destiny divides us, perfidious Love?
Battista Guarini: Il pastor fido, III, 4
Era l’anima mia
Era l’anima mia
già presso a l’ultim’ore,
e languia come langue alma che more,
quand’anima più bella e più gradita
volse lo sguard’in sì pietoso giro
My spirit
My spirit was already approaching
its final hours,
and was fading like a dying soul
when a most lovely and welcome spirit
turned a gaze of such mercy on me
che mi mantenn’in vita.
Parean dir quei bei lumi:
deh, perché ti consumi?
Non m’è sì car’il cor ond’io respiro
come se’ tu, cor mio.
Se mori, ohimè, non mori tu, mor’io.
as to spare my life.
Those beautiful eyes seemed to say:
‘Ah, why do you suffer so?
My own heart and life are not so dear
to me as are you, my love.
If you die, alas, I, not you, shall perish.’
Ecco, Silvio, colei – Prima parte
Ecco, Silvio, colei che in odio hai tanto;
eccola in quella guisa
che la volevi a ponto.
Bramastila ferir, ferita l’hai;
bramastila tua preda, eccola preda;
bramastila al fin morta, eccola a morte.
Che vòi tu più da lei? Che ti può dare
più di questo Dorinda? Ah, garzon crudo!
Ah, cor senza pietà! Tu non credesti
la piaga che per te mi fece Amore:
puoi questa or tu negar de la tua mano?
Non hai credut’il sangue
ch’i’ versava per gli occhi;
crederai questo che ’l mio fianco versa?
Lo, Silvio – First Part
Lo, Silvio, she whom you so detest;
see, there she lies,
just as you wanted her to.
You longed to hurt her, you have done;
you longed for her to be your victim, so she is;
finally, you longed for her death, she is dying.
What more do you want from her? What more
than this can Dorinda give you? Ah, cruel youth!
Ah, pitiless heart! You did not believe in
the wound dealt me by Love for you:
can you now deny this one, dealt by your hand?
You did not believe in the life blood
that poured from my eyes;
will you now believe in the blood pouring from my side?
Ma, se con la pietà – Seconda parte
Ma, se con la pietà non è in te spenta
gentilezza e valor che teco nacque,
non mi negar, ti prego,
anima cruda sì, ma però bella,
non mi negar a l’ultimo sospiro
un tuo solo sospir. Beata morte,
se l’addolcissi tu con questa sola
dolcissima parola,
voce cortese e pia:
va’ in pace, anima mia.
Yet, if your innate kindness – Second Part
Yet, if your innate kindness and courage
died not when your pity did,
deny me not, I beg you,
cruel, yet beautiful spirit,
no, at my last breath deny me not
one last sigh from you. Death would be
a blessing, were you to ease it
with the sweetest of words,
in gentle and holy tones:
‘Go in peace, my love’.
Dorinda, ah, dirò mia – Terza parte
Dorinda, ah, dirò mia, se mia non sei
se non quando ti perdo e quando morte
da me ricevi, e mia non fosti allora
che ti potei dar vita?
Pur mia dirò, ché mia
sarai mal grado di mia dura sorte;
e, se mia non sarai con la tua vita,
sarai con la mia morte.
Dorinda, ah, shall I call you mine – Second Part
Dorinda, ah, shall I call you mine,
though you are only mine now that I lose you
to death by my hand, and were not mine
when I could have given you life?
Still I shall call you mine, for you shall be so
despite the cruel will of destiny;
and if you cannot be mine in life,
I shall claim you with my death.
Battista Guarini: Madrigali, LXV
Ecco, piegando le genocchie – Quarta parte
Ecco, piegando le genocchie a terra,
riverente t’adoro
e ti chieggio perdon, ma non già vita.
Ecco li strali e l’arco;
ma non ferir già tu gli occhi o le mani,
colpevoli ministri
d’innocente voler; ferisci il petto,
ferisci questo mostro
di pietad’e d’amor aspro nemico;
ferisci questo cor che ti fu crudo!
Eccoti il petto ignudo.
Lo, I bend my knees to the ground – Fourth Part
Lo, I bend my knees to the ground,
reverently adore you
and beg you for forgiveness, though not for my life.
Here are my bow and arrows;
but do not hurt my eyes or hands,
offending instruments
of an innocent will; pierce my breast,
strike that monster
inimical to love and pity;
pierce the heart that was cruel to you!
Behold, my naked breast.
Ferir quel petto, Silvio? – Quinta e ultima parte
Ferir quel petto, Silvio?
Non bisognava a gli occhi miei scovrirlo,
s’avevi pur desio ch’io te ’l ferissi.
Oh bellissimo scoglio,
già da l’onde e dal vento
de le lagrime mie, de’ miei sospiri
sì spesso in van percosso,
è pur ver che tu spiri
e che senti pietate? O pur m’inganno?
Ma sii tu pur o petto molle o marmo,
già non vo’ che m’inganni
d’un candido alabastro il bel sembiante,
come quel d’una fera
oggi ha ingannato il tuo signor e mio.
Ferir io te? Te pur ferisca Amore,
ché vendetta maggiore
non so bramar che di vederti amante.
Sia benedetto il dì che da prim’arsi!
Benedette le lagrime e i martiri!
Di voi lodar, non vendicar, mi voglio.
Pierce your breast, Silvio? – Fifth and Final Part
Pierce your breast, Silvio?
You were wrong to unclothe it before me
if you wished me to wound it.
O most handsome rock,
so often vainly buffeted by
the floods of my tears
and the breeze of my sighs,
can it be true that you are alive
and capable of pity? Or am I deceived?
But be your heart soft, or hard as marble,
I do not want a handsome face,
fair as alabaster, to deceive me,
as a wild beast today
deceived your lord and mine.
I hurt you? Let Love hurt you,
for no better vengeance can I long for
than to see you in love.
Blessed be the day I have yearned for!
Blessed tears and suffering!
Tis your praise I desire, not my vengeance.
Battista Guarini: Il pastor fido, IV, 9
interval: 20 minutes
Ch’io t’ami – Prima parte
Ch’io t’ami, e t’ami più de la mia vita,
se tu no ’l sai, crudele,
chiedilo a queste selve
che te ’l diranno, e te ’l diran con esse
le fere lor e i duri sterpi e i sassi
di questi alpestri monti
che ho sì spesse volte
intenerito al suon de’ miei lamenti.
If, cruel girl– First Part
If, cruel girl, you know not
that I love you, love you more than life,
ask these forests
and they will tell you, as will
the beasts within them, the scrubland and rocks
of these steep mountains
so often roused to pity
by the sound of my lamenting.
Deh, bella e cara – Seconda parte
Deh, bella e cara e sì soave un tempo
cagion del viver mio, mentr’al ciel piacque,
volgi una volta e volgi
quelle stelle amorose,
come le vidi mai, così tranquille
e piene di pietà, prima ch’io moia;
ché ’l morir mi fia dolce.
E dritt’è ben che, se mi furo un tempo
dolci segni di vita, or sien di morte
quei belli occhi amorosi;
e quel soave sguardo
che mi scorse ad amare,
mi scorga anco a morire;
e chi fu l’alba mia
del mio cadente dì l’espero or sia.
Ah, beloved, fair – Second Part
Ah, beloved, fair and once my dear
reason for living, when it so pleased heaven,
turn once more and look at me
with those loving stars,
full of as much peace and mercy
as I ever saw in them, before I die;
so that death may come gently to me.
And it is right that
those fair and loving eyes
that once meant life to me, now mean death;
and the gentle gaze
that led me to love,
let it now lead me to death;
and let she who was my dawn
now, as I languish, be my evening star.
Ma tu, più che mai dura – Terza e ultima parte
Ma tu, più che mai dura,
favilla di pietà non senti ancora;
anzi t’inaspri più,
quanto più prego.
Così senza parlar, dunque, m’ascolti?
A chi parlo infelice? A un muto sasso?
S’altro non mi vòi dir, dimm’almen: mori!
E morir mi vedrai.
Quest’è ben, empio Amor, miseria estrema:
che sì riggida ninfa
non mi risponda e l’armi
d’una sola sdegnosa e cruda voce
sdegni di proferire
al mio morire.
But, harder of heart – Third and Final Part
But, harder of heart than ever,
you still feel not a spark of pity;
indeed the more I beg,
the more unrelenting you become.
Can you then hear me and say nothing?
To whom do I, poor wretch, speak? A dumb rock?
If nothing else, at least say to me: ‘die!’
And you will see me perish.
Wicked Love, this is truly dreadful misery:
this unfeeling nymph
answers me not and
you even deny me the weapons
of a cruel and angry voice
at my death.
Battista Guarini: Il pastor fido, III, 3
Che dar più vi poss’io?
Che dar più vi poss’io?
Caro mio ben, prendete: eccovi il core,
pegno de la mia fede e del mio amore.
E se per darli vita a voi l’invio,
no ’l lasciate morire;
nudritel di dolcissimo gioire,
ché vostro il fece Amor, natura mio.
Non vedete, mia vita,
che l’immagine vostra è in lui scolpita?
What more can I give you?
What more can I give you?
My beloved, take this: I give you my heart
as a token of my faith and of my love.
And as I give it to you to save its life,
do not let it die;
nourish it with the sweetest joy,
for Love made it yours, Nature mine.
Can you not see, my life,
that your image is etched upon it.
M’è più dolce il penar per Amarilli
M’è più dolce il penar per Amarilli
che ’l gioir di mill’altre;
e se gioir di lei
mi vieta il mio destino, oggi si moia
per me pur ogni gioia.
Viver io fortunato
per altra donna mai, per altr’amore?
Né, potendo, il vorrei,
né, volendo, il potrei.
E, s’esser può ch’in alcun tempo mai
ciò voglia il mio volere,
o possa il mio potere,
prego il ciel ed Amor che tolto pria
ogni voler, ogni poter mi sia.
The pain I suffer for Amaryllis
The pain I suffer for Amaryllis is sweeter
than the joy felt by a thousand others;
and if my destiny
forbids me to have her, let all other happiness
die for me today.
Could I live contented
for any other woman, any other love?
Neither would I, if I could,
nor could I, if I would.
And, should it ever come to pass
that I be willing,
or that I be able,
I beg heaven and Love first to take
my will and ability from me.
Battista Guarini: Il pastor fido, III, 6
Ahi, come a un vago sol
Ahi, come a un vago sol cortese giro
de’ duo belli occhi, ond’io
soffersi il primo dolce stral d’Amore,
pien d’un novo desio,
sì pront’a sospirar torna ’l mio core.
Lasso, non val ascondersi, ch’omai
conosco i segni che ’l mio cor addita
de l’antica ferita.
Ed è gran tempo pur che la saldai.
Ah, che piaga d’Amor non sana mai!
Alas, as if toward a graceful, lovely sun
Alas, as if toward a graceful, lovely sun
am I drawn to two beautiful eyes, from which
I was struck by Love’s first dart,
full of a new desire,
my heart, ready for love, now returns.
Alas, there is no use in hiding, for by now
I know the signs that my heart gives
of the old wound.
And it is high time this wound closed.
Ah, Love’s wounds never heal.
Battista Guarini: Madrigali, CII
Troppo ben può
Troppo ben può questo tiranno Amore!
Poi che non val fuggire
a chi no ’l può soffrire.
Quand’io penso talor com’arde e punge,
io dico: ah, core stolto,
non l’aspettar, che fai?
Fuggilo, sì che non ti prenda mai.
Ma, non so, com’il lusinghier mi giunge
ch’io dico: ah, core sciolto,
perché fuggito l’hai?
Prendilo, sì che non ti fugga mai.
Tyrannous Love
Tyrannous Love does his work all too well!
So well that in vain will those
who cannot endure him try and flee.
When I think of how love burns and stings,
I say: ‘Ah, foolish heart,
stay not, what are you doing?
Run from him ere he catches you.’
Somehow, though, his flattery touches me
so that I say: ‘Ah, errant heart,
why did you flee?
Catch him ere he runs from you.’
Battista Guarini: Madrigali, C
Amor, se giusto sei
Amor, se giusto sei,
fa’ che la donna mia
anch’ella giusta sia.
Io l’amo, tu il conosci ed ella il vede,
ma pur mi strazia e mi trafigge il core,
e per più mio dolore
Love, if you are just
Love, if you are just,
make my lady
equally fair-minded.
I love her, you know it and she sees it,
and yet she tortures me, pierces my heart,
and has no faith in me,
e per dispreggio tuo, non mi dà fede.
Non sostener, Amor, che nel tuo regno,
là dove io ho sparta fede, mieta sdegno;
ma fa’, giusto signore,
ch’in premio del mio amor, io colga amore.
injuring me, and galling you.
Grant not, Love, that in your kingdom,
where I have sown faith, I should gather disdain;
allow me, just lord,
to harvest love in return for my love.
T’amo, mia vita!
T’amo, mia vita! La mia cara vita
dolcemente mi dice, e in questa sola
sì soave parola
par che trasformi lietamente il core
per farmene signore.
Oh, voce di dolcezza e di diletto;
prendila tosto Amore;
stampala nel mio petto.
Spiri solo per lei l’anima mia:
t’amo! Mia vita la mia vita sia.
I love you, beloved!
‘I love you, beloved!’ My beloved
softly tells me, and with
these sweet words,
she seems to transform my heart with joy
and make a lord of me.
Oh, voice of sweetness and delight;
clasp it now, Love;
imprint it in my heart.
Let my spirit live for her alone:
I love you! Let my beloved be my life.
Battista Guarini: Madrigali, LXVI
E così, a poco a poco (a sei voci)
E così, a poco a poco,
torno farfalla semplicetta al foco,
e nel fallace sguardo
un’altra volta mi consumo ed ardo.
Ah, che piaga d’Amore
quanto si cura più tanto men sana;
ch’ogni fatica è vana
quando fu punto un giovinetto core
dal primo e dolce strale.
Chi spegne antico incendio il fa immortale.
And thus, little by little (for six voices)
And thus, little by little,
like a foolish moth to the flame
I flutter, and in her traitorous gaze
am burned and consumed once again.
Ah, the more Love’s wounds heal,
the more painful they become;
all efforts are vain
when a young man’s heart
has been struck by love’s first dart.
He who quenches an old flame makes it immortal.
Questi vaghi concenti (a nove voci)
Questi vaghi concenti
che gli augelletti intorno
vanno temprando a l’aparir del giorno,
sono, cred’io, d’amor desiri ardenti.
Sono pene e tormenti
e pur fanno le selve e ’l ciel gioire
al lor dolce languire.
Deh, se potessi anch’io
così dolce dolermi
per questi poggi solitari ed ermi,
che quella a cui piacer sola desio
gradisse il pianger mio!
Io bramerei, sol per piacer a lei,
eterni i pianti miei.
These lovely songs (for nine voices)
These lovely songs
that the little birds
sing all around as day breaks
are, for me, passionate songs of love.
They are pain and torment
and yet their sweet languor
brings joy to the woods and the sky.
Ah, if only I too could
sing such sweet sorrow
on these bare and lonely hills,
if only she whom alone I wish to please
were to welcome my lament!
I would wish my weeping eternal,
just to bring her pleasure.
Translations by Susannah Howe. Monteverdi translations
reproduced by kind permission of Naxos Rights US, Inc.
Battista Guarini: Madrigali, CIV
About tonight’s performers
Among the productions in which he
has taken part are Lully’s Thésée
(title-role) at the Théâtre des ChampsÉlysées and Armide (Renaud),
produced by Robert Carsen.
Paul Agnew tenor/director
Born in Glasgow, Paul Agnew
received his initial musical education
with the Birmingham Cathedral
choir. He then entered Magdalen
College, Oxford, where he continued
his musical studies. He sang with the
Consort of Musicke before joining
Les Arts Florissants in 1992, making
his debut as Hippolyte in Rameau’s
Hippolyte et Aricie, conducted by
William Christie.
He went on to sing many major roles
with the group, notably in Rameau’s
Platée, Les Boréades and Les Indes
galantes. He is regularly invited
to the Edinburgh and Lufthansa
festivals and the BBC Proms. He
frequently sings with ensembles such
as the Berlin and Royal Liverpool
Philharmonic orchestras, City of
Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,
the Orchestra of the Komische
Oper Berlin, Orchestra of the Age
of Enlightenment and the Gabrieli
Consort & Players. He appears with
leading conductors such as Marc
Minkowski, Ton Koopman, Sir John
Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe
and Emmanuelle Haïm.
In 2006, Paul Agnew began to
take on the role of musical director
for certain projects with Les Arts
Florissants, beginning with Vivaldi’s
Vespers and continuing with
Handel’s odes and anthems and
Lamentazione, a concert devoted to
Italian Baroque polyphony. In 2010
he conducted Les Arts Florissants in
Purcell’s The Indian Queen. He is also
co-director of Le Jardin des Voix, Les
Arts Florissants’ academy for young
singers. This interest in the training
of new generations of musicians has
also led him to conduct the French
Baroque Youth Orchestra.
Now associate conductor of Les Arts
Florissants, Paul Agnew launched
in 2011 a project to perform
Monteverdi’s complete madrigals,
which involves nearly 100 concerts
and will continue into 2015.
P. Kornfeld
His discography includes Beethoven
Lieder, Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ,
Monteverdi’s Vespers, Charpentier’s
La descente d’Orphée aux enfers and
Rameau’s Grands motets.
Lisandro Abadie bass
Lisandro Abadie was born in Buenos
Aires, Argentina. He obtained his
singing diplomas at the Schola
Cantorum Basiliensis (with Evelyn
Tubb) and the Lucerne School of
Music (with Peter Brechbühler). He
was awarded the Edwin Fischer
Gedenkpreis in 2006 and was a
finalist in the 2008 Handel Singing
In 2010 he created the title-role in
Oscar Strasnoy’s Cachafaz, staged
by Benjamin Lazar in Quimper,
Rennes and Paris. Highlights of 2011
included tours with the Orchestra of
the Age of Enlightenment (Messiah),
Les Arts Florissants, Les Folies
Françaises and Les Talens Lyriques.
Last year he returned to the London
Handel Festival.
He has sung under the direction
of William Christie (The Fairy
Queen and Landi’s Sant’Alessio),
Facundo Agudín (Così fan tutte,
Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, The
Marriage of Figaro, Bach’s St John
Passion, the Requiems of Mozart
and Fauré and Puccini’s Mass),
Christophe Rousset (Pergolesi’s San
He has collaborated with ensembles
such as Les Arts Florissants, Collegium
1704 and Mala Punica, and regularly
performs with the pianist and
composer Paul Suits.
Notable among Lisandro Abadie’s
discography are his recording of
Hayes’ The Passions,which received
a Choc de Classica award, and
the premiere recording of Christian
Favre’s Requiem.
She has worked with many of the
leading directors and conductors
of today, including Sir John Eliot
Gardiner, Lars Ulrik Mortensen,
Laurence Cummings, William Christie
and Roy Goodman. She appears
on numerous recordings, highlights
of which include Pinchgut Opera’s
Fairy Queen and Dardanus, The
Wonders of the World with Echo du
Danube and Mozart’s Requiem with
the Leipzig Kammerorchester and
Gewandhaus Kammerchor.
In 2009 she toured Australia with
Ironwood Ensemble and performed
Messiah with the Queensland and
Melbourne Symphony orchestras,
directed by Stephen Layton. After
making her debut with Glyndebourne
Festival Opera in Purcell’s The Fairy
Queen in 2009, she continued with
that production to Paris, Caen and
New York in 2010.
Miriam Allan soprano
Born in Newcastle, New South
Wales, Miriam Allan has been based
in England since 2003.
She has been a soloist with leading
orchestral and choral organisations
Recent highlights include Les Arts
Florissants’ ongoing Monterverdi
madrigal project, a return to
Australia for performances with the
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra,
her debut with the Bach Collegium
Japan, under Masaaki Suzuki, and
the role of Costanza in Pinchgut
Opera’s production of Vivaldi’s
Griselda. This year she appears
with Le Concert d’Astrée and
gives concerts with the Sydney
Philharmonia Choirs and Collegium
Musicum, Perth.
About the performers
from all over the world, including
the Monteverdi Choir and
English Baroque Soloists, London
Baroque, Les Arts Florissants,
Auckland Philharmonia, Concerto
Copenhagen, Il Fondamento,
Gewandhaus Kammerchor, Leipzig
Kammerorchester, Concerto
Köln, ChorWerk Ruhr, Sydney
Philharmonia Choirs, Australian
Chamber Orchestra, Chacona and
Miriam Allan is a vocal coach at
Westminster Abbey and Head
of Singing at Bloxham School,
Sean Clayton tenor
Sean Clayton trained at the
Birmingham Conservatoire and
London’s Royal College of Music.
His operatic roles have included
Elder Gleaton (Carlisle Floyd’s
Susannah) and Don Eusebio (Rossini’s
L’occasione fa il ladro) for Wexford
Festival Opera; Apollo (Semele)
for British Youth Opera; Shepherd
(Orfeo) for English Bach Festival
Trust and English Touring Opera,
as well as, for the latter, Sailor (Dido
and Aeneas); Rupert Burns (The
Impresario) and Toby (The Medium)
for Second Movement; Fenton (The
Merry Wives of Windsor) for Opera
South; M. Prospect (Offenbach’s
Not in front of the Waiter) for Jubilee
Guglielmo), Laurence Cummings
(Belshazzar and Theodora), Hervé
Niquet (Marais’s Semele,which he
has also recorded), Anthony Rooley
(Hayes’ The Passions), Václav Luks
(St Matthew Passion and Handel’s
La Resurrezione), Maurice Steger
(Handel’s Acis and Galatea), Jan
Tomasz Adamus (Messiah) and
Paul Agnew (works by Purcell and
Monteverdi), among many others.
Opera; and Giocondo (Rossini’s La
pietra del paragone) and Fenton
(Falstaff) for Stanley Hall Opera.
He has sung in concert with the
Gåvle Symphony Orchestra and
has also appeared with the Apollo
and English Chamber orchestras,
the Irish Baroque Orchestra, the
London Mozart Players and the
Ten Tors Orchestra, as well as at
Symphony Hall, Birmingham, the
Queen Elizabeth Hall, St Martin-inthe-Fields, St John’s, Smith Square,
Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, The
Music Hall, Aberdeen, and most
of the major UK cathedrals.
Recent and current engagements
include Little Bat (Susannah) for
English Touring Opera; Sandy (The
Lighthouse) at the Montepulciano
Festival; Aurelius (King Arthur) for
Der Lautten Compagney; and The
Fairy Queen in Aix-en-Provence.
He has also toured with Les Arts
Florissants in works such as Purcell’s
Dido and Aeneas, The Indian Queen
and The Fairy Queen, Charpentier’s
Actéon and Monteverdi madrigals.
she also studied singing with
Anne-Marie Blanzat, before
specialising in Baroque music,
attending masterclasses given by
Kenneth Weiss, Howard Crook,
Michel Laplénie, Jean Tubéry
and Sophie Boulin. She then
studied in Amsterdam with Valérie
Guillorit and Elène Golgevit.
She has appeared with such
ensembles as Solistes XXI,
Sagittarius, Ludus Modalis, A Sei
Voci, Cappella Mediterranea and
La Capella Reial de Catalunya.
As a member of Les Arts Florissants
she has sung in Charpentier’s
David et Jonathas and Motet
pour une longue offrande (which
she has also recorded), Purcell
anthems and The Fairy Queen
and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.
Under the direction of Paul
Agnew she has participated in
the Monteverdi madrigal project
since its inception, in 2011.
Highlights this season
include concerts conducted
by Gilbert Bezzina and
Leonardo García Alarcón.
University and Conservatoire. She
subsequently joined Jean-Claude
Malgoire’s Atelier Lyrique de
Tourcoing. Under his leadership she
made her debut at La Scala, Milan,
in Vivaldi’s Vespers (1994) and at
the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in
Mozart’s Da Ponte operas (1996).
She came to the attention of
Gabriel Garrido, who gave her
a role in Cavalli’s Ercole amante
at the 2005 Ambronay Festival.
Away from the opera house
she has sung in Duruflé’s
Requiem and Bach’s cantatas
and St Matthew Passion.
Six years ago she set up Providencia,
an ensemble dedicated to exploring
newly discovered sacred repertoire
of the High Middle Ages in
collaboration with musicologists.
Though Stéphanie Leclercq is
particularly associated with early
music, she has also sung the titlerole in Offenbach’s La Grande
Duchesse de Gérolstein and
Carmen in La tragédie de Carmen,
an adaptation of Bizet’s opera by
Marius Constant and Peter Brook.
Among the many leading
directors with whom she works
are Malgoire, Garrido, Jérémie
Rhorer, Vincent Dumestre, Françoise
Lasserre, Oswald Sallaberger
and Dominique Debart.
Maud Gnidzaz soprano
Maud Gnidzaz’s earliest studies
were in the flute, as well as singing
in a number of children’s operas.
Stéphanie Leclercq
While working towards her
diploma at the École du Louvre,
Born in France, Stéphanie Leclerq
began her musical education in Lille,
continuing her studies at the city’s
The Scottish-Icelandic soprano
Hannah Morrison studied the
piano and singing at the Maastricht
Academy of Music and completed
her singing studies at the Cologne
Academy of Music with Barbara
Schlick and with Rudolf Piernay at
the Guildhall School of Music &
Drama. She also participated in
masterclasses with Matthias Goerne,
Christoph Eschenbach, Roger
Vignoles, Sir Thomas Allen and
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa among others.
She frequently sings with Les
Arts Florissants under Paul
Agnew and William Christie.
This season she tours with them
to Madrid, Paris and London.
In addition, she regularly works
with ensembles such as the Holland
Baroque Society and Christina
Pluhar, L’arte del mondo under
Werner Ehrhardt, Das Kleine
Konzert under Hermann Max and
Capella Augustina under Andreas
Spering, with whom she will shortly
perform Haydn’s La vera costanza.
She has given a number of recitals
in the UK (Oxford Festival, Kings
Place and the Wigmore Hall) with
the pianist Eugene Asti, with whom
she has also recorded songs and
duets by Mendelssohn for Hyperion.
Last year she sang solo cantatas
Highlights to date have included
Lully’s Cadmus et Hermione,
the creation of the role of the
First Aunt in Philippe Boesmans’
Yvonne, Princesse de Bourgogne,
Beat Furrer’s Wüstenbuch and
her performance last year in
Benjamin Hertz’s Love Box.
Plans include Nono’s Prometheus
in Paris, The Hague and Zurich
and the role of the Spirit (Dido and
Aeneas) with Le Poème Harmonique
in Rouen and Versailles.
Lucile Richardot mezzo-soprano
Lucile Richardot studied singing at
the Paris Conservatoire and worked
with, among others, Lionel Sow,
Sylvain Dieudonné, Howard Crook,
Margreet Honig, Noëlle Barker,
Paul Esswood, Martin Isepp, Rinaldo
Alessandrini, François Le Roux, Jan
van Elsacker, Monique Zanetti and
John Nelson. Her repertoire ranges
from medieval to contemporary
and she regularly sings with Solistes
XXI, Correspondances, Pygmalion,
l’Ensemble grégorien de NotreDame and appears as a soloist
with Gérard Lesne, Skip Sempé,
Jérôme Corréas, Patrick CohënAkenine, Patrick Ayrton, Gilles
Colliard, Peter van Heyghen, Itay
Marduk Serrano López bass
Born in Mexico, Marduk Serrano
López initially studied cello at
the Conservatorio Nacional de
Música, before turning to singing,
initially as a countertenor before
discovering his true tessitura. In
2003, fascinated by music of the
17th and 18th centuries, he entered
the Centre de Musique Baroque
of Versailles where he earned
his diploma with honours. He
subsequently studied with Stéphanie
Révidat and is currently working with
Anna Maria Bondi. Additionally,
he has undertaken courses and
masterclasses with Alain Buet,
Hervé Niquet, Isabelle Poulenard,
Hannah Morrison soprano
Hannah Morrison makes her
Salzburg Festival debut in August
and next year performs in
Schumann’s Das Paradies und die
Peri with the Leipzig Gewandhaus
Orchestra, again with Gardiner.
Jedlin, Benjamin Alard, SimonPierre Bestion and Till Aly. Last year
she joined Les Arts Florissants for
its Monteverdi madrigal project.
About the performers
by Bach at the Bad Arolsen
Baroque Festival, appeared with
Christina Pluhar at the Innsbruck
Early Music Festival and with
Bach Collegium Japan under
Masaaki Suzuki. This year she
gives several concerts with Sir John
Eliot Gardiner, singing in Bach’s
St John’s Passion, B minor Mass and
Ascension and Easter Oratorios.
Maarten Koningsberger, Valérie
Guillorit, Benjamin Perrot, Frédéric
Desenclos and Viviane Durand.
His repertoire ranges from the
medieval and Baroque periods to
Lied and mélodie. He also performs
Latin-American folk music, in an
attempt to bring it to wider attention.
He has sung with ensembles
including Les Arts Florissants
(under William Christie and Paul
Agnew), Le Concert Spirituel
(under Hervé Niquet) and Le
Concert d’Astrée, giving concerts
in Europe, Asia and America.
An interest in education has
led Marduk Serrano López to
collaborate with conservatories
and musical institutions in
Mexico and Guatemala.
Les Arts Florissants
The renowned vocal and
instrumental ensemble Les Arts
Florissants was founded in 1979 by
the Franco-American harpsichordist
and conductor William Christie,
and takes its name from an opera
by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.
Since its production of Atys by Lully
at the Opéra Comique in Paris in
1987, it is in the field of opera that
Les Arts Florissants has found most
success. Notable productions include
works by Rameau (Les Indes galantes
in 1990 and 1999, Hippolyte et
Aricie in 1996, Les Boréades in
2003, Les Paladins in 2004), Lully
and Charpentier (Médée in 1993
and 1994, Armide in 2008), Handel
(Orlando in 1993, Acis and Galatea
in 1996, Semele in 1996 and 2010,
Alcina in 1999, Hercules in 2004
and 2006, L’Allegro, il Moderato ed
il Penseroso in 2007), Purcell (King
Arthur in 1995, Dido and Aeneas
in 2006, The Fairy Queen in 2010),
Mozart (The Magic Flute in 1994, Die
Entführung aus dem Serail in 1995)
and Monteverdi, whose opera trilogy
was performed at the Teatro Real in
Madrid between 2008 and 2010.
Les Arts Florissants has an equally
high profile in the concert hall,
giving concert performances of
operas (Zoroastre and Les fêtes
d’Hébé by Rameau, Idomenée by
Campra, Jephté by Montéclair,
L’Orfeo by Rossi, Susanna and
Julius Caesar by Handel and The
Indian Queen by Purcell), as well
as secular chamber works (Actéon,
Les plaisirs de Versailles and La
descente d’Orphée aux enfers by
Charpentier), sacred music (Grands
motets by Rameau, Mondonville and
Desmarest) and Handel oratorios.
The ensemble has a discography
of over 80 CD recordings,
including the recent Lamentazione,
the first recording to be
conducted by Paul Agnew.
For 20 years the ensemble has been
artist-in-residence at the théâtre
de Caen. Les Arts Florissants also
tours widely within France, and
is a frequent ambassador for
French culture abroad, regularly
appearing at the Brooklyn Academy,
the Lincoln Center in New York,
the Barbican Centre, the Vienna
Festival and Madrid’s Teatro Real.
Since Les Arts Florissants’ 30th
anniversary in 2009–10, William
Christie has expanded the artistic
management of the ensemble by
appointing two young associate
conductors, Paul Agnew and
Jonathan Cohen, who both
now conduct Les Arts Florissants
each season in both small and
large-scale programmes.
Among other programmes
marking its 2012/13 season, Les
Arts Florissants present in Caen,
Paris and New York the production
of David et Jonathas recently
premiered in Aix-en-Provence, and
the sixth edition of Le Jardin des Voix
on international tour. It also performs
Charpentier’s oratorios Caecilia
virgo et martyr and Filius prodigus, as
well as Handel’s oratorio Belshazzar.
Les Arts Florissants receives
financial support from the Ministry
of Culture and Communication,
the City of Caen and the Région
Basse-Normandie. It is artist-inresidence at the Théâtre de Caen.
IMERYS, the world leader in mineralbased specialties for industry,
and ALSTOM, a global leader in
the world of power generation,
power transmission and rail
infrastructure, are the Principal
Sponsors of Les Arts Florissants.

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