Monteverdi Madrigals

I came across the Madrigals of Claudio Monteverdi a couple of months ago, watching a film by Agnès Jaoui, Comme une Image (the English title is Look at Me), in which a performance of Lamento della Ninfa is central to the plot, and decided to find out more about them.  Since then I have acquired several CD’s of the madrigals (including a jazz(ish) arrangement by La Venexiana) and I have become completely hooked.  Why listen to anything else?

Here is a version of Hor che’l ciel performed by Cappella Mediterranea, with pictures:

The  words are from Petrarch, Sonnet 131. Here is the Italian text, from ChoralWiki:

Italian.png Italian text

Hor che’l ciel e la terra e’l vento tace
e le fere e gli augelli il sonno affrena,
notte il carro stellato in giro mena
e nel suo letto il mar senz’onda giace,
veglio, penso, ardo, piango
e chi mi sface sempre m’è innanzi per mia dolce pena.
Guerra è il mio stato, d’ira e di duol piena,
e sol di lei pensando ho qualche pace.

This is my translation, very loose:

Now the heavens, the earth and the wind are silent;

Animals and birds all closed up in sleep;

Night’s starry chariot advances, turns around,

While no waves stir the ocean in its bed.

Awake, I ponder, I suffer and I weep:

She, the cause of my grief, is always before me.

War is my condition, full of pain and anger;

Only the thought of her brings a little peace.

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2 Responses to Monteverdi Madrigals

  1. Pingback: Claudio Monteverdi « 1001 Scribbles

  2. Pingback: The Universal Flood « Seen and Heard

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