Songs by Candlelight—Homage to Dante Part II
Sat, March 27, 2021 3:00 PM, EDT
Join us for an unforgettable musical and poetic journey "Homage to Dante Part II" dedicated to the 700th year anniversary of Dante's passing, broadcast from the beautiful antique titular Church of St. Crisogono in the historical center of Rome. The Church is located directly behind Dante's home in Rome, so it is very likely that he often visited this very ancient church and could even hear the music made within it from his window....
Soprano Natalia Pavlova will be joined by Virtuoso Stefano Todarello from Santa Cecilia, specializing in three instruments (classical and Baroque guitar, Lute, Theorbe) classical guitarist Alessandro Danieli and organist Alessandra Ciccaglioni, who will perform Italian, France, Spanish and German music of different epochs: Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic, accompanied by extracts of poetry by Garsia Lorca.
Accompanying the music, Italian director and actor Francesco Polizzi will read the poems and prose of Dante from "New Life", and the sonnets of Garcia Lorca from his latest series "Sonnets of dark Love".Giorgia Semprini will read the poems translated into English.
The theme of the loss of a loved is an eternal one, and the poet is always ahead of his time. Imagine if Dante were to be transported to the future where he meets the Latin poet and composer Garcia Lorca.
This concert is a continuous dialogue of poetry and music. They correspond to each other. Poetry leads the music, and the music consoles the poetry, suggests the way.
In addition, there will be a special guest: Australian tenor Stefano Rossiti who together with Natalia will perform a very rare duet of San't Alfonso, a 17th century Italian composer, priest, poet, musicologist.
Video operators Davide Colantoni, Domenico Ciavarella
C. Monteverdi - "Se dolce è il tormento"(voice, theorbe)
G. Kapsberger - "Ite sospiri miei" (voice, theorbe)
G. Caccini - "Fere selvaggi" (voice, theorbe)
G. Frescobaldi -"Se l'aura spira" (voice, baroque guitar)
G. Caccini -"Amarilli "(voice, theorbe)
C. Monteverdi - "Quell sguardo sdegnosetto "(voice, baroque guitar)
G. Legrenzi - "Lumi, potete piangere" (voice, guitar, organ)
T. Merula - "Canzonetta Spirituale sopra una nanna" (voice, guitar, organ)
F. G. Lorca - Las Morillas de Jaén (guitar, voice)
F. G. Lorca - nanna (guitar, voice)
G. F. Handel - "Lascia la spina" from "The Triumph of Time and True" (guitar, voice)
I. S. Bach - Giga for guitar solo
G. F. Handel - "Ombra mai fu" from "Xerce" (guitar, voice)
Eli Tamar - "The Prayer of San Francesco D'Assisi" (organ, voice)
Full program with all texts :
Homage to Dante, part II. "The New Life"
TEXT 1.(The New Life of Dante Alighieri I)
Nine times already since my birth the heaven of light had almost revolved to the self-same point when my mind’s glorious lady first appeared to my eyes, she who was called by many Beatrice (‘she who confers blessing’), by those who did not know what it meant to so name her. She had already lived as long in this life as in her time the starry heaven had moved east the twelfth part of one degree, so that she appeared to me almost at the start of her ninth year, and I saw her almost at the end of my ninth. She appeared dressed in noblest colour, restrained and pure, in crimson, tied and adorned in the style that then suited her very tender age.
-- C. MONTEVERDI "Si dolce è il tormento"
TEXT 2.("The New Life VII" )
O you who on the way of Love go by,
listen and see
if there is any grief, as grave as mine:
and I beg you only to suffer me to be heard,
and then reflect
whether I am not the tower and the key of every torment.
Amor, indeed not for my slight worth
but through his nobility
placed me in a life so sweet and gentle,
that often I would hear it said behind me:
‘God, for what virtue
does this heart own so much delight?’
Now I have lost all my eloquence
which flowed so from love’s treasure:
and I am grown so poor
in a way that speech barely comes to me.
So that I desire to be like one
who to conceal his poverty through shame,
shows joy outwardly,
and within my heart am troubled and weep.
- G. G. KAPSBERGER "Iti sospiri miei"
TEXT 3.("The New Life XIII")
Every one of my thoughts speaks of Love:
and they have in them such great variance,
that one makes me wish for his ruler-ship,
another claims that his worth is nothing,
another by hoping brings me sweetness,
another makes me weep constantly,
and they only agree in asking pity,
trembling with the fear that is in the heart.
Therefore I do not know which theme to choose:
and wish to speak, and know not what to say:
so that I find myself in a lover’s maze!
And if I wish to make them all accord,
I am forced to call on my enemy,
my lady Pity, and ask her to defend me.
- G. CACCINI "Fere selvaggi!"
-A. FRESCOBALDI "Se l'aura spira
TEXT 4. (" The New Life XX")
This sonetto is divided in two parts: in the first I say of Love what he is potentially: in the second I say of Love how the potentiality fulfils itself in actuality.
Love and the gentle heart are one thing,
as the wise man puts it in his verse,
and each without the other would be dust,
as a rational soul would be without its reason.
Nature, when she is loving, takes
Amor for lord, and the heart for his home,
in which sleeping he reposes
sometimes a short, sometimes a longer day.
Beauty may appear, in a wise lady,
so pleasant to the eyes, that in the heart,
is born a desire for pleasant things:
which stays so long a time in that place,
that it makes the spirit of Love wake.
And likewise in a lady works a worthy man.
- G. CACCINI - "Amarili, mia bella"
TEXT 5.("Tge New Life XXI")
This sonetto has three parts: in the first I say how my lady fulfils what is potential (Of Love) in actuality through that most noble part, her eyes: and in the third I say how she does the same through that most noble part, her mouth: and between these two parts is a brief part, which is almost a demand for help from the preceding and following parts...
In her eyes my lady bears Love,
by which she makes noble what she gazes on:
where she passes, all men turn their look on her,
and she makes the heart tremble in him she greets,
so that, all pale, he lowers his eyes,
and sighs, then, over all his failings:
anger and pride fleeing before her.
Help me, ladies, to do her honour.
All sweetness, all humble thought
are born in the heart of him who hears her speak,
and he who first saw her is blessed.
How she looks when she smiles a little,
can not be spoken of, or held in mind,
she is so rare a miracle and gentle.
-C. MONTEVERDI "Quel sguardo sdegnosetto"
TEXT 6.("The New Life XXIII")
I say that on the ninth day, feeling almost intolerable grief, a thought came to me that was about my lady.
And when I had thought of her a while, I returned to thinking about my weakened existence: and seeing how fragile our strength is, even in health, I began to weep about our miserable state. Then, sighing deeply, I said to myself likewise: ‘Of necessity it must be that some time the most graceful Beatrice must also die.’And it threw me into such intense bewilderment that I closed my eyes, and began to be tormented by imagining this, like a delirious person: so that at the start of the wanderings of my imagination, the faces of certain women with dishevelled hair appeared to me, who said to me: ‘You will surely die’: and then, after these women, diverse other faces appeared to me, terrible to look on, that said to me: ‘You are dead’.So, my imagination beginning to wander, I came to a place not knowing where I was: and it seemed to me I saw women, weeping, with dishevelled hair, going through the street, in extreme sadness: and the sun seemed to me to be darkened, so that the stars showed themselves of a colour such that I judged they were weeping: and it seemed to me that birds flying in the air fell dead, and there were massive tremors.And marvelling in this fantasy, and very fearful, I imagined that a friend came to me saying: ‘Do you not know? Your miraculous lady has departed this world.’ Then I began to weep most piteously, and I did not only weep in imagination, but wept with my eyes, bathing them in real tears. I imagined I was gazing at the sky, and I seemed to see a multitude of angels who were returning to their place, and in front of them they had the whitest of little clouds. It seemed to me these angels were singing gloriously, and the words of their singing I seemed to hear were those of: ‘Osanna in excelsis: Hosanna in the highest’: and I could hear no more.In this imagining I felt so much humility at seeing her, that I called Death, and said: ‘Sweetest Death, come to me, and do not be cruel to me, for you must have become gentle, after being in such a place! Now come to me, who desire you greatly: and you will see that I already wear your colours’.
-G. LEGRENZI "Lumi, potete piangere"
TEXT 7 ("The New Life XXVII, XXVIII")
So long has Love held power over me
and accustomed me to his lordship,
that as he seemed harsh to me at first,
so now he seems sweet in my heart.
And so when he takes away my courage,
and my spirits seem to fly away,
then I feel throughout my soul
such sweetness that my face pales,
and then Love holds such power over me,
that he makes my spirits go speaking,
and always calling on
my lady to grant me greater welcome.
That happens to me whenever I see her,
and is so humbling, no one can understand.
I was still composing this sonnet and had completed the stanza given previously, when the Lord of Justice called this most gentle one to glory under the sign of that queen, the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose name was held in greatest reverence in the words of this blessed Beatrice.
-T. MERULA "Canzonetta spirituale sopra una nanna"
-GARSIA LORCA "Las Morillas de Jaén ".
"Sonnet of the Sweet Complaint"
Never let me lose the marvel
of your statue-like eyes, or the accent
the solitary rose of your breath
places on my cheek at night.
I am afraid of being, on this shore,
a branchless trunk, and what I most regret
is having no flower, pulp, or clay
for the worm of my despair.
If you are my hidden treasure,
if you are my cross, my dampened pain,
if I am a dog, and you alone my master,
never let me lose what I have gained,
and adorn the branches of your river
with leaves of my estranged Autumn
GARSIA LORCA - "lullaby"
TEXT 8.("The New Life XLI, XLII")
Beyond the sphere that circles most widely
passes the sigh that issues from my heart:
new intelligence, that Love
weeping instills within it, drives it upwards.
When it is near where it desires,
it sees a lady, who receives honour,
and is a light, that by its splendour
the pilgrim spirit can gaze upon her.
Seeing her such, when it says so to me,
I do not understand, it speaks so subtly
to the grieving heart, which makes it speak.
I know it speaks of that gentle one,
since it often mentions Beatrice,
so that I know it truly, ladies dear to me.
After writing this sonetto a miraculous vision appeared to me, in which I saw things which made me decide to write nothing more of this blessed one until such time as I could treat of her more worthily.
-G. F. HANDEL "Lascia la spina" from oratory "The triumph of the True and Time"
-I. S. BACH , Giga for Guitar solo
-G. F. HANDEL "Ombra mai fu" from opera " Xerce"
TEXT 9. ("The Divine Comedy. Paradise, canto I")
With eyes fixed wholly on the eternal wheels
stood Beatrice; and I on her fixed mine,
from there above removed. Looking at her,
I such became within, as Glaucus did
on tasting of the herb, which in the sea
made him a fellow of the other Gods.
Transhumanizing could not be expressed
by words; let this case, therefore, him suffice,
for whom Grace holds experience in reserve.
If I, O Love that rulest Heaven, was only
that part of me, which Thou didst last create,
Thou know’st, that with Thy Light didst raise me up.
When the rotation Thou, by being longed for,
dost make eternal, drew me to itself
by harmonies distributed and tuned
by Thee, it seemed that so much of the sky
was by the sun’s flame set on fire, that rain
nor river ever made so broad a lake.
The newness of the sound, and brilliant light
kindled in me a wish to know their cause,
never with so great keenness felt;
-ELI TAMAR "Saint Francis Prayer"