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Transcript
LA DOLCE VITA
THE ARCHDUKE’S CONSORT Fiona Stuart-Wilson soprano
Lars Falkebäck lute
Tamara Heideveld harp Niklas Enevold viola da gamba
Ninna nanna alla Napoletana
Anonymous 16th century
Amarylli mia bella
Giulio Caccini 1551-1618
Si dolce è’l tormento
Claudio Monteverdi 1567-1643
Toccata no.2
Michelagnolo Galileo 1575-1631 El me tira notte di
Tarquinio Merula 1594-1665
L’amante segreto
Barbara Strozzi 1619-1677
Augellin
Stefano Landi c1586-1639
Ciaccona di Paradiso e dell'Inferno
Francesco Ratis 1600-1676

Interval
 La bella noeva
Ostinato
Piangono al pianger mio
Anonymous
Bartolomeo Tromboncino c1470-c1535
Sigismondo d’India 1582-1629 Foll’e ben si che crede
Tarquinio Merula 1594-1665
L’amante felice
Giovanni Stefani active 1618-1626
Sona’a battenti
Anonymous
Programme notes
This programme, entitled La Dolce Vita, celebrates the pleasures, the pains and the passions of life,
emotions as vivid today as they were in the Italy of three, four or even five centuries ago when this
music was first performed for its original audiences. During this period improvisation was usual.
Songs were performed as intrumental pieces with whatever musical forces were available, or sung
as solos or part-songs and ornamentation added at will. Much of tonight’s programme has been
arranged by members of the Consort, often from a single vocal line and basso continuo. We do not
claim authenticity in our performance but we aim to be true to the spirit of the music and the
poetry it so often enhances.
The background to this music, and the lives of its composers, are as interesting as the music and
the notes below are intended to give an idea of the setting against which this music was composed.
We hope you will enjoy this musical celebration of the pleasures of life - welcome to Italy, welcome
to La Dolce Vita!
Ninna nanna alla Napoletana
Anonymous 16th century
A lullaby sung by the Virgin Mary to the Christ child in her arms. This song was probably once part
of a mystery play; it tells of the destiny of the child and his death on the cross.
Amarylli mia bella
Giulio Caccini 1551-1618
This is the most famous of Caccini’s songs from his collection Le Nuove Musiche published in
Florence in 1602. The song concludes with the lover declaring that his beloved’s name, Amarylli, is
to be found written on his heart.
Si dolce è’l tormento
Claudio Monteverdi 1567-1643
Monteverdi worked for the court of Mantua first as a singer and violist, then as music director. This
setting of Carlo Milanuzzi's text is a solo madrigal about the sweet pains of love and appeared in the
composer’s fourth Scherzo delle ariose vaghezze, published in Venice in 1624.
Toccata no.2
Michelagnolo Galileo 1575-1631 Michelagnolo Galilei was the son of the renowned lutenist Vincenzo and younger brother of the
famous astronomer Galileo. Born in Florence, he worked as a lutenist and composer mainly in
Poland and Bavaria where his compositions were much in demand. This Toccata comes from Il
primo libro d'intavolatura di liuto (Munich, 1620). El me tira notte di
Tarquinio Merula 1594-1665
Merula was another Italian musician who migrated to Poland to work in 1621,where he became
organist at the court of Sigismund III Vasa. Inspired by the music of his great compatriot,
Monteverdi, he became one of the most progressive Italian composers of his day. This song about
the painful effects of Cupid’s arrows is from his Curtio precipitato et altri capricii (1638).
L’amante segreto
Barbara Strozzi 1619-1677
Born in Venice, Barbara Strozzi was a gifted singer and studied composition with Francesco
Cavalli. She is unique among both male and female composers for publishing her works in singlecomposer volumes, rather than in collections, and was said to be the most prolific composer of
printed secular vocal music in Venice in the middle of the 17th century. This song about a lover who
dare not reveal their love is from her Cantate, Arietti et Duetti of 1651 dedicated to Ferdinand III,
the Holy Roman Emperor in Vienna.
Augellin
Stefano Landi c1586-1639
Landi spent much of his musical career in his home city of Rome under successive patrons. An
organist and singer he was also a prolific composer of sacred and secular music as well as opera.
This song about a lover who enlists the help of a little bird in pursuit of his beloved is from his first
book of Arie for voice and basso continuo of 1620.
Ciaccona di Paradiso e dell'Inferno
Francesco Ratis 1600-1676
This dramatic dialogue between those living in heaven and those in hell comparing conditions - the
weather is definitely better in heaven! - was published in 1677 in Milan as part of the collection
Canzonette Spirituali e Morali for the Oratory of Chiavenna in Italian-speaking Switzerland. It was
written by the somewhat obscure Italian priest, organist, and composer Francesco Ratis.
INTERVAL
La bella noeva
Anonymous
In this lovely traditional song from Liguria, the lover brings to the beloved what hopefully will be
received as good news, a proposal of marriage.
Ostinato
Bartolomeo Tromboncino c1470-c1535
The colourful Tromboncino - so named because he was indeed a trombonist - was born in Verona,
but spent much of his early life in Mantua (which he had to flee several times for various crimes,
most notably the murder of his wife whom he discovered with her lover). In later years he worked
for Isabella d’Este and also wrote the music for the wedding of Lucrezia Borgia, before moving to
Venice for his final years. He wrote many light frottole and this one sung by a lover who obstinately
pursues his noble quest is taken from Book 9 of his Arie per Canto e Liuto of 1509 .
Piangono al pianger mio
Sigismondo d’India 1582-1629 Sigismondo d’India was probably born in Palermo but his working life was spent in the main courts
of northern and central Italy - Mantua, Florence and Rome - where he absorbed many different
musical styles. The famous singer, Caccini, is know to have performed his songs. This song comes
from Le musiche da cantar solo, Milan 1609. The poem is by Ottavio Rinuccini and describes the
whole of nature weeping with the sad, lonely lover. Foll’e ben si che crede
Tarquinio Merula 1594-1665
In this song, dating from 1637, the lover avows that they will not be deflected from loyalty to their
beloved and looks forward to their eventual reward.
L’amante felice
Giovanni Stefani active 1618-1626
Little is known of the composer and editor Stefani but we do know that he was active in Venice in
the early 17th century. This light-hearted song, describing l’amante felice, the happy lover, is from
his Affetti amorosi, published in Venice in 1618, and is typical of his appealing and popular style.
Sona’a battenti
Anonymous
The concert ends with a lively tarantella from Ischitella, a small town in the Apulia region of
southern Italy on the Adriatic coast. Please refrain from using cameras, video cameras and other recording devices
during this concert. Please make sure your mobile phone is switched off.
For further information on The Archduke’s Consort:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheArchdukesConsort/
Website: http://www.thearchdukesconsort.com
Email: [email protected]
Programme notes by Fiona Stuart-Wilson
© Fiona Stuart-Wilson, 2015