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*gasp!* I’m… not… dead… yet… !!

April 10, 2011

Yikes!!  Over 2 weeks without a post?!  Terribly bad form, wot wot.

I’m not normally one for excuses, but if you’ll kindly indulge, I’ll explain…

  1. I started the blog during the end of my spring break, and well, the ‘break’ part of that ended all too soon
  2. I really, really, really wanted to get my header image in order before I posted more
  3. My header image is dependent on two key factors which haven’t yet come into alignment (availability of both a calla lily and my companion’s photography skills)
  4. The semester suddenly got very busy… like, multiple-recitals-each-week-and-tons-of-music-to-learn busy!

So yes, I’m still breathing, and I haven’t forgotten about the best blog in the web yet!  In fact, I have an ever-growing list of future blog topics.  Plus, I’m on track for all my recitals and, dare I say it, even excited for them!

But what’s that you say?  You need more?  Well, you are in luck!

I’ve decided to share with you a fabulous performance of one of my favorite compositions:

Claudio Monteverdi (bap. 1567 – 1643) was an Italian composer whose career spanned the late Renaissance and early Baroque.  He has composed many great works and this brilliant duet is one of my favorites!  The whole recital must have been wonderful, and I’m very impressed with both the fantastic singing and the superb accompaniment provided by the San Francisco-based group Voices of Music.

The text is a poem by Gabriello Chiabrera (1552-1638), a contemporary of Monteverdi’s who was set frequently by him and the prolific composer Giulio Caccini.  For your edification I’ve provided my own translation of the text.  But before we get to that, let me have your attention for a quick aside.

I feel strongly that in order to appreciate song one must be able to understand the text.  Generally the song text is a high-quality poem that motivated the composer to set it to music, and as such, deserves attention.  So in this and all other future posts please spend some time with the texts – even more if they are in a language foreign to you.  I promise that it will increase your appreciation and enjoyment of the wonderful compositions! /rant

Italian: Damigella tutta bella

Damigella tutta bella versa versa quell bel vino,
Fa che cada la rugiada distillata di rubino.
Ho nel seno rio veneno che vi sparse amor profondo,
Ma gittarlo e lasciarlo vo’ sommerso in questo fondo.
Damigella tutta bella di quell vin tu non mi satii,
Fa che cada la rugiada distillata da Topatii.
Ah che spento io non sento il furor de gl’ardor miei,
Men cocenti meno ardenti sono oimè gli incendi Etnei.
Nova fiamma più m’infiamma arde il cor foco novella,
Se mia vita non s’aita a ch’io vengo un Mongibello.
Ma più fresca ogn’hor cresca dentro me si fatt’arsura,
Consumarmi e disfarmi per tal modo ho per ventura.

English translation:

Oh Damsel most beautiful, pour, pour that fine wine,
Make fall the ruby-distilled dew.
I have an evil venom in my breast that sowed a deep love for you,
But I want to cast it away and leave it submerged in these depths.
Oh damsel most beautiful, you don’t satisfy me with that wine,
Make fall the topaz-distilled dew.
Oh, when extinguished, I don’t feel the furor of my passion,
Alas, blazing Etna is less scalding, less burning.
A new flame sets me ablaze more, a new fire burns my heart,
If my life isn’t helped I may rival Etna herself.
But such a heat is growing in me, fresher each hour,
Consuming me and undoing me in a most fortunate manner.

Some of the Italian is not very clear to me (like lines 10 and 12) so I’ve taken some poetic license in my translation to better express what I read as the original sentiments in the poem.  But if you have some insights on a better translation, please do share – I’m by no means an expert in this language!

Enjoy the song, and I’ll have another WoW-related post up in a few days.  I’m going to be talking about how to get the “Outland Gourmet” achievement in the most-efficient and least-painless way possible for those of us who started playing the game after Shattrath had already become a ghost town.


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