The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield | A Gallery of Italian Madrigals & Motets

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A Gallery of Italian Madrigals & Motets

by The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield

A collection of well-known and lesser known a cappella choral gems from the Early Renaissance to the Baroque "stile antico" Italian Schools.
Genre: Classical: Early Music
Release Date: 

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1. Languisco e Moro The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield
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2. El Grillo The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield
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3. Il Bianco e Dolce Cigno The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield
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4. Matona Mia Cara The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield
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5. Chi Salira per Me The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield
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6. Viver Lieto Voglio The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield
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7. Io Mi Son Giovinetta The New York Madrigal Singers, David Schofield & Erik-Peter Mortensen
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8. Cruda Amarilli The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield
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9. Quel Augellin Che Canta The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield
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10. Adoramus Te, Christe The New York Madrigal Singers, David Schofield & Erik-Peter Mortensen
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11. Sicut Cervus The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield
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12. Cantate Domino The New York Madrigal Singers, David Schofield & Erik-Peter Mortensen
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13. Ave Verum Corpus The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield
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14. Crucifixus The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield
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15. O Sacrum Convivium The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield
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16. Exultate Justi in Domino The New York Madrigal Singers, Erik-Peter Mortensen & David Schofield
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Notes by Dr. David Schofield copyright 1993

Josquin's El Grillo is a frottola, a forerunner of the sixteenth century Italian madrigal. These were simple three- or four-part songs in a chordal style with the melody in the soprano. They may have been performed as accompanied songs for solo voice, but their homophonic texture suggests the possibility of purely vocal performances. Arcadelt's Il bianco e dolce cigno and D. Ferrabosco's Io mi son giovinetta are typical sixteenth century Italian Madrigals, which used poetic forms of freely arranged seven and eleven syllable lines imitating Petrarch. Like the frottola before it, the early madrigal (c. 1530) was primarily homophonic, although there was considerable use of imitation between voices.

Wert's Chi salira per me is a madrigal in the classic style (1550-80). Madrigals of this period were highly polyphonic and imitative, and usually written for five voices, though four and six voices were not uncommon. Care is taken to enhance the text's meaning and pronunciation through musical expression. The late madrigal (c. 1580-1620) developed into an elaborate musical form, using extremes of chromaticism, word painting, and virtuosic vocal lines to depict the text. Marenzio's Cruda Amarilli, Gesualdo's Languisco e moro, and Monteverdi's Quel augellin che canta are examples.

Gastoldi's Viver lieto voglio and Lassus' Matona mia cara are balletti, a form first introduced by Gastoldi in 1591. These are written in a simple chordal style using dance rhythms, frequently with a fa la la refrain. Balletti may have served as dance music and were widely imitated in England, particularly by Morley.

Sicut Cervus epitomizes Palestrina's pure and reserved polyphonic style, which became the model for much subsequent church music. Croce's O sacrum convivium and Viadana's Exultate justi in Domino are popular four-part choral works which employ dance rhythms within a homophonic texture. These songs also resemble the popular villanelli and canzonetti of the period.

Lassus' Ave verum corpus is written in the style of the Venetian "cori spezzati". Striking word-painting is particularly evident in the setting of the text "unda fluxit". Imitative descending lines cascade in all the voices. The six parts split into two-, three- and four-voice ensembles to contrast the tutti, creating the effect of a double chorus.

Gasparini's Adoramus te, Christe and Lotti's Crucifixus are written in the "stile antico", the old style of Palestrina. However, the striking chromaticism and abundant dissonance, while offering poignant word painting of Christ's passion, reveal a more modern ear at work, as do the driving tonal progressions. But within this tonal context, both composers succeed at recreating the subtle and reserved polyphonic style of the sixteenth century.

The Members on this album

Director: Erik-Peter Mortensen
Associate Conductor: Dr. David Schofield
Soprano i: Sandia Ang, Cathlee Ellis
Soprano II: Peggey Farley, Elizabeth Henrickson-Farnum
Mezzo-Soprano: Melissa Fogarty
Alto: Sally Elliot, Elaine Tokunaga
Tenor i: Colin Bird, Louis Shafer
Tenor II: Gregory Davidson, Arthur Krieck
Baritone: Tod Mijanovich, Erik-Peter Mortensen
Bass: Charles Grey Jr., Michael Orzechowski

Track Texts and Translations

1. LANGUISCO E MORO: C Gesualdo (1560-c.1613)

Languisco e moro, ahi, cruda! Ma tu, fera cagion de la mia sorte, Deh, per pieta, consola Si dolorosa morte D'una lagrima sola, Onde dica per fin del mio languire: "Or che pietosa sei, dolce e'l morire".

I languish and die, ah cruel one! But you, savage cause of my fate, Ah, for pity's sake, comfort So painful a death With a single tear, Whence may be said at the end of my languishing: "Now that you be merciful, sweet it is to die."

2. EL GRILLO: J. Desprez (1440-1521)

El grillo e buon cantore che tiene longo verso. Dale, beve grillo, canta. Ma no fa come gli altri uccelli Come li han cantato un poco Van' de fatto in altro loco. Sempre el grillo sta pur saldo. Quando la maggior el caldo Alhor canta sol per amore.

The cricket is a fine singer who sustains a long note. Be happy, drink cricket, sing. But he is not like other birds Who sing a little Flying off to another place. The cricket always stands firm. When the weather is hottest He sings only for love.

3. IL BIANCO E DOLCE CIGNO: J. Arcadelt (c. 1505-1568)

Il bianco e dolce cigno cantando more, et io Piangendo giungo al fin del viver mio. Strano e diversa sorte ch'ei more sconsolato, Et io moro beato. Morte, che nel morire Mi empie di gioia tutto e di desire. Se nel morir altro dolor non sento Di mille morte il di sarei contento.

The white and gentle swan dies singing, and I Weeping reach the end of my life. What strange and diverse fate that he dies unconsoled, And I die blessed. Death, which in dying Fills me full of joy and desire. If in dying no other pain I feel With a thousand deaths a day I would be content.

4. MATONA MIA CARA: Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594)

(Broken Italian spoken by German Soldier)
Matona mia cara, mi follere canzon cantar sotto finestra, Lantze buon compagnon. Don don don diri diri don don don. Ti prego m'ascoltare che mi cantar de bon, E mi ti foller bene come greco e capo, etc. Com' andar a le cazze, calzar con le falcon Mi ti portar becazze, grasse come rognone, etc. Se mi non super dire tante belle radon, Petrarcha mi non saper, ne fonte d'Helicon, etc. Se ti mi foller bene mi non esser poltron; Mi ficar tutta notte, urtar come monton, etc.

My dalingk voman, I vant a songk to singk unter ze vindow. I'm Lantzer und gut companion. Dongk dongk donk derry derry dongk dongk dongk. I vant you zu listen me, zints I singk zo gut. Und I vant you like ze Greek vants chicken, etc. Ven I go ze huntingk mit ze falcon I bringk you back voodcock fat like ze kidney, etc. I speak nicht zo gut zints I dunno ze Petrark oder ze faunten of yooth, etc. If you like me gut, me no lazy soldya; Me singk to you allk nigkht longk, last longa zan ze maunten-gaut, etc.

5. CHI SALIRA PER ME: G. de Wert (1535-1596)

Chi salira per me, Madonn', in cielo A riportam' il mio perdut' ingegno Che, poi ch'usci da' bei vostr' occhi il telo Che'l cor mi fiss', ognor perdendo vegno? Ne di tanta jattura mi querelo, Pur che non cresca, ma stia a questo segno; Ch'io dubito, se piu se va scemando, Che stolto me n'andro pel mond' errando.

Who will ascend for me, my Lady, to heaven To bring back my lost reason Which, since departed from your beautiful eyes the dart That my heart pierced, every hour I am losing? Nor of such a loss do I complain, Provided it increases not, but remains at this degree; For I doubt, if more it diminishes, That foolish I shall go through the world wandering.

6. VIVER LIETO VOGLIO: G. Gastoldi (1556-1622)

1. Viver lieto voglio Senza alcun cordoglio. La la. Tu puoi restar, Amor, Di saettarmi il cot; Spendi i pungenti strali Ove non paiian frali; Nulla ti stimo o poco E di te prendo gioco. La la.
2. Bacco adoro et amo E'l liquor suo bramo. La la. E i fammi allegro star E i m'e diletto car; Con lui e notte e giorno Io volontier soggiorno, Lui sempre lieto invoco E di te prendo gioco. La la.

1. To live happily I wish Without any deep sorrow. La la. You can cease, Love, From shooting my heart; Make use of your sharp arrows Where they may not seem weak; I have little or now esteem for you And I make fun of you. La la.
2. Bacchus I adore and love And I yearn for his liquor. La la. And he makes me happy And is to me dear delight; With him both night and day I willingly stay, To him always happily I call, And I make fun of you (Love). La la.

7. IO MI SON GIOVINETTA: D. Ferrabosco (1513-1574)

Io mi son giovinetta, e volontieri M'allero e canto en la stagion novella, Merze d'amore e de' dolci pensieri.

Io vo pe' verdi prati riguardando I bianchi fiori, ei vermigli, e' gialli, Le rose in su le spine, ei bianchi gigli, E tutti quanti gli vo somiglando Al viso di colui ch'amandomi Mi presa e terra sempre.

I am a young lady, and gladly Rejoice and sing in the new season, Thanks to Love and to my sweet thoughts.

I go through green meadows looking At the white flowers, the yellow and red. The roses above their thorns, and white lilies, And all of these I go on comparing To the face of him in whose love I was taken and will be held forever.

8. CRUDA AMARILLI: L. Marenzio (1553-1599)

Cruda Amarilli, che co'l nom' ancora D'amat, ahi lasso, amaramente insegni; Amarilli del candido ligustro Piu candida e piu bella, Ma de l'aspido sordo E piu fera e piu fugace; Poi che co'l dir t'offendo I mi moro tacendo.

Ma grideran per me le piagg'e i monte E questa selva a cui Si spesso il tuo bel nome Di ridonar insegno; Per me piangendo i fonti E mormorando i venti Diranno i miei lamenti; Parlera nel mio volto La pietade e'l dolore. E se fia muta ogn' altra cosa al fine Parlera mio morire, E ti dira la morte il mio martire.

Cruel Amaryllis, who with your name still To love, ah, wearily, bitterly, you teach; Amaryllis than the white privet More white and more beautiful, But than the deaf snake More deaf and more wild and more fleeting; Since that to speak I offend you I shall die in silence.

But shall shout for me the shores and mountains And this wood to whom So often your fair name To echo I have taught; For me the weeping springs And murmuring winds Shall speak of my laments; Shall be declared in my face The pity and the pain, And if silent every other thing at the end My dying shall speak, And my death will tell you of my torment.

9. QUEL AUGELLIN CHE CANTA: C. MONTEVERDI (1567-1643)

Quel Augellin che canta Si dolcemente e lascivete vola Or da l'abete al faggio Et or dal faggio al mirto, S'avess' umano spirto Direbb', "Ardo d'amore!" Ma ben arde nel core E chiam' il suo desio Che li rispond', "Ardo d'amor anch' io!" Che si tu benedetto, Amoroso, gentil, vago augeletto!

That little bird that sings So sweetly and wantonly flies Now from the fir tree to the beech And now from the beech to the myrtle, If he had human spirit He would cry, "I burn with love!" But so well burns he in his heart And calls his desire That I respond, "I burn of love also!" May you be blessed, Loving, gentle, pretty little bird!

10. ADORAMUS TE, CHRISTE: C. Gasparini (1749-1770)

Adoramus te Christe, et benedicimus tibi, quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

We adore Thee O Christ, for by Thy holy cross you have redeemed the world.

11. SICUT CERVUS: G.P. da Palestrina (1525-1594)

Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum, ita desiderat anima mea ad te Deus.

Like as the hart desireth the water brooks, so thirsteth my soul after Thee, O God.

12. CANTATE DOMINO: G. Croce (1557-1609)

Cantate Domino canticum novum. Cantate Domino omnis terra. Cantate Domino et benedicite nomini ejus: Annunciate de die in diem salutare ejus.

Sing unto the Lord a new song. Sing unto the Lord all ye lands. Sing unto the Lord and praise His name: Proclaim from this day forth His salvation.

13. AVE VERUM CORPUS: Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594)

Ave verum corpus, natum de maria virgine; vere passum immolatum in cruce pro homine; cujus latus perforatum unda fluxit sanguine; Esto nobis praegustatum in mortis examine. O dulcis, O pie, O Jesu fili Mariae; miserere mei. Amen

Hail, true Body, born of Mary the Virgin; truly suffering and immolated on the cross for humankind; Thou whose side was pierced whence flowed a wave of blood; Be for us our food as we enter upon death at the last hour. O sweet, O clement, O Jesus son of Mary; have mercy upon me. Amen.

14. CRUCIFIXUS: A. Lotti (1667?-1740)

Crucifixus etiam pro nobis. Sub Pontio Pilato passus et sepultus est.

He was crucified also for us. Under Pontius Pilate he suffered and was buried.

15. O SACRUM CONVIVIUM: G. Croce (1557-1609)

O sacrum convivium in quo Christus sumitur; Recolitur memoria passionis ejus. Mens impletur gratia, et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur. Alleluia.

O sacred feast wherein Christ is taken in; Recalled is the memory of His passion. May you fill the spirit with grace, and give us a sign of future glory. Alleluia.

16. EXULTATE JUSTI IN DOMINO: L. G. da Viadana (1564-1627)

Exultate justi in Domino, rectos decet collaudatio. Confitemini Domino in cithara, in psalterio decem chordarum. Psallite illi. Cantate ei canticum novum. Bene psallite illi in vociferatione, etc.

Exult in the Lord, O ye just, for He deserves high laud. Rejoice in the Lord upon the harp, upon the ten-stringed psaltery. Praise Him. Sing unto Him a new song. Praise him well with jubilant voice, etc.


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