Performing at The Twin Cities Early Music Festival

Consortium Carissimi is please to present an evening of the music of Bonifazio Graziani and Giacomo Carissimi as part of The Twin Cities Early Music Festival on Wednesday, August 19th at 8pm.

The Program

O Miracula Bonifazio Graziani (1604-1664)

Amici pastori Bonifazio Graziani (Cantata #6 Opus XXV)

Generoso pensiero Bonifazio Graziani (Cantata #3 Opus XXV)Bild17

Venite, audite Bonifazio Graziani (Il quarto libro de mottetti a voce sola…Opus X 1677)

Crudelissime spine Bonifazio Graziani Cantata #13 Opus XXV

Jephte Giacomo Carissimi (1605-1674)


Carissimi’s childhood friend and later musician colleague, Bonifazio Graziani was employed at Il Gesù, a very large Jesuit church just down the street from another Jesuit institution Sant’Apollinare where Carissimi lived and worked in Rome. The music performed in this concert is undoubtedly a good example of the Graziani’s genius.

Non-liturgical texts in Italian set these cantate apart from Latin liturgical motets, in that this was music that was most likely not performed within the walls of the church, but rather in the new structures called oratories that were often adjacent to the main church building. This was still the atmosphere of counter-reformation and music like this was likely heard with fine preaching, often lasting for hours.

Graziani was fortunate to have a brother, Graziano, who was a printer, (Carissimi definitely had no such luck) and consequently a great deal of his music was printed. Musiche Sagre e morali op. 25 –1678, was printed fourteen years after his death. Our transcription is from a copy kept in the beautiful Biblioteca Casanatense in Rome. These cantate were published in parts books, one for each voice and the figured bass. I have reproduced a page from the figured bass (basso continuo) part book on the back cover of this program. The printing presses of this time were more common than ever and aided the Enlightenment with not only new philosophies but also new music.

This collection or anthology of fourteen cantate are for small-scaled forces, accompanied with figured bass instruments. Composers of this time almost never indicated which instrument should play where and when, since it was customary to leave this up to the discretion of the performers themselves, perhaps even to the spontaneity of those that were available for these performances.

Carissimi’s Jephte is undoubtedly his best-known work today. Set for six voices and figured bass, the Old Testament story of Jephte (Judges 10:6-12:7) is brought to life and sets an adaptation of the Latin text of Jephte’s war with Ammon. Jephte rashly swears that if the Lord helps him to overthrow Ammon, he will offer to the Lord as a sacrifice the first person that greets him when he returns home.

He leads Gilead to victory over Ammon, and there is much rejoicing. However, the first person to greet Jephte home is his only child, a virgin daughter. He rues his impetuous oath, but must carry it out. He grants his daughter’s last request, to go into the mountains and bewail her fate. The daughter sings a moving lament, and the oratorio ends with the chorus echoing this sorrowful lament. Carissimi’s setting pioneers many devices that would become the hallmarks of the oratorio form.

A narrator (called the Historicus in Latin or testo in Italian) tells the Bible story, often in direct quotation from the original text. Individual characters are portrayed by solo singers, again often quoting from the Bible directly, and using Monteverdi’s techniques of recitative (a word-for-word setting with basso continuo accompaniment) and arioso (a more lyrical setting in which phrases can be repeated and more complex musical figures introduced for expressive effect). The chorus portrays various characters participating in the scene, reacting to and commenting on the action at hand.

For all its relative brevity it does have some exemplary musical depictions of prototypical musical moods, including battle scenes, songs of triumph, painful parting, and mournful lament. Carissimi introduces a number of musical devices, which illustrate these moods (e.g. the repeat of a gradually descending bass line in the final choral lament to signify mourning, the contrast of untroubled harmonies in the songs of victory with anguished chromaticisms and dissonances in the lament); these musical/rhetorical figures become standard practice in later oratorios. – Garrick Comeaux, Artistic Director


 

Texts and Translations

O Miracula, O prodigia,
stillant Colles dulcedinem,
fluent montes lac et mel,
Caeli manna compluent.
Quid est hoc?

O Miracula, O prodigia,
inter prunias et nives
algidas florescent rose.
germinant lilia, pululant viole,
Quid est hoc?

Pastores feduli, pastores placidi,
quid admiramini,
aperientur de super caeli
et iustum nubile pluent,
inter prunias,
Germinabit terra
Salvatorem saeculorum.

O Miracula, O prodigia,
quando veniet,
quando vedebimus,
quando amplex ambimur,
quando osculabimur,

Levate osculos,
palmas attolite,
corda pandite,
suspirate,
ecce iam prope est,
ecce iam venit
promissus Abrahe
Salvator saeculi.

O Miracles, O wonders,
the Hills drop sweetness,
the mountains flow with milk and honey,
the heavens rain down manna.
What is this?

O Miracles, O wonders,
And snow between the shivering branches makes flourish the roses,
the lilies spring forth,
the violets bloom,
What is this?

Faithful shepherds, peaceful shepherds,
what do you admire?
Let the heavens be opened from above
and let the clouds rain down righteousness,
And snows between
the shivering branches, The earth will bring
to bloom, The Savior of the ages.

O Miracles, O wonders,
When will he come?
When will we see him?
When will we hold him in our arms?
When will we kiss him?

Throw forth your kisses,
raise up your hands,
lift up your hearts,
and sigh,
for behold, he is already near,
behold, he comes,
the one promised to Abraham,
the Savior of the world.


The Performers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venite, audite,et narrabo, omnesqui diligitis DeumQuanta fecit anima meae.  

.

Come, hear,and I will tell allwho love Godwhat great things he has done for my soul.
  Ecce Deus Salvator meus,Angelorum gaudium,Beatorum desiderium,panis meus, potus meus,

Factus est.

 

Ecce quam magna multitudo

caritatis tuae

ut servus reficeret

se Dominus tradidit nobis in escam.

  

Quid agis cor meum,

cur Iesus non amas,

et corde non clamas,

amabilem Deum.

  

En caelo dilectus

sic ardet amore,

nec languet ardore,

o ferrum pectus.

  

Dulcissime, benignissime,

amantissime, desideratissime Iesu

trahe me post te,

trahe me ad fonts vitae

ne in aeternum sitiam.

Behold, God is my Savior,the joy of the angels,the desire of the blessed,my bread, my drink,

he has become.

 

Behold, what a great multitude

of your loving mercies

that your servant refreshes,

that the Lord himself has brought us for food.

 

What are you doing to my heart?

Why does Jesus not love me,

and why do you not cry to my heart,

Thou beloved by God?

 

Look to heaven, beloved one,

How it burns with love,

and makes burn with great heat,

O chest of iron.

 

O sweetest, O kindest

O loveliest, O dearest Jesus,

lead me after you,

bring me to the font of life,

that I shall thirst no more forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historicus
recitative
solo Alto
Judges 11:28-30
Cum vocasset in proelium filios Israel rex filiorum Ammon et verbis Jephte acquiescere noluisset, factus est super Jephte  Spiritus Domini et progressus ad filios Ammon votum vovit Domini dicens: When the king of the children of Ammon made war against the children of Israel, and disregarded Jephthah’s message, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah and he went on to the children of Ammon, and made a vow to the Lord, saying:
 
Jephte
recitative
solo Tenor
Judges 11:30-31
“Si tradiderit Dominus filios Ammon
in manus meas, quicumque primus
de domo mea occurrerit mihi, offeram illum Domino in holocaustum.”
“If You will indeed give the sons of Ammon into my hand, then whoever comes first out of the doors of my house to meet me, I will offer him to the Lord as a complete sacrifice.”
 
Chorus à 6
narrative
Judges 11:32
Transivit ergo Jephte ad filios Ammon,
ut in spiritu forti et virtute Domini
pugnaret contra eos.
So Jephthah crossed over to the sons of Ammon with the spirit, strength, and valor of the Lord to fight against them
 
Historicus à 2
narrative
solo Soprano 1 & 2
Et clangebant tubae et personabant tympana et proelium commissum est adversus Ammon. And the trumpets sounded, and the drums resounded, and battle against Ammon ensued.
 
Solo
arioso
solo Bass
Fugite, cedite, impii, perite gentes,
occumbite in gladio. Dominus exercituum in proelium surrexit et pugnat contra vos.
Flee and give way, godless ones; perish, foreigners! Fall before our swords, for the Lord of Hosts has raised up an army, and fights against you.
 
Chorus à 6
address
Fugite, cedite, impii, corruite,
et in furore gladii dissipamini.
Flee, give way, godless ones! Fall down! And with our raging swords, be scattered!
 
Historicus
recitative
solo Soprano
Judges 11:33
Et percussit Jephte viginti civitates Ammon plaga magna nimis. And Jephthah struck twenty cities of Ammon with a very great slaughter.
 
Historicus à 3
narrative
solo Soprano 1 & 2, Alto
Judges 11:33
Et ululantes filii Ammon, facti sunt coram filiis Israel humiliati. And the children of Ammon howled, and were brought low before the children of Israel.
 
Historicus
recitative
solo Bass
Judges 11:34
Cum autem victor Jephte in domum suam reverteretur, occurrens ei unigenita filia sua cum tympanis et choris praecinebat: When Jephthah came victorious to his house, behold, his only child, a daughter, was coming out to meet himwith tambourines and with dancing. She sang:
 
Filia
aria
solo Soprano
“Incipite in tympanis, et psallite in cymbalis. Hymnum cantemus Domino, et modulemur canticum. Laudemus regem coelitum, laudemus belli principem, qui filiorum Israel victorem ducem reddidit.” “Strike the timbrels and sound the cymbals! Let us sing a hymn and play a song to the Lord, let us praise the King of Heaven, let us praise the prince of war, who has led the children of Israel back to victory!”
 
Duet
response
solo Soprano 1 & 2
Hymnum cantemus Domino, et modulemur canticum, qui dedit nobis gloriam et Israel victoriam. Let us sing a hymn and play a song to the Lord, who gave glory to us and victory to Israel!
 
Filia
aria
solo Soprano
Cantate mecum Domino, cantate omnes populi, laudate belli principem, qui dedit nobis gloriam et Israel victoriam. Sing with me to the Lord, sing all you peoples! Praise ye the prince of war, who gave glory to us and victory to Israel!
 
Chorus à 6
response
Cantemus omnes Domino, laudemus belli principem, qui dedit nobis gloriam et Israel victoriam. Let us all sing to the Lord, let us praise the prince of war, who gave glory to us and victory to Israel!
 
Historicus
recitative
solo Alto
Judges 11:35
Cum vidisset Jephte, qui votum Domino voverat, filiam suam venientem in occursum, in dolore et lachrimis scidit vestimenta sua et ait: When Jephthah, who had sworn his oath to the Lord, saw his daughter coming to meet him, with anguish and tears he tore his clothes and said:
 
Jephthah
arioso
solo Tenor
Judges 11:35
“Heu mihi! Filia mea, heu decepisti me, filia unigenita, et tu pariter, heu filia mea, decepta es.” “Woe is me! Alas, my daughter, you have undone me, my only daughter, and you, likewise, my unfortunate daughter, are undone.”
 
Filia
recitative
solo Soprano
“Cur ergo te pater, decipi, et cur ergo ego filia tua unigenita decepta sum?” “How, then, are you undone, father, and how am I, your only-born daughter, undone?”
 
Jephthah
arioso
solo Tenor
“Aperui os meum ad Dominum ut quicumque primus de domo mea occurrerit mihi, offeram illum Domino
in holocaustum. Heu mihi! Filia mea, heu decepisti me, filia unigenita, et tu pariter, heu filia mea, decepta es.”
“I have opened my mouth to the Lord that whoever comes first out of the doors of my house to meet me, I will offer him to the Lord as a complete sacrifice. Woe is me!
Alas, my daughter, you have undone me, my only daughter, and you, likewise, my unfortunate daughter, are undone.”
 
Filia
arioso
solo Soprano
Judges 11:36-37
“Pater mi, si vovisti votum Domino, reversus victor ab hostibus, ecce ego filia tua unigenita, offer me in holocaustum victoriae tuae, hoc solum pater mi praesta filiae tuae unigenitae antequam moriar.” “My father, if you have made an oath to the Lord, and returned victorious from your enemies, behold! I, your only daughter offer myself as a sacrifice to your victory, but, my father, fulfill one wish to your only daughter before I die.”
 
Jephthah
arioso
solo Tenor
“Quid poterit animam tuam, quid poterit te, moritura filia, consolari?” “But what can I do, doomed daughter, to comfort you and your soul?”
 
Filia
arioso
solo Soprano
Judges 11:37
“Dimitte me, ut duobus mensibus circumeam montes, et cum sodalibus meis plangam virginitatem meam.” “Send me away, that for two months I may wander in the mountains, and with my companions bewail my virginity.”
 
Jephthah
arioso
solo Tenor
Judges 11:38
“Vade, filia mia unigenita, et plange virginitatem tuam.” “Go, my only daughter, go and bewail your virginity.”
 
Historicus à 4
narrative
S-A-T-B
Abiit ergo in montes filia Jephte, et plorabat cum sodalibus virginitatem suam, dicens: Then Jephthah’s daughter went away to the mountains, and bewailed her virginity with her companions, saying:
 
Filia
aria accompagnata
solo Soprano
“Plorate colles, dolete montes, et in afflictione cordis mei ululate! Mourn, you hills, grieve, you mountains, and howl in the affliction of my heart!
 
Echo
solo Soprano 1 & 2
Ululate! Howl!
Filia
aria accompagnata
solo Soprano
Ecce moriar virgo et non potero morte mea meis filiis consolari, ingemiscite silvae, fontes et flumina, in interitu virginis lachrimate! Behold! I will die a virgin, and shall not in my death find consolation in my children. Then groan, woods, fountains, and rivers, weep for the destruction of a virgin!
 
Echo
solo Soprano 1 & 2
Lachrimate! Weep!
Filia
aria accompagnata
solo Soprano
Heu me dolentem in laetitia populi, in victoria Israel et gloria patris mei, ego, sine filiis virgo, ego filia unigenita moriar et non vivam. Exhorrescite rupes, obstupescite colles, valles et cavernae in sonitu horribili resonate! Woe to me! I grieve amidst the rejoicing of the people, amidst the victory of Israel and the glory of my father, I, a childless virgin, I, an only daughter, must die and no longer live. Then tremble, you rocks, be astounded, you hills, vales, and caves, resonate with horrible sound!
 
Echo
solo Soprano 1 & 2
Resonate! Resonate!
Filia
aria accompagnata
solo Soprano
Plorate filii Israel, plorate virginitatem meam, et Jephte filiam unigenitam in
carmine dolore lamentamini.”
Weep, you children of Israel, bewail my hapless virginity, and for Jephthah’s only daughter, lament with songs of anguish.”
 
Chorus à 6
response
Plorate filii Israel, plorate omnes virgines, et filiam Jephte unigenitam in carmine doloris lamentamini. Weep, you children of Israel, weep, all you virgins, and for Jephthah’s only daughter, lament with songs of anguish.
 

 

 

Look for future concert programming under our Future Concerts section

at our website: www.consortiumcarissimi.org

Consortium Carissimi is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

P.O. Box 40553 Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104

Tel. 612.741.2524

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.