Breathtaking Texts

Cazzati Regina coeli

Regina caeli laetare, alleluia:
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia:
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia:
Ora pro nobis deum, alleluia.
Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
For Him whom you were worthy to bear, alleluia.
He has risen, as He said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.

Corradini Spargite flores

Spargite flores, spargite lilia.
Induimini omnes cum sanctis Angelis
vestimentis iucunditatis et laetitia.
Coronate vos rosis,
Victoriam dicite, triumphum ducite,
victoriam canite. Alleluia.
Prosperatus est Dominus in omnibus viis suis.
Dominus regnavit a ligno.
Regnavit et decorem induit.
Dominus fortitudine et precinxite virtute.
Scatter flowers, scatter lilies!
Let us all be clothed with the holy angels
In garments of pleasure and joy.
Crown yourselves with roses, proclaim victory, lead the triumph, celebrate victory in song. Alleluia.
The Lord has succeeded in all his ways.
The Lord has reigned from the Cross.
He has reigned and put on his adornment. The Lord has clothed himself with strength and girded himself with virtue.

D’India Dilectus meus

Dilectus meus loquitur mihi,
Surge propera amica mea et veni.
Speciosa mea, columba mea
Quam pulchrae sunt mamae tuae.
Soror mea sponsa
Vulnerasti cor meum
Crine, colli tui,
Veni quia , Amore langeo.
My beloved said to me,
Arise and come away.
My special one, my dove,
How beautiful are your breasts.
My sister, my spouse,
You have ravished my heart
with the locks on your neck,
Come here, I languish from love.

D’India Langue al vostro languir

Langue al vostro languir l’anima mia,
e dico: “Ah, forse a sì cocente pena
sua ferita la mena.”
O anima d’amor troppo rubella,
Quanto meglio vi fora
provar quel caro ardor che vi fa bella
che quel che vi scolora!
Perché non piace alla mia sorte
ch’io arda del vostro foco
E voi del mio.
My heart aches when I see you suffering,
And I think: “Ah, perhaps to this anguished state
Her own wound has led her.”
O spirit too resentful of Love’s power,
how much better it would be for you
to feel the sweet passion that enhances beauty,
rather than that which causes it to fade!
Why is it not to my darling’s liking
That I should be let by your flame,
and you by mine?

Merula Nigra sum

Nigra sum sed formosa filiae Ierusalem;
annunciate dilecto meo quam magnum caritatis
sit incendium et ingens amoris flamma.
Sum nigra sed formosa admiramini gentes
Black am I, yet lovely, daughters of Jerusalem;
Announce to my beloved how great is the fire of charity and the flame of love.
I am black, yet lovely. Be amazed, O people!

Carissimi Summi regis puerpera

Summi regis puerpera
O quam pulchra es in coelis.
Quam decora, quam formosa
in Gloria Domini.
His royal birth,
O how beautiful it is in heaven.
How lovely, how wondrous
In the glory of God.

Tsoupaki Mélena imí (Nigra Sum)

μέλαινά εἰμι ἐγὼ καὶ καλή,
ὅτι παρέβλεψέ με ὁ ἥλιος·
υἱοὶ μητρός μου ἐμαχέσαντο ἐν ἐμοί,
ἔθεντό με φυλάκισσαν ἐν ἀμπελῶσιν·
ἀμπελῶνα ἐμὸν οὐκ ἐφύλαξα.
ἀπάγγειλόν μοι ὃν ἠγάπησεν ἡ ψυχή μου,
ποῦ ποιμαίνεις, ποῦ κοιτάζεις ἐν μεσημβρίᾳ,
 ΕΓΩ ἄνθος τοῦ πεδίου,
ὡς κρίνον ἐν μέσῳ ἀκανθῶν,
στηρίσατέ με ἐν μύροις,
στοιβάσατέ με ἐν μήλοις,
ὅτι τετρωμένη ἀγάπης ἐγώ.
I am black but beautiful,
because the sun hath altered my color:
the sons of my mother have fought against me,
they have made me the keeper in the vineyards:
my vineyard I have not kept.
Shew me, O thou whom my soul loveth,
where thou feedest, where thou liest in the midday.
I am the flower of the field,
As the lily among thorns,
Stay me up with flowers,
compass me about with apples:
because I languish with love.

Bassani from La Morte Delusa

Speranza lusinghiera tradisce in consolar
Promette pentimento ne momento può donar.
Hope, flattering, betrays in consoling,
it promises repentance but not a moment can it grant.
Se splende in un seno baleno di cara mercè
non ha più ritorte la Morte
per stringere l’alme bastante non è.
If it shines in a radiant breast of dear mercy,
Death has no more bonds sufficient to bind the soul.
Sin dove il foco ardito per eccelsa possanza
aguzza il dente della pentita gente
l’anime stesse a lacerar vorace
è la pietade e refrigerio e pace.
Error senza dolor un’Anima non hà,
dolor senza ristor non soffre la Piet.
Wherever ardent fire whets the appetite for overweening power, pity is the solace and peace of the repentant, [otherwise] voracious to rend their very souls.
A soul has no error without pain,
Pity does not abide pain without recompense.

Scarlatti from Emireno

Non pianger solo,
Dolce usignuolo,
Ch’ancor io bramo
Pianger con te.
Almen volando di ramo in ramo
Tu vai vantando libero il piè.
Se l’Idol mio non veggio
Ne pure ad uno speco
Palesar mi conviene i miei tormenti
Che per bocca d’un eco
A l’aure non ridica i miei lamenti.
Do not weep alone,
Sweet Nightingale,
For I desire
To weep with you.
At least when flying from branch to branch,
You may boast of being free of foot.
If I do not see my beloved,
Even in a mirror,
It behooves me to make my torments known,
So that by the mouth of an echo
My laments are not spoken again to the wind.
Senti, senti ch’io moro
Perché t’adoro,
Caro mio ben.
E come vivo
Se di te privo
Vesta il mio sen?
Hear me, hear me that I am dying
Because I adore you,
My dear one.
And how shall I live
If my breast
Is adorned without you?
Labbra gradite,
So che a me dite,
“Caro mio ben,”
Onde contento nel suo tormento
Resta il mio sen.
Beloved lips,
I know that you say to me:
“My dear one,”
Whereby my breast remains
Content in its torment.


A Voice and Cornetto Entwined


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