Carnival song: Canto Delle Parete (song of the net), Voices of Music, Leonardo da Vinci project

In this video

Happy New Year from Voices of Music!
From our award-winning Leonardo da Vinci program, the Florentine Carnival song Canto Delle Parete (song of the net). Live, 4K ultra high definition video performed by Voices of Music, Hanneke van Proosdij & David Tayler, directors. Vocal soloists: Stefanie True and Deborah Rentz-Moore.
The canti carnascialeschi or Carnival songs flourished under the Medicis, in particular Lorenzo the Magnificent in the late 15th century. Lorenzo actively promoted the form, and even wrote his own verses, then required members of his court and entourage to perform them. Lorenzo often chose stories drawn from classical mythology; in contrast, the songs performed in the streets (presumably this example) were satirical, rowdy, and replete with double entendre and innuendo. After Lorenzo’s death, the radical friar Savanarola largely eradicated both the music and the musical instruments in his bonfires of the vanities, although the festivals were revived in 1498. The Canto delle parete is anonymous, as are most examples of the genre, but would have been familiar to Leonardo in the streets and courts of Florence, along with the related form, the frottola.
The music is from our Leonardo da Vinci program. We sourced manuscripts and prints from the cities, courts and places that Leonardo lived in and travelled to from c.1452-1519. The program, “A musical Odyssey” is tied together with a narration. In some cases, we have historical records that the music was performed at an event that da Vinci planned or attended. This program won the 2017-2018 San Francisco Classical Voice “Best of the Bay” award for “Best Chamber Music” concert.
Texts
Canto delle parete
Donne, se’l cantar nostro ascolterete,
ghustando quello a pieno,
a tutte insegnerèno
l’arte dell’uccellare alle parete.
No’ sappiàm ch’ ogni donna sempremai
D’ uccellar si diletta;
Et son di noi miglior maeste assai
d’ impaniar la fraschetta:
Ma perchè spesso_in van l’ uccel s’ aspetta,
Et pocho frutto fate,
Uccellare inparate alle parete.
Quando si vede volteggiar l’uccello,
nè di calar fa segnio,
mettete, donne, allor mano al zinbello,
usando industria e ’ngegnio;
perchè tirare a tempo et con disegnio
esser quel si puo dire,
c’ogni uccel fa venire sotto la rete.
Nel coprir ben consiste ogni inportanza
nel presente uccellare;
ma sopratutto abbiate per usanza
a ogni uccel tirare:
et non vi paia invano affatichare,
se nel calar vien solo,
ma tirando, al piuolo ben v’atterrete.

Song of the net
Women, if you will listen to our song,
Enjoying it fully
It will teach all of you
The art of catching birds in a net.
We know that all women always
delight in catching birds
And they are much better teachers than we are
of flirting with sticky goo.
But because sometimes you wait in vain for a bird
And harvest only a little fruit
Learn to catch birds with a net
When you see the bird flying around
And he doesn’t seem to be coming down
Women, put your hand on the decoy
Using industry and wit
To pull, shoot, grab in rhythm and with art
Is such that, it can be said,
it makes every bird come into the net
A good disguise is very important
In this bird catching
But above all, generally,
grab/aim/pull at every bird
And if only one falls/is caught
let the struggle not seem to you in vain
but by pulling, you will attach well to the pole/peg.
Copyright 2018 Voices of Music
Translation by Cynthia Craig Simon & David Tayler, with Lawrence Rosenwald.
#LeonardoDaVinci

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