Monteverdi: Con che soavità; Voices of Music, Jennifer Ellis Kampani, soprano

In this video

Monteverdi’s Con che soavità, performed on original instruments by the Early Music ensemble Voices of Music, with soloist Jennifer Ellis Kampani, soprano. Published in Venice in 1619, Monteverdi’s work features an arioso melody combined with unusual contrasts between the high and low strings.

Kati Kyme, baroque violin by Johann Gottlob Pfretzschner, Mittenwald, 1791
Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin by Andrea Guarneri, Cremona, Italy, 1660
Lisa Grodin, baroque viola by Mathias Eberl, Salzburg, Austria, 1680
David Daniel Bowes, baroque viola by Richard Duke, London, England, ca. 1780
Adaiha MacAdam-Somer, baroque cello, Anonymous, 18th century
Farley Pearce, violone by George Stoppani, Manchester, 1985, after Amati, 1560
David Tayler, archlute by Andreas von Holst, Munich, 2012, after Tieffenbrucker, c1610
Hanneke van Proosdij, baroque organ by Winold van der Putten, Finsterwolde,
Netherlands, 2004, after early 18th-century northern German instruments

Con che soavità, labra odorate,
e vi bacio e v’ascolto;
ma se godo un piacer, l’altro m’è tolto.
Come i vostri diletti
s’ancidono fra lor, se dolcemente
vive per ambedue l’anima mia?
Che soave armonia
fareste, o cari baci, o dolci detti,
se foste unitamente
d’ambedue le dolcezz’ambo capaci,
baciando, i detti, e ragionando, i baci.
With these sweet fragrant lips
I kiss you or listen to you speak
but when I enjoy one pleasure, I am deprived of the other.
How is it that your delights
can exclude each other, if my
soul lives sweetly for both?
Such smooth harmony
you make, dear kisses, oh sweet sayings,
if only you could do both at the same time:
kiss the words and speak the kisses.
—Giovanni Battista Guarini (1538-1612)

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