Monteverdi: Zefiro Torna; Thomas Cooley & Christopher LeCluyse with Voices of Music

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Monteverdi’s incomparable setting of Ottavio Rinuccini’s “Zefiro Torna,” the Western Wind. Enjoy the delightful word-painting as it flows by, such as the echoing highs and lows of “monti” (mountains) and “valli” (valleys); the ripples of “mormorondo” (murmuring) and the ever-dancing ciaccona. Featuring Thomas Cooley & Christopher LeCluyse, tenors; Elisabeth Reed, baroque cello, Katherine Heater, chamber organ; Hanneke van Proosdij, harpsichord; David Tayler, baroque guitar. Live video from the San Francisco Early Music Ensemble Voices of Music “Zefiro Torna” Concert, 2009.

Zefiro torna e di soavi accenti
l’aer fa grato e’il pié discioglie a l’onde
e, mormoranda tra le verdi fronde,
fa danzar al bel suon su’l prato i fiori.
Inghirlandato il crin Fillide e Clori
note temprando lor care e gioconde
e da monti e da valli ime e profonde
raddoppian l’armonia gli antri canori.
Sorge più vaga in ciel l’aurora, e’l sole,
sparge più luci d’or; più puro argento
fregia di Teti il bel ceruleo manto.

Sol io, per selve abbandonate e sole,
l’ardor di due belli occhi e’l mio tormento,
come vuol mia ventura, hor piango hor canto.

The Western Wind returns, and with gentle touch
Renews the air and sweeps his foot across the waves
And makes the green branches sing softly
Makes the flowers of the field dance the sweet sound;
Crowns with garlands Phyllis and Chloris
Tempers their love with just note and accent,
From mountains high and valleys deep
And from caverns that echo with harmony
Dawn soars into the heavens, and the sun
Radiates beams of gold, and purest silver
Adorns the azure cloak of Thetis.
But I, abandoned and alone,
Sing and weep for the two beautiful eyes
That are my torment and fate.
–David Tayler


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