Nell’oscurità

John Dowland (2 gennaio 1563 - 1626): In darkness let me dwell, ayre. Ellen Hargis, soprano; Jacob Heringman, liuto; Mary Springfels, viol.
Capolavoro di Dowland, il brano fu pubblicato dal figlio del compositore, Robert (1591 - 1641), nella raccolta A Musicall Banquet. Furnished with a varietie of delicious Ayres, Collected out of the best Authors in English, French, Spanish and Italian (Londra 1610).

In darkness let me dwell; the ground shall sorrow be,
The roof despair, to bar all cheerful light from me;
The walls of marble black, that moist’ned still shall weep;
My music, hellish jarring sounds, to banish friendly sleep.
Thus, wedded to my woes, and bedded in my tomb,
O let me living die, till death doth come, till death doth come.


Dowland, Idlmd

My heart of gold

Ogni tanto mi piace ricordare agli amici qual è la mia canzone preferita. Nella mia antologia personale non poteva mancare l’interpretazione di Donna Stewart e Ron Andrico, ossia il duo Mignarda, più volte gradito ospite di questo blog. Buone emozioni a tutti 🙂

Alas, my love, you do me wrong
To cast me off discourteously,
And I have loved you so long,
Delighting in your company.

  Greensleeves was all my joy,
  Greensleeves was my delight,
  Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
  And who but my lady Greensleeves.

I have been ready at your hand,
To grant whatever you would crave;
I have both waged life and land,
Your love and good-will for to have.

I bought thee petticoats of the best,
The cloth so fine as fine might be:
I gave thee jewels for thy chest;
And all this cost I spent on thee.

Thy crimson stockings all of silk,
With gold all wrought above the knee,
Thy pumps as white as was the milk,
And yet thou wouldst not love me.

Well! I will pray to God on high,
That thou my constancy mayst see,
And that, yet once before I die,
Thou wilt vouchsafe to love me!


Where beauty moves and wit delights

Thomas Ford (c1580 – 1648): Since first I saw your face, ayre (*) pubblicato nella raccolta Musicke of Sundrie Kindes (1607). Jolaine Kerley, soprano; Josephine van Lier, viola da gamba; Adam Wead, liuto.

Since first I saw your face I resolv’d
To honour and renown you;
If now I be disdain’d I wish
My heart had never known you.
What I that loved and you that liked,
Shall we begin to wrangle?
No, no, no! my heart is fast
And cannot disentangle.

If I desire or praise you too much,
That fault you may forgive me;
Or if my hands had strayed but a touch,
Then justly might you leave me.
I asked you leave, you bade me love;
Is now the time to chide me?
No, no, no! I’ll love you still,
What fortune e’er betide me.

The Sun, whose beams most glorious are,
Rejecteth no beholder,
And your sweet beauty past compare,
Made my poor eyes the bolder:
Where beauty moves and wit delights,
And signs of kindness bind me,
There, oh there! Where e’er I go
I leave my heart behind me.


Thomas Ford, Since first I saw your face


(*) Per ayre si intende un genere musicale fiorito in Inghilterra tra la fine del Cinquecento (John Dowland, The First Booke of Songes or Ayres of fowre partes with Tableture for the Lute, 1597) e la terza decade del secolo successivo. L’ayre è un brano a più voci (solitamente quattro) con ac­com­pa­gna­mento di liuto; ciò che lo distingue dalle composizioni congeneri del periodo precedente è il fatto che alla voce più acuta è affidata una parte spiccatamente melodica, sul modello della «monodia accompagnata» italiana e dell’air de cour francese. Gli interpreti hanno dunque la possibilità di eseguire un ayre o secondo tradizione, con tutte le parti vocali e con l’ac­com­pa­gna­mento del liuto ad libitum, oppure seguendo la moda dell’epoca, cioè con il canto della sola parte più acuta sostenuto dal liuto. In quest’ultimo caso, al liuto spesso si aggiunge una viola da gamba che ha il compito di irrobustire la linea del basso.

She never will say no


Thomas Campian (o Campion; 12 febbraio 1567-1620): I care not for these ladies, da A Booke of Ayres (1601). Alfred Deller, haute-contre; Desmond Dupré, liuto.

I care not for these ladies
That must be wooed and prayed:
Give me kind Amaryllis,
The wanton country maid.
Nature art disdaineth,
Her beauty is her own.
Her when we court and kiss,
She cries, “Forsooth, let go!”
But when we come where comfort is,
She never will say no.

If I love Amaryllis,
She gives me fruit and flowers:
But if we love these ladies,
We must give golden showers.
Give them gold, that sell love,
Give me the nut-brown lass,
Who, when we court and kiss,
She cries, “Forsooth, let go!”
But when we come where comfort is,
She never will say no.

These ladies must have pillows,
And beds by strangers wrought;
Give me a bower of willows,
Of moss and leaves unbought,
And fresh Amaryllis,
With milk and honey fed;
Who, when we court and kiss,
She cries, “Forsooth, let go!”
But when we come where comfort is,
She never will say no.


Campian - I care not

Elegante paccottiglia per signore


John Dowland (1563 - 1626): Fine knacks for ladies, dal Second Booke of Songs or Ayres (1600). The King’s Singers e The Consort of Musicke, dir. Anthony Rooley.

Fine knacks for ladies, cheap choice, brave and new,
Good penny worths, but money cannot move;
I keep a fair, but for the fair to view;
A beggar may be liberal of love.
  Though all my wares be trash, the heart is true.

Great gifts are guiles, and look for gifts again,
My trifles come as treasures from my mind,
It is a precious jewel to be plain:
Sometimes in shell, the orient pearls we find.
  Of others take a sheaf, of me a grain!

Within the pack: pins, points, laces and gloves,
And diverse toys, fitting a country fair;
But my heart lives [But in my heart], where duty serves and loves:
Turtles and twins, court’s brood, a heav’nly pair.
  Happy the heart that thinks of no removes.


Mi fa morire

John Dowland (1563-20 febbraio 1626): Lasso vita mia, ayre (da A Pilgrimes Solace, 1612). Michael Chance, controtenore; Monica Huggett, violino; Bruce Dickey, cornetto; Paul Beyer, liuto e direzione.

Lasso vita mia, mi fa morire,
Crudel amor mio cor consume,
Da mille ferite, che mi fa morir.
Ahi me, deh, che non mi fa morire.
Crudel amor mi fa sofrir mille martire.


Dowland - Lasso vita mia p. 1

A Musicall Banquet – III

John Dowland (1563 - 1626): Lady if you so spite me, ayre. Martyn Hill, tenore; Anthony Rooley, liuto; Trevor Jones, viol.
Il brano fu pubblicato dal figlio del compositore, Robert (1591 - 1641), nella raccolta A Musicall Banquet. Furnished with a varietie of delicious Ayres, Collected out of the best Authors in English, French, Spanish and Italian (Londra 1610).

Lady if you so spight me,
Wherfore do you so oft kisse and delight mee?
Sure that my hart opprest and overcloyed,
May breake thus overjoyde,
If you seeke to spill mee,
Come kisse me sweet and kill mee,
So shal your hart be eased,
And I shall rest content and dye well pleased.


Dowland, Liyssm