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Sfumato: Musica per voce e liuto del Rinascimento Italiano

by Mignarda

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Sfumato, Mignarda's 8th CD, is a profound and passionate interpretation of forward-looking music for voice and lute from 16th century Italy. With its crystalline sound, the CD is a distillation of the artists' immersion in the ethos of an era.

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released 21 June 2011

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Mignarda Danby, New York

Mignarda specializes in thoughtful programming illuminating the vibrant mingling of renaissance music & poetry. Noted for awakening modern audiences to an appreciation for historical music, their work encompasses concertizing, teaching & recording, with ten critically-acclaimed CDs, a series of 12 music editions, scholarly articles, reviews and the internationally-popular blog, Unquiet Thoughts. ... more

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Track Name: Vergine bella
Vergine bella, che di sol vestita,
coronata di stelle, al sommo Sole
piacesti sí, che 'n te Sua luce ascose,
amor mi spinge a dir di te parole:
ma non so 'ncominciar senza tu' aita,
et di Colui ch'amando in te si pose.
Invoco lei che ben sempre rispose,
chi la chiamò con fede:
Vergine, s'a mercede miseria extrema de l'humane cose
già mai ti volse, al mio prego t'inchina,
soccorri a la mia guerra,
bench'i' sia terra,
et tu del ciel regina.

Vergine pura, d'ogni parte intera,
del tuo parto gentil figliuola et madre,
ch'allumi questa vita, et l'altra adorni,
per te il tuo figlio, et quel del sommo Padre,
o fenestra del cielo lucente altera,
venne a salvarne in su li extremi giorni;
et fra tutti terreni altri soggiorni
sola tu fosti electa,
Vergine benedetta,
che 'l pianto d'Eva in allegrezza torni.
Fammi, ché puoi, de la Sua gratia degno,
senza fine o beata, già coronata nel superno regno.



Virgin fair, arrayed in the sun, crowned with stars,
You who found such favor with the highest Sun that He hid his light in you,
Love drives me to speak of you.
But I cannot even begin without your aid
and the aid of Him who established Himself in you.
I invoke her who has always answered those
Who called upon her with faith.
Lady, if extreme misery in things of earth
ever turned you to pity,
Bend down to to my prayer, help me in my struggle
Though I be clay,
and you the Queen of heaven!

Virgin pure, perfect in every part;
Noble daughter and mother of your gentle Child,
You who lighten this life and adorn the other:
Your son, Son of the Father,
Through you (o shining window of heaven)
Came to redeem us at the final day!
And God among all dwellings of the earth
Selected you alone,
Blessed virgin,
who turns the tears of Eve to rejoicing:
O make me worthy His grace,
O blessed without end, you crowned in heaven above.
Track Name: Che debbo far?
What shall I do? What do you counsel me, Love?
It is surely time to die,
and I have delyed more than I would wish.
My lady is dead, and has my heart with her,
And if I wish to follow it
I must break off these cruel years,
For I never hope to see her on this side,
And waiting is painful to me,
since by her departure my every joy is turned to weeping,
every sweeness of my life is taken away.

Love, you feel how great is the bitter heavy loss,
And therefore I complain to you;
and I know that you are pained by my grief –
Or rather ours,
for we have wrecked our ship on the same rock
And in the same instant the sun is darkened for us both.
What skill could ever match in words my sorrowful state?
Ah! Bereaved, ungrateful world!
You have great reason to weep with me,
for with her you have lost all the good that was in you.
Track Name: O passi sparsi
O passi sparsi, o pensier vaghi et pronti,
o tenace memoria, o fero ardore,
o possente desire, o debil core,
o occhi miei (occhi non già, ma fonti);

o fronde, onor de le famose fronti,
o sola insegna al gemino valore;
o faticosa vita, o dolce errore,
che mi fate ir cercando piagge et monti;

o bel viso, ove Amore inseme pose
gli sproni e ‘l fren ond’ el mi punge et volve
come a lui piace, e calcitrar non vale;

o anime gentili et amorose,
s’ alcuna à ‘l mondo, et voi, nude ombre et polve:
deh, ristate a veder quale é ‘l mio male!


O scattered steps, O yearning, ready thoughts,
O tenacious memory, O savage ardor,
O powerful desire, O feeble heart,
O my eyes (not eyes, but fountains);

O leaves, the honor of famous brows,
O sole ensign of the twin deservings,
O laborious life, O sweet error,
which make me go seeking across shores and mountains;

O lovely face where Love has put
Both the spurs and the rein with which he rakes nd turns me as he pleases, and no kicking avails;

O noble loving souls, i there are any in the world,
and you, naked shadows and dust:
Ah, stay to see what my suffering is!
Track Name: Quando Amor i begli occhi
Quando Amor i belli occhi a terra inchina,
e i vaghi spirti in un sospiro accoglie
co le sue mani, et poi in voce gli scioglie
chiara, soave, angelica, divina,

sento far del mio cor dolce rapina
et sí dentro cangiar penseri et voglie
ch’ í’ dico: “Or fien di me l’ultime spoglie:
se ‘l ciel sí onesta morte mi destina.”



When Love bends her lovely eyes to the ground
and with his on hands gathers together
her wandering breath into a sigh
and then looses it in a clear, soft, angelic, divine voice,

I feel my heart sweetly stolen away
and my thoughts and desires so change within me
that I say: “Now comes the final plundering of me,
if Heaven reserves me for so virtuous a death.”