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by Bartolomeo Tromboncino (c. 1470-1535)

Among Tromboncino's relatively small output of laude, or devotional songs, this setting of the passionate poetry of Francesco Petrarch (1304 – 1374) uses gentle but consistent pulse in contrast to the earlier, more complex setting by Guillaume DuFay (c.1397 – 1474), which is also available as a single by Mignarda.


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.




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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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