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By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, when we remembered you, O Zion. As for our harps, we hung them up on the trees in the midst of that land.

Psalm 137 Book of Common Prayer

in the midst of that land. Psalm 137 Book of Common Prayer 20 C O N





―…squisita musica strumentale ed eccellente musica vocale.‖ Pompilio Totti Ritratto di Roma 1638

musica vocale.‖ Pompilio Totti Ritratto di Roma 1638 SUPER FLUMINA BABILONIS Lenten Motets and Oratories Music


Lenten Motets and Oratories

Music of Bonifazio Graziani & Giacomo Carissimi

Sopranos I

The Singers

Sopranos II


Diane Koschak

Carrie Henneman Shaw

Jerry J. Hinks

Kathryn Higgins

Bridget Higgins

Brian Link

Julie Seykora

Beth Nunnally

Marsha Smith


Tim Nelson

Robert Pontious

Steve Staruch


Garrick Comeaux Tim Higgins Ben Henry-Moreland Douglas Shambo II


Scott Hagarty

Baroque Trombones

John Tranter, alto sackbut

Dan Bussian, tenor sackbut

John Weaver, bass sackbut

The Players

Basso Continuo

Thomas E. Walker, Jr. theorbo Mary Virginia Burke, viola da gamba Steve Germana, viola da gamba Mark Kausch, violone Liam Gilson, fagotto

special guest artist

Annalisa Pappano, lirone


Peter Hendrickson


Garrick Comeaux


Consortium Carissimi ——— Board Members ——– Robert Pontious, President Beth Nunnally, Treasurer David Seykora, Secretary Consortium Carissimi is a a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization P.O. Box 40533 Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 Tel. 612.822.1376

And extraordinary gratitude to donors who have provided financial support during this debut season

Patricia and Mark Bauer Phillip Brunelle Ann and David Buran Patricia Cadwell Garrick Comeaux Elisabeth Comeaux Edna Erickson Rob Foy Dr. Ronald French Bob Hickcox and Jackie Henry Robert and Sigrid Johnson Mark and ???? Kausch Bernhard Marzell Tim and Kathy Nelson Ann Nickoloff Pat and Beth Nunnally Martin O’Connell and Mary Fischer Patrick and Kathy Romey David and Julie Seykora Everett Lavern Sutton Dale Talley John Andreasen and Yancey Thrift David and Connie Triplett Lani Willis


Super flumina Babilonis is set for four voices (SSAT) and Basso continuo and the text is based primarily on Psalm 136 in dialogue with sections of Psalm 150. A facsimile of the first page has been placed on the back cover of this concert program. This motet and Parce heu, pace mi, (for four voices SSAB and Basso continuo) which will be heard later in the program, are dialogue motets that were probably not heard within any liturgical context, but rather in the para-liturgical atmosphere of the oratory, (San Filippo Neri at the Chiesa Nuova and of course the Santissimo Crocifisso near via del Corso). Fridays in Lent were especially popular for Roman Catholics and these events of great music and fine preaching were considered to be spiritual exercises for the upcoming Holy Week and the Easter Feast.

Carissimi’s Oratorio Baltazar Assyriorum Rex (for five voices SSATB and Basso continuo) is the story of King Belshazzar, his feast, and the unfortunate writing on the wall. The text is based on the story from the Book of the Prophet Daniel (Chapter 5). This theatrical piece sets the listener in the midst of a great feast with a very simple musical composition form. (It is good theater.) Note the difference in style from his Motets. The dialogue that ensues between Belshazzar and Daniel prompted me to set the figured bass ensemble with a lirone. A lirone is shaped like a viola da gamba and has frets but it has 12 strings and a flat bridge which permits it to play chords between three and five notes. This wonderful instrument was primarily used in Italy during the late 16th and early 17th centuries to provide continuo, or harmony for the accompaniment of vocal music.

Tonight, playing the lirone, is Annalisa Pappano who studied at Indiana University's Early Music Institute (Wendy Gillespie) and at Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Catharina Meints). Her playing has been described by critics as "mercurial and enchanting" and "with a sound that is lighter than air with the airy luster of gilding on the mirrors of a rococo drawing room." She has performed throughout Belgium and the U.S. and has appeared on nationally syndicated radio. Pappano is a member of Baroque Northwest (Seattle), the Oberlin Consort of Viols, and Les Plaisirs Durables (Brussels, Belgium), and has performed with numerous other ensembles including the Houston Grand Opera, the Cleveland Opera, Opera Atelier (Toronto), American Opera Theater, Cappella Artemisia with Bruce Dickey (Bologna, Italy), Camerata Pacifica Baroque, La Donna Musicale, Mélomanie, Le Nuove Musiche, and Bella Voce. She has taught at Viola da Gamba Society of America national conclaves, the Viola da Gamba Society Pacific Northwest and Northeast chapters, the San Diego Early Music Workshop, ViolsWest, the Madison Early Music Workshop, and has been a guest lecturer at numerous universities. Pappano led the Catacoustic Consort to win the grand prize in the Naxos / Early Music America Live Recording Competition and recorded a program of Italian laments on the Naxos label. This season finds Pappano teaching viola da gamba at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and teaching historical performance practice at Miami University.

L’Oratorio Filii prodigii (for four voices SSTB and Basso continuo) is based on the parable of the Prodigal Son, found in Luke’s Gospel (15:1-32). Sustinuimus pacem comes from a Seminary Library in Kroměříž in Moravia of the Czech Republic. Sustinuimus pacem is composed of two responsorio texts that come from the Offices for the 1 st Sunday in November. The rest of the text is a free composition, either on the part of Graziani himself or a Jesuit colleague at Il Gesù, where he was employed, as Maestro di Cappella.

We have set up the Roman Oratorio in the midst of a Minnesota winter with exquisite instrumental music and excellent vocal music. The only original element missing in this concert program was the preaching. It would seem to be indeed superfluous.

Garrick Comeaux, Artistic Director


Friday, February 29th 2008 ▪ 7:30pm ▪ Trinity Church, Excelsior Saturday, March 1st 2008 ▪ 7:00pm ▪ St. Mary’s Chapel at St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul Sunday, March 2nd 2008 ▪ 7:00pm ▪ Hoversten Chapel at Augsburg College, Minneapolis


Bonifazio Graziani

1604 - 1664

Giacomo Carissimi

1605 - 1674

Giacomo Carissimi

L’Oratorio Adae

for four voices and Basso continuo

Mottetto Super flumina Babilonis

for four voices and Basso continuo

L’Oratorio Baltazar Assyriorum Rex for five voices, two violins and Basso continuo

————— An interval of 15 minutes —————

Giacomo Carissimi

Bonifazio Graziani

Giacomo Carissimi

Mottetto Parce heu, parce iam for four voices and Basso continuo

L’Oratorio Filii prodigii for four voices, two violins and Basso continuo

Mottetto Sustinuimus pacem for six voices and Basso continuo




―…squisita musica strumentale ed eccellente musica vocale.‖ Pompilio Totti Ritratto di Roma 1638


Consortium Carissimi was founded in Rome in 1996 with the intent of uncovering and bringing to modern day ears the long forgotten Italian-Roman sacred and secular music of the 16 th and especially the 17 th century. Among the various types of music that flourished in Rome during the 17 th century, the Oratories of Giacomo Carissimi are perhaps examples of the most outstanding form of composition of that time. Consortium Carissimi proudly takes on his name as a means for performance practice in both concerts and recordings, moving ahead in the area of the manuscript transcription and the performances of his little known Motets and Cantatas.

Alongside the works of Carissimi, the ensemble also proposes music of his contemporaries, which was often mistaken as music of Carissimi either for the similar style or for its simple, fresh new approach to text, melody and accompaniment. Dedicating much of the research and concert activity to composers like Graziani, Rossi, Pasquini and Sances, Consortium Carissimi assures not only extremely interesting Concert Programming, but provides a clearer picture of the musical fermentation of the Early Roman Baroque.

This repertory, wrongly forgotten and heard very little today, even within musicological-performance circles, offers examples of the high level of musical creativity of the time and certainly no less excellent than the European output of the 18 th century. Of great importance is the performance of sacred and secular music transcribed from manuscript or early print sources, which come from libraries located all over Europe. This work, which is done by its founder Garrick Comeaux, allows Consortium Carissimi to program World Premier Concerts and Recordings. The musical style, the affects of the texts, the ornamentation and the choice of the figured bass instruments are objects of continuous research. It is however right within these parameters that Consortium Carissimi finds its reason for existence and finds the vital energy necessary for the continuing research and performance practice.

The Italian Consortium Carissimi ensemble consists primarily of a small nucleus: three male vocal specialists, Fabio Furnari, tenor; Marco Scavazza, baritone; yours truly as bass singer, and Vittorio Zanon, organ and musical direction; Pietro Prosser, theorbo; and Crisitiano Contadin, viola da gamba. This Italian ensemble truly helped build the solid foundation for introducing Consortium Carissimi to North America.

Today you will hear the larger formation of the stateside ensemble of Consortium Carissimi. Much of the Carissimi repertory in fact requires more mixed voices and additional instruments, as is in the case of this evening’s concert. It is our hope to pursue the performance of these larger works of this era with this phenomenal stateside ensemble, as well as to continue musical collaboration with our Italian friends.

These first performances of Consortium Carissimi USA are dedicated to all of them.


—————— This evening’s performance ——————

Today, unfortunately, not one autograph manuscript of Giacomo Carissimi is to be found in Rome or anywhere for that matter. The first attempt to search seriously for them was done by Pietro Alfieri (1801- 1863) who published his findings in the Gazzetta musicale di Milano in 1851 and again in 1855. Alfieri concluded that the suppression of the Society of Jesus (1773) caused an enormous upheaval at the College where Carissimi taught and where the manuscripts were most likely sold as waste paper to the cheese mongers at the Campo de’ fiori open market. The French occupation in Rome (1798-1799) also caused the pillaging of many archives which contained this sacred music. Already in 1851, Alfieri underscores the fact that those manuscripts which survived are due to the enthusiasm and diligence of those who were students of Carissimi, and to those scholars who came to Italy and collected music.

Since there are no existing autograph Motet manuscripts of Giacomo Carissimi, all manuscripts that have been transcribed by Consortium Carissimi are transcriptions themselves of Carissimi’s contemporaries. These transcriptions of both sacred and secular music come from Library Manuscripts or Early Printed Editions, and as a consequence, much if not all of this music has not been performed and heard since. Any endeavour to accurately account for this music would be difficult without the enormous work done by Prof. Andrew V. Jones in his Doctoral Dissertation Motets of Carissimi Oxford University 1980, British studies in musicology no.5; a revision of the author’s thesis, produced and distributed by UMI Research Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA).

More than 200 Motets have been attributed to Carissimi over the years but Prof. Jones’ exhaustive work has helped in clearing much of the confusion concerning the correct authorship of numerous Motets (Cazzati, Foggia, Sances and Graziani). When close scrutiny is applied in the quest for authenticity, many Motets still remain of uncertain attribution. All of the music you music you will hear is definitely of the hand of Carissimi and Graziani.

Bonifazio Graziani is perhaps one of the best kept secrets of the early Roman Baroque period. Discerning authorship of his music is not as problematic as it is with Carissimi’s, since most of his efforts were conveniently published, by his brother, Graziano. His oratories however were never printed and published, consequently only two of his survive in manuscript form and are safely kept in Library of the Conservatorio Statale di Musica G.B. Martini in Bologna Italy. You will hear both of them.

The doubling of voices and instruments was a common creative liberty of the Renaissance that carried over into the early Baroque. Much of what you will near will be vocal lines doubled with a cornetto or a sackbut.

We open this program with Graziani’s Oratorio Adae (for four voices SSTB and Basso continuo). All three of the oratories are similar in that the Textus or Historicus (Evangelist or Narrator) is given to different solo voices throughout and at times set for 2, 3, 4 or 5 voices. The Adae Oratorio differs from the others in that it has no sinfonie. The sinfonie were not always composed by the composer of the work and consequently they were often taken from other compositions.

I was struck by the particular beauty of the final section of Carissimi’s Motet Super flumina and could hear it played, not sung, by four instruments. This newly invented sinfonia will be heard several times throughout the program and the Motet (with instruments doubling the voices) will be heard in its entirety immediately after Adae.


Mottetto Sustinuimus pacem for six voices and Basso continuo

Giacomo Carissimi

Sustinuimus pacem et non venit; quaesimus bona, et ecce turbatio. We wait for peace and it fails to come; we seek what is good, and behold, confusion. Cognovimus, Domine, peccata nostra; peccavimus. We acknowledge our sins, O Lord; we have sinned. Impii gessimus, peccavimus, iniquitatem fecimus in omni iustitiam tuam. We have acted wickedly, we have sinned, we have committed iniquity against your righteousness. Aspice, Domine, de sede sancta tua, et miserere nostri. Lord, look down from your holy seat and have mercy on us. Inclina, Deus meus, aurem tuam ad preces nostras, Incline your ear, my God, to our prayers. Aperi oculos et vide tribulationem nostram et esto placabilis super nequitia populi tui. Open your eyes and see our tribulation and be gentle toward the sins of your people. Clamemus ad Dominum, et misericordiam tuam fusis lachrimis postulemus. We will call unto the Lord, and we will require your mercy with the tears we have poured forth. Humiliemus illi animas nostras ut benedicat nos in aeternum. We will bow our spirits to him that he may bless us forever.

We will bow our spirits to him that he may bless us forever. A special thanks

A special thanks for this evening’s performance

to Rev. W. Andrew Waldoand the community of Trinity Episcopal Church, to Fr. Tom Margevicius, our host at the St. Paul Seminary to Rev. W. Andrew Waldo, our host at Augsburg College to Robert Foy with Latin text translations, and to Bill Mathis and Hennepin United Methodist Church for the use of the portative organ.


Program Notes and Latin Text Translations

L’Oratorio Adae


Bonifazio Graziani (1604 - 1664)

—— Pars prima ——

Heva, Mater viventium sedebat secus arborem, de cuius fructu Dominus praeceperat ne tangeret. Tunc ergo serpens callidus ascendens super arborem sic ait, sic ait ad mulierem. Eve, the Mother of all living things, was sitting near the tree whose fruit the Lord had commanded her not to touch. So then the cunning serpent, climbing up the tree, said, thus said, to the woman.


Quare, quare, Heva, praecepit nobis Dominus ut non comederetis de omni ligno Paradisi? Why, why, Eve, has the Lord commanded that we may not eat from all the trees in the Garden?


De fructo lignorum quae sunt in Paradiso vescimur, de fructo vero ligni quod est in Medio Paradisi, praecepit nobis Deus ne comederemus et non tangeremus illud. We may feed upon the fruit of every tree in the Garden save the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the Garden; God commanded us not to eat of that and not to touch it.



Quare, quare, Heva, de fructo ligni quod est in medio Paradisinon comedetis et non tangetis illud. Why, why, Eve, may you not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the Garden, neither touch it?



Fructum ligni non comederemus, ne forte, ne forte moriamur. We may not eat of the fruit of that tree lest by chance, lest by chance we should die.


Nequaquam, nequaquam moriemini, sed sicut Deus eritis scientes bonum et malum. Quampulcher est, quam dulcis est hic fructus arboris, quam bonus est. Heva, tolle, carpe pomum, gustefructum arboris. Visu pulcher, tactu blandus, gusta dulcis fructus est. By no means, by no means will you die, but you will be as God, knowing good and evil. How lovely it is, how sweet is the fruit of the tree here, how good it is! Eve, pick, seize the apple, taste the fruit of the tree. Lovely to see, pleasant to touch, sweet to taste is the fruit!



Ergo erimus sicut Deus scientes bonum et malum? Will we then be as God, knowing good and evil?


Bonum et malum sicut Deus sic scienteseritis. Dulcis scientia, filia, divinitas quae nos caelicolum aequabit Domino. Yes, you will be as God, knowing good and evil. Sweet knowledge is the divintiy that will make as equal to the Lord of those who dwell in the Heaven.


Vere pulcher, vere dulcis, vere fructus bonus est, vere fructus bonus est. Truly lovely, truly sweet, truly good is the fruit, truly good is the fruit!


Age pulchrum, Adam, pomum, dulce pomum comede, Heva pomum quod comedit. Heva pomum porigit. Come, Adam, eat the lovely apple, the sweet apple, the apple that Eve ate. Eve is offering you the apple.


Moriemur, moriemur hoc si fructu vescimur,moriemur Adam, morti commeratus est Deus. We will die, we will die if we feed upon this fruit, we will die!


Ada, quid dubitas, quid dubitas? Ubi mors est si fructus arboris tam dulcis est? Adam, why to you hesitate, why hesitate? Where is death if the fruit of the tree is so sweet?


Dulcis hic igitur fructus est arboris? Non hic mors est si fructus arboris tam dulcis est. So the fruit of the tree here is sweet? Death is not here if the fruit of the tree is so sweet.


Comedamus ergo, comedamus ergo pomum, dulce pomum arboris. Non hic mors est si fructus arboris tam dulcis est. Then let me eat, then let us eat the apple, the tree’s sweet apple. Death is not here if the fruit of the tree is so sweet.


O amara dulcitudo, o voluptas paricida! Dulce pomum quod venanat, quod mortales funerat. Heva gustat, gustat Adam, et cum Heva et cum Adam, heu nos omnes funerat! O bitter sweetness, o traitorous pleasure! Sweet apple that poisons, that kills mortal beings. Eve tastes, and Adam, and along with Eve, along with Adam alas! it kills us all.



Indignatus est autem et nolebat introire; pater autem coepit rogare illum. He was angry, however, and refused to go in; so his father began to admonish him.


"Filli mi, ingredere epulare nobiscum; tu quoque gaude et laetare." ―My son, come in and feast with us; you, too, rejoice and be glad.‖


Iam cinge novis lumina radiis, iam cinge novis pectora gaudiis. Now adorn your eyes with fresh smiles, now adorn your heart with fresh joys.


"Pater mi, ecce tot annis servio tibi et mandatum tuum non praeterivi. Nunquam dedisti mihi haedum, et huic occidisti vitulum saginatum." ―My Father, lo! I serve you for so many years, and I have not forgotten your commandment. Never have you given me a goat, but you have killed the fatted calf for him.‖


"Fili mi, tu semper mecum es et omnia mea tua; gaudere oportebat quia frater tuus mortuus erat et revixit, perierat et inventus est." ―My son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours; it was fitting to rejoice since your brother was dead and is now alive, was lost and now is found.‖


Mundi linquite vincula, mundi spernite commoda. Abandon the world’s chains, spurn the world’s rewards.

Ad cor reddite, reddite iam, vocat Deus. Adherere Deo bonum est. Turn again to your heart, now turn again, God bids. It is good to cling to God.

Frustra delicias amat, frustra delicias cupit perque lusus, perque risus, frustra vagatur orbe mens. It is vain for the mind to love pleasure, vain to want pleasure by way of amusements, by way of laughter, vain to wander around the earth.

Ad cor reddite, reddite iam, vocat Deus. Adherere Deo bonum est. Turn again to your heart, now turn again, God bids. It is good to cling to God.



Exultemus quia mortuus erat et revixit, perierat et inventus est. Let us rejoice, because he was dead and is alive, he was lost and is found.


Et epulabantur et laudabunt Dominum in hymnis et canticis et cytharis. And they feasted and praised the Lord in hymns and songs upon the harp.


O fletus felices o planctus beati, qui vultus rigatis parentis et nati; fugate iam fletus, querelas fugate; iam parens et natus iam visus invenit. O happy weeping, o blessed mourning that makes wet the faces of parent and child; now cease your weeping, cease your grieving; now both parent and child have found their vision.

O fontes felices, pupilla beata, qui visus rigatis parentis nati fugate iam fletus, amplexus amate, iam parens et natus iam visus invenit. O happy sources of water, blessed pupils, that make wet the sight of parent and child, now cease weeping, cherish embracing, now that parent and child see each other again.


Gaudium est in caelo, super uno peccatore poenitentiam agente. There is joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents.


—— Pars secunda ——

Erat autem filius senior in agro et, cum adpropinquaret, audivit symphoniam et chorum. Now the elder son was in the field, and when he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing.


Satis errorum, satis maerorum! Annecte propero iam collo vincula. Enough wandering, enough sorrowing! Quickly circle his neck with gold chains.

Optata proles, cur tantum doles? Accurre propero iam pacis oscula. Chosen offspring, why do you fret so much? Quickly bestow the kiss of peace.


"Quid hoc audio? Symphoniam audio in domo Patris mei. Quid haec sunt? Indica, indica mihi!" ―Why do I hear this? I hear music in my father’s house. What is all this? Tell me, tell me!‖


"Frater tuus venit et gaudet pater, quia salvum illum recepit." ―Your brother has come home, and your father rejoices because he has received him home safe.‖



—— Pars secunda ——

Adam, Adam, ubi es, ubi es Adam? Adam, Adam, where are you, where are you, Adam?


Vocem tuam, Domine, audivi in Paradiso et timui eo quod nudus essem et abscondi me. Your voice, O Lord, I heard in the garden, and I feared it because I am naked, and I hid myself.


Nudus es, et te abscondes? Cur mandatum violasti? Cur de fructo comedisti quod praeceperam ne tangere? You are naked and are hiding yourself? Why have you broken my commandment? Why have you eaten of the fruit that I forbade you to touch?


Mulier quam dedisti mihi sociam dedit mihi de ligno et comedi. The woman whom you gave me for a companion gave it to me from the tree and I did eat.


Quare, Heva, quare pomum comedisti? Et quare Adam tradidisti? Why, Eve, why did you eat the fruit? And why did you give it to Adam?


Serpens callidus, serpens callidus, decepit me; pulcrum visu, tactu blandum, dulce gustu, pomum tradidit. Ille dictis, ille dictis me decepit serpens callidus. The cunning serpent, the cunning serpent deceived me; an apple lovely to see, pleasant to touch,


sweet to taste he gave me.

With words, with words, the cunning serpent deceived me.

Maledictus eris serpens et super te descendet maledictio; super pectus gradieris et pulverem comedis. Inimicus eris feminae et insidiaberis calcaneo eius, ipsa vera conteret caput tuum. You will be cursed, serpent, and upon you a curse will come:

you shall go upon your belly and dust shall you eat. You will be the woman’s enemy, and you will ambush her heel, and she will bruise your head.


O mendacem, o protervum anguem, Hevae deceptorem, repertorum scelerum. Reptabis putore, tellurem comedis, tibi cum femina non erit pax. Dum tu calcaneo insidiabris, cervicem tumidam calcabit pes. O lying, shameless snake, Eve’s deceiver, inventor of sins! You will crawl and smell, you will eat earth, there will be no peace for you with the women. Though you will ambush her heel, her foot will trample your proud neck.



In aerumnis, Heva, vives, et conceptam sinu prolem in dolore paries. Viro servies et ipse in te dominabitur. You will dwell in hardship, Eve, and in sorrow you will bring forth the offspring conceived in your womb. You will serve your husband, and he will be your master.


Vives, semper in aerumnis et conceptam Hevae prolem, in dolore paries, Ne viro pare, viro servi, servi semper nunquam impera. You will always live in hardship and you will bear Eve’s offspring in sorrow. Never think yourself your husband’s equal, serve your husband, always serve him, never rule him.


Maledicta terra in opere tuo, Adam, maledicta terra sit, terrae fructus in labore, in sudore comedis. Tibi tribulos et spinas terra semper germinet donec moriens in terra revertaris pulverem. Quia sumptus es de terra, quia pulvis, Adam, es Cursed by the ground when you work it, Adam, cursed by the ground; in labor, in sweat will you eat the fruits of the earth. For you the earth will bring forth thorns and thistles until, dying, you return to dust in the earth. For you were taken from the earth and, Adam, you are dust.


Terrae fructus in labore, semper, Adam, comedis, Terra tribulos et spinas tibi semper, semper germinet, donec moriens in terra revertaris pulverem. Quia sumptus es de terra, quia pulvis, Adam, es. By labor always, Adam, you will eat the earth’s fruits. Always, always the earth will bring forth thorns and thistles until, dying, you return to dust in the earth. For you were taken from the earth and, Adam, you are dust.


O dolentis, o gementis, o mortalium parentis, paricidas miseros! Tristis Adam morietur, morietur Heva gemens, et labores et dolores ad sepulcrum inferant. O grieving, o sighing, parents of humankind, miserable traitors! Adam will die in sadness, Eve will die sighing, and labors and griefs will take them to the grave.


Pauca pomi dulcitudo, quanta, quanta amaritudo heu, heu, facta cunctis est! How little sweetness, how much, how much bitterness alas, alas! an apple brought to all!

bitterness – alas, alas! – an apple brought to all! 8 L’Oratorio Filii prodigii T EXTUS


L’Oratorio Filii prodigii


—— Pars prima ——

Bonifazio Graziani

Homo quidam habuit duos filios et dixit adulescentior patri, A certain man had two sons, and the younger one said to his father,


"Rogo te, Pater mi, da mihi portionem substantiae quae mihi contingit, Pater, Pater mi." ―I beg you, my Father, give me the share of property that falls to me, Father, my Father.‖


"Accipe, fili, portionem substantiae tuae et vade quocunque, quocunque volueris." ―Receive, Son, the share of property that is yours and go wherever, wherever you wish.‖


Et peregre profectus est, et dissipavit substantiam et facta est fames valida, in se autem reversus dixit, And he set out for a faraway land and wasted his property, and a great famine arose; but, having come to himself, he said,


"Quanti mercennarii in domo patris mei abundant panibus; ego autem hic fame pereo, surgam et ibo ad patrem meum." ―How many of the hired servants in my father’s house have plenty of bread; I, however, am dying of hunger here, and I will go to my father.‖



Surrexit et venit ad Patrem suum. He arose and went to his father.

"Pater peccavi in caelum et coram te, iam non sum dignus vocari filius tuus, fac me sicut unum de mercennariis tuis. Parce, parce Peccavi, Pater, respice maestae funere vitae. Heu! cadentem suscipe natum. Heu! dolentem exuo vitam. Peccavi, parce, ah parce." Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you; I am now unworthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants. Spare me, spare me. I have sinned, Father, pity the wreck of a wretched life. Alas, rescue your fallen son. Alas, I draw out a life of grief. I have sinned, spare me, ah spare me.‖


"Fili mi, da mihi osculum, fili mi. Cito profere stolam primam et date anulum in manum eius et manducemus et epulemur, quia filius meus mortuus erat et revixit, perierat et inventus est." ―My son, look at me, my son. Quickly, bring the best robe and put a ring on his hand and let us eat and let us feast, because my son was dead and now lives, he was lost and now is found.‖


Therefore, remember, o nations! How greatly the instability of mortal things turns us about and all at once brings down to the depths the heads of those who reign. Therefore, o nations, remember!

À due

Fortunae mendacis tenor instabilis, et muni fallacis favor mutabilis, et vitae fugacis spes variabilis, nunc funestas, nunc felices, alternat vices, et gyro ancipiti, cursu praecipiti cum in sublime rapitur, subito labitur. The wavering course of deceitful fortune, and the mutable favor of false show, and the variable hope of fleeting life change now into mournful, now into happy times, and in their alternating cycles are taken quickly up on high but suddenly, suddenly come tumbling down.


Felix ille qui labiles mundi descipit glorias, superbientis aulae non elatus favoribus, non inflatus honoribus, sed soli Dei gratiae, soli caeli praesidio securo corde nititur. Happy is he who has renounced the slippery glories of the world, who has not been lifted up by the favors of a haughty palace, not been puffed up with honors, but who with a firm heart strives for the grace of God alone and for the certain aid of Heaven.

Mottetto Parce heu, parce iam

Giacomo Carissimi

Parce heu, parce iam, O Jesu mi, Spare, alas, spare now, O my Jesus, nostra peccata quaeso, our sins, I pray, quia nos redemisti tuo proprio sanguine. because you have redeemed us with your very own blood. Ne nos obliviscaris in hac lachrymarum valle, Do not forget us in the vale of tears, ah, dulcis Jesu Christe. ah, sweet Jesus Christ. Sine tuo iuvamini damnati sumus, Without your help we are lost. parce heu, parce iam, O Jesu mi. Spare us, alas, spare us now, O my Jesus. Felix est ille qui credit solum in te Domine, Happy is he who trusts only in you, Lord. Sit vera fides, sit verum gaudium. May that be the true faith, the true joy. Omnia vanitas est in hoc mundo. All is vanity in this world. Parce heu, parce iam, O Jesu mi. Spare us, alas, spare us now, O my Jesus.


Mottetto Super flumina Babilonis

Giacomo Carissimi (1605 - 1674)

Super flumina Babylonis illic sedimus et flevimus dum recordaremur tuis Sion. By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept when we remembered Sion. Cantate nobis canticum Domini dicite verba cantionem Israel. Sing for us the Lord’s song, speak the words of the songs of Israel. Quomodo cantabimus canticum Domini in terra aliena? How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? Precinite nobis cantica Jerusalem in voce iucunditatis et exultationis. Sing forth for us the songs of Jerusalem in a voice of joy and exaltation. Adherit lingua mea faucibus meis. My tongue clears to the roof of my mouth. Laboravi clamans raucae factae sunt fauces meae. I have cried out as I labored; my voice has become hoarse. Sumite psalmum et date tympanum, psalterium iucundum cum cithara et organis. Render us a psalm and give us the drum, the joyous psaltery, with the harp and other instruments. Suspendimus organa nostra, versa est in luctum cithara nostra. We have hung up our instruments, our harps are turned to mourning. Bucinate in neomenia tuba in organis et cimbalis iubilationis. Blow on the horn, play on the instruments and cymbals of rejoicing. Canite tuba, pulsate tympano et psalite cordis et organo. Sound the trumpet, beat the drum, and play upon the strings and the organ.

L’Oratorio Baltazar Assyriorum Rex

Historicus Tenor

—— Pars prima ——

Giacomo Carissimi

Baltazar, Assyriorum rex opulentissimus, optimatibus suis mille splendidum apparavit convivium, superbo luxu et lautissimis epulis magnifice instructum; dulcisonis interim cytharaedorum vocibus plaudentibus et tale carmen modulantibus:

Belshazzar, most opulent kind of the Assyrians, prepared for a thousand of his lords a magnificant feast, splendidly laid on with superb elegance and the most sumptuous dishes, with the sweet sounding voices of the harpers, from time to time, applauding and peforming a song such as this:


Inter epulas canori exultantes sonent chori regis nostri, regis nostri gaudia. Agant plausus convivales, mensae nitent dum regales oneratae dapibus. Leves saltus, molles luctus blanda suscitet voluptas ad sonantem cytharam. Between courses, let melodious choruses exultantly sound the joys of our King, our King. Let the guests clap their hands, let the royal tables glow, loaded with dainties. Let charming delight of the sounding harp stir up lightfooted leaps and tender meanings.




Regi nostro complaudamus. Praecinamus, collaetemur, gratulemur, et convivale carmen modulemur. Together let us laud our King. Let us sing out, let us rejoice together, let us give thanks, and let us sing forth a festive song.

Curae tristes procul este; loci risus, huc adeste,laeta laetaque tripudia. Rixae truces, hic silete lites improbae; valete; corda pax exhilaret. Sad concerns, go hence; come hither, happy laughter and happy dancing. Rowdy brawls, here be silent; evil thoughts, farewell; let peace gladden hearts.


Hic dum floret nobis aetas, ne ponamus gulae metas, satiemur epulis. Rosis caput coronemus, calicesque propinemus dulci plenos nectare. Molle corpus ut pinguescat, hic post dapes conquiescat, blando fruens otio. Now while youth is in flower for us, let us put no stop to our appetite. Let us be filled with fine dishes. Let us crown the head with roses, let us fill our cups with sweet nectar. That the soft body may grow plump, may it rest here after the feast, enjoying sweet leisure.


Procul maestus eat questus, procul flentes eant gentes; sola regnent gaudia. Away, mournful complaining; away, weeping people; may joy only reign.

À due Regi nostro complaudamus, grates debitas agamus, qui convivio tam laeto, lautis epulis repleto, hodie nos recreat. Together let us laud our King, let us gratefully thank the one who today restores us with such a happy banquet, replete with fine dishes.

À cinque

Regi nostro complaudamus. Praecinamus collaetemur gratulemur et convivale carmen modulemur. Together let us laud our King. Let us sing out, let us rejoice together, let us give thanks, and let us sing forth a festive song.

—— Pars secunda ——

Historicus Tenor Et ecce, inter laetantium convivarum cantica et plausus, subito apparuerunt digiti, quasi manus hominis scribentes contra candelabrum in superficie parietis aulae regiae. Quod ut vidit rex, statim commutata est facies eius et totus praetimore contremiscens exclamavit dicens:

And lo! in the midst of the songs and the applause of the rejoicing banqueters, suddenly there appeared fingers like those of a man’s hand, writing opposite the candlesticks on the surface of the royal palace’s wall. As soon as the King saw this, his face changed all at once, and totally filled with fear, he spoke out, saying:


Baltazar Bass

Heu, heu, quae dira cerno prodigia, heu quae portenta! Ite, ite, agite, aulae meae proceres, et introducite ad me magos et Chaldeos, et quicumque ex eis legerit et interpretatus fuerit scripturam hanc, purpura vestietur, et torquem auream habebit. Alas, alas, what awful omens do I see, alas, what portents! Go, go, go, lords of my palace, fetch me magicians and chaldeans, and whoever among them can read and interpret this writing will be dressed in purple garments and will have a gold chain about his neck.

Historicus Soprano Statim ergo ingressi omnes sapientes et haruspices Regis, non potuerunt nec scripturam legere, nec eam interpretari. Suadente autem regina, introductus est Daniel, et quem rex ait:

Immediately, then, all the wise men and diviners of the King came in but were not able to read the writing or to interpret it. But at the suggestion of the queen, Daniel was introduced and the King spoke this to him:

Baltazar Bass Audivi de te, Daniel, quod spiritum deorum habeas et multa polleas sapientia et doctrina. Age, age ergo, scripturam hanc prelege, et si mihi veram eius interpretationem indicaversis, magna a me praemia promereberis. I have heard about you, Daniel, that you possess the spirit of the gods and that you are endowed with much wisdom and doctrine. Therefore, go, go, read this writing, and if you give me a true interpretation of it, you will obtain from me many rewards.

Daniel Soprano Scripturam hanc legem, o rex et eius interpretationem tibi enarrabo. Deus altissimus, quia non humiliasti cor tuum ante illum, hodie humiliabit, in conspectu gentium; haec autem est verborum interpretatio:

Mane: numeravit Deus regnum tuum et complevit illud. Thecel: appensus es instanter, et inventus es minus habens. Phares: divisum est regnum tuum et datum est Medis et Persis. I will read this writing, O King, and I will tell you its interpretation. The Most High God, because you have not humbled your heart before him, today will humble it in the sight of the nations; moreover, this is the interpretation of the words:

Mane: God has numbered your Kingdom and has ended it. Thecel: You have been seriously weighed and found wanting. Phares: Your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.

Historicus Tenor, Alto Tunc, iubente rege, indutus est Daniel purpura et torque aurea ornatus. Eadem autem nocte interfectus est rex, et regnum eius datum est Persis et Medis ut Daniel praedixerat. Then, at the king’s command, Daniel was clothed in purple and adorned with a gold chain. Moreover, that same night the king was slain, and his kingdom was given to the Persians and the Medes, as Daniel had prophesied.

À cinque

Hinc, ediscite, o gentes! Quanta rerum mortalium nos verset inconstantia, quae capita regnantia statim ad ima detrahit! Hinc, o gentes, ediscite