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


onsortium 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 16th and especially the 17th 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, Agazzari 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 18th 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 yet a different formation of the stateside ensemble of Consortium Carissimi. Seventeen fine singers and exceptional instrumentalists, each adding particular colors of their own. Much of the early baroque 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 fine stateside ensemble, as well as to continue musical collaboration with our Italian friends.

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


The Madrigals of Agostino Agazzari
for five, six, seven and eight voices… and a little continuo

Cantiam a gara: Hor benvenut’é Maggio Let’s sing in contest: Now we welcome the month of May!
From the Madrigal Hor benvenut’é Maggio

1600 & 1602


Soprani Kristi Bergland Diane Koschak Marita Link Beth Ree Cynthia Prosek Alti Timoth Faatz Jerry Hinks Laura Lentz Brian Link Beth Nunnally Tenori Andrew Kane Tim Nelson Steve Staruch Bassi Garrick Comeaux Doug Freeman Ben Henry-Moreland Daniel Nidzgorski Tiorba Paul Berget Violone Mark Kausch Organo & Basso Continuo Realization Don Livingston
Transcription, programming and musical preparation

Garrick Comeaux



A special thanks from the Board And extraordinary gratitude to donors who have provided financial support during this season

Friday, May 8 - 8:00 pm Saturday, May 9 - 8:00 pm Sunday, May 10 - 2:00 pm The Oakeshott Institute

Agostino Agazzari (2 December 1578 – 10 April 1640)

Patricia and Mark Bauer Garrick Comeaux Elisabeth Comeaux Steven and Judith Emmings Edna Erickson Milton Ferris and Denise Prosek Bob Hickcox and Jackie Henry Robert and Darlene Hays Mark Kausch and Patricia G. Johnson Tim and Kathy Nelson Pat and Beth Nunnally Cynthia Prosek Larry E. Reynolds Dale Talley David and Connie Triplett

Hor benvenut'é Maggio O lungamente sospirato in vano Aura che sola segretaria sei Fiume ch'a l'onde tue - Prima parte Ahi tu me’l nieghi - Seconda parte Tornasti tu la vita - Prima parte Se ben mi dai repulse - Seconda parte Ch'io t'ami - Terza parte Anch'io t'amo - Quarta & ultima parte Hor benvenut'é Maggio Care lagrime mie Movetevi a pietà Arte mi sia'l fuggire

Consortium Carissimi ——— Board Members ——– Robert Hickcox, President Beth Nunnally, Treasurer Cynthia Prosek, Secretary Elisabeth Comeaux Consortium Carissimi is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization P.O. Box 40553 Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 Tel. 612.822.1376 14

Onde nasce il dolore - Prima parte Perche non cangi voglia - Seconda parte Neve non fu Hor benvenut'é Maggio Ecco fra gigli

Italian texts and translations Hor benvenut’é Maggio
Hor benvenut’é Maggio E a noi discopr’il seno Della ridente e dolce primavera Colmo di gioie e d’amoretti pieno E a via più chiaro raggio Lieti gli fa menar vezzosi balli Fiorir i prati e verdeggiar Cantiam a gara Hor benvenut’é Maggio! And now we welcome the month of May And it uncovers our breast Of the laughing and sweet Spring Overflowing with joy and full little loves Along the way a clearer ray Happy he beats out charming dances Flowers the fields and makes green the valleys Let’s sing in contest Now we welcome the month of May!

Giacomo Carissimi (1605 – 1674) Giacomo or, rather, the name ―Jacomo‖ is to be found written on the baptism certificate in Marino, a small town in the southern hills ouside of Rome where Giacomo Carissimi was born and raised. Anything concerning his adolescent life or early music training would be purely speculative, since the first concrete information available to us is his first appointment as cantor at Tivoli from 1623 to 1627, later named organist in 1625 till 1627. Carissimi went north to Assisi where he was appointed organist-choirmaster in the Cathedral Church of San Ruffino from 1628 to 1629. Don Bernardino Castoro, rector of the Collegio Germanico in Rome, asked Carissimi to come and take the place of Lorenzo Ratti as organist-choirmaster of the already musically prestigious Basilica of Sant’Apollinare. Carissimi continued to maintain the excellence in church music at Sant’ Apollinare and this soon came to the attention of many. It was on July 18, 1656 that the Queen Cristina of Sweden, who resided in Rome as of 1655, appointed Carissimi as her Maestro di cappella del Concerto da Camera. In addition to his duties at the Collegio Germanico, Carissimi also taught composition privately. Musicians such as J.K. Kerll (Vienna), Phillip Jacob Baudrexel (Kempten); Christoph Bernhard, (Dresden); M.A. Charpentier (Paris) came to Rome to study composition with Carissimi. On November 29, 1643, Venice mourned the loss of Claudio Monteverdi and on December 5 the post as organist-choirmaster was offered to ―Jacomo‖(as he often signed his correspondence). He turned it down and Giovanni Rovetta was soon later made successor. Carissimi was also offered to serve the Court of the Archduke Leopold William in Brussels. This offer, too, he declined. It was in the Collegio Germanico and Sant’Apollinare where ―Jacomo‖ remained active as musician and composer until his death on January 12, 1674. This college, to which he intentionally left this great patrimony of sacred music obtained a letter from Pope Clemens X which prohibited under pain of excommunication, the removal or loaning of these manuscripts from the College. Today, unfortunately not one autograph manuscript is to be found in Sant’Apollinare. The first attempt to seriously search 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 caused an enormous upheaval at the College, 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 also caused the pillaging of many archives which contained this sacred music. Already in 1851, Alfieri underscores the fact that those manuscripts which survive 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.

O lungamente sospirato
O lungamente sospirato invano Avventuroso dì se dopo tanti Foschi giorni di pianti Tu mi concedi Amor di veder hoggi Ne begl’occhi di lei Girar sereno il sol degl’occhi miei O day long sighed for in vain auspicious indeed if today after all my dark days of weeping Love may let me see in her bright eyes my love looking on me with love again

Aura, che sola segretaria sei
Aura Che sola segretaria sei del mio foco gentile Deh quel caldo ch’ognhor de miei sospir A te soletta invio Perch’io chiami felici i miei martiri Raggira al volto di Sileno mio Gentile breeze You are only the carrier of my burning desire Alas, the heat every hour of my sighing To you I send alone Because I call my torments happy Deceives the face of my Sileno



Agazzari was fortunate to have had several books published: books of sacred music, madrigals and the pastoral drama Eumelio (1606). Stylistically, Eumelio is similar to the famous composition by Cavalier Rappresentatione di Anima, e di Corpo of 1600, a work of singular significance in the development of the oratorio. In the preface to the drama he mentions that he was asked to set the text to music only one month before the performance; he composed the music in two weeks, and copied the parts and rehearsed it in the remaining two weeks. Keeping with this spirit, my transcriptions of these Madrigals have arrived to our rehearsals with an uncanny similarity. These facsimili I retrieved from Christ Church—University of Oxford, (Mus. 502-7). Agazzari, was perhaps not as great a composer as others of his time, but the timing of his presence in the music scene ensured a great tradition of sacred and secular music in southern Italy. As we welcome Fiat to the United States, we take this occasion to welcome the Month of May to the Twin Cities. Happy Mother’s day too! As the Concert title suggests, I have set these Madrigals with a little continuo, ignoring entirely any polemics for authentic early music performance in deference to gran gusto. Buon appetito! Garrick

Fiume ch’a l’onde tue
Fiume ch’a l’onde tue Fiume ch’a l’onde tue Ninfe e Pastori Inviti con soave mormorio Col cui consigl’il suo ben crin vidd’io Spesso Fillida mia cinger di fiori S’a tuoi cristalli sù gl’estivi ardori Sovent’accrebbi lagrimand’un rio Mostrami per pietà l’idolo mio Nel tuo fugace argento ond’io l’honori Ahi tu me’l nieghi io credea crudi i mari I fiumi no ma tu da lo splendore Che’n te si specchia ad esser crudi’impari Prodigo a te del pianto a lei del core Fui lasso e sono e voi mi sete avari Tu de la bella imago ella del core Rivers, to your shore Nymphs and shepherds You invite with sweet whispers With which advice did I see her face Often my Fillida adorns her head with flowers If your dew on the summer heat Frequently increased, crying a brook Show me mercy my idol In your fleeting silver where I it honor Alas you deny me I believed the seas to be harsh The rivers no, but you shed the splendor Which in you is reflected to be even harsher I lavish on you tears, to her of the heart I was and am weary and you are miserly with me You of the beautiful image, she of love



—————— These Performances ——————

Tornasti e la tua vista
Tornasti e la tua vista Recò il suo cib’al core Ch’era dal gran digiun a l’ultim’hore Come lume già spento Che si ravviva al novo nutrimento Se ben mi dai repulse Per far della mia fe più certe prove Pur torn’ a te che non so gir altrove Qual cagnolin fidato Che torn’a suo signor che l’ha scacciato Ch’io t’ami è assai bel segno Perchè tu fuggi ed’io Anche ti seguo con maggior desio Non va dietr’a chi fugge Chi nel foco d’amor non si distrugge Anch’io t’amo Ma segno tu d’amar mostri ed’io Vo d’amor nascondend’il bel desio Ma so come chi fugge E mentr’ha’l foco in sen che lo distrugge You returned and your sight Found its food in the heart Which was fasting ‘til the last hour As a light that was put out Which is renewed by the new nutrition Even if you give me rejections In order to test my faithfulness I still come back to you since I don’t know where else to turn Which little trusting puppy That returns to his master, that turned him out That I love you is truly a great sign Because you flee and I Also follow you with even greater desire Do not follow those that flee Those in the fire of love are not destroyed I too love you But the sign of love you show and I Want love, hiding the deep desire But I know as those that flee All the while the fire in the breast that destroys it I first became acquainted with the music of Agostino Agazzari years ago with the Firenzebased ensemble L’Homme Armè. We often sang concerts sponsored by the Cities and Towns of Tuscany and Siena invited us to sing music of their best known composer of the Early Baroque. Agazzari however did not stay in Siena but moved to Rome where he was maestro di cappella at the German College in Rome in 1602–03 and the Roman Seminary in 1606. As you will remember, the German College was famous in Rome for fine music and it is no surprise that our Carissimi took the post in December of 1629. Agazzari had a somewhat tortured career, spent in both his home town and in Rome. He seemed unable to stay in any position for an extended period of time, serving four separate terms as organist at Siena cathedral, the longest for barely six years, and once for only five months. Only in the last year of his life did he finally rise to the position of maestro di cappella. He died in Siena. Agazzari was born to an aristocratic family. Siena, despite its importance in the visual arts (also famous for the Palio horse race in the City’s centre Piazza) never figured in the lists of cities with the most important musical cultures of the Renaissance or early Baroque periods. For the first time, the city possessed a cathedral with an active musical establishment and one notable composer, whose works by the way, have been unjustly ignored. For musicologists, Agazzari has been primarily considered as the author of an important early treatise on the practice of basso continuo. This treatise was immensely important in the diffusion of the technique throughout Europe: for example, Michael Praetorius used large portions of it in his Syntagma musicum in Germany in 1618-1619. As was true with many late Renaissance and early Baroque theoretical treatises, it described a practice which was already occurring. In large part it was based on a study of his friend Viadana's Cento concerti ecclesiastici (published in Venice in 1602), the first collection of sacred music to use the basso continuo. He was also a fairly prolific composer of sacred music: motets, masses, litanies, and psalms for one to eight voices, with or without instrumental accompaniment. All of the motets are accompanied by basso continuo, with organ providing the sustaining line. His madrigals, on the other hand, are a cappella, in the late Renaissance style, so Agazzari simultaneously showed extreme progressive tendencies as well as some more conservative: unusually, his progressive music was sacred, and his conservative was secular, a situation almost unique among composers of the early Baroque.



Neve non fu
Neve non fu ma foco Ch’al sen lanciasti per coprirmi il core Giulia gentil con gioco Ma strins’al gel l’ardore Del suo bel foco amore Hor se piaghi col gelo Che faran gl’occhi ond’innamor’il cielo Snow it was not but fire Which you hurled to cover my heart Giulia kindly playing But tightened to ice the heat Of her beautiful fire of love Now if you wound with ice What will the eyes do as you make the sky fall in love Care lagrime mie

Care lagrime mie
My dear tears Painful messengers of my anguish Since you cannot alas Soften that heart Which has no pity of my pain At least, please at least Put out the growing flame within me Or rather grow so much That I drown in my own tears Messi dolenti di mie penerie Poi che voi non potete Far moll’ahime quel core Che non have pietà del mio dolore Almen, almen per cortesia Ammorzate l’ascesa fiamma mia O pur crescete tanto Ch’io mi sommerga nel mio stesso pianto

Ecco fra gigli
Ecco fra gigli’e candide viole De la sper’ardentissima del sole La desiata luce La desiata aurora Ecco la bella flora ecco la bella flora ecco ch’adduce Nova schiera di fiori E tu vezzosa Clori ancor non senti i nostri lieti balli e nostri accenti Deh sorgi sorg’homai vedi i pastori, Mira quest’honorata compagnia, Deh sorgi anima mia Così dicea Damon mentre d’intorno Belle ninfe facean lieto soggiorno

Here amid lilies and snow-white violets Beneath the heat of the Sun The desired light The desired daybreak There the beautiful Flora there it brings forth a new array of flowers And you, charming Clori still do not feel our happy dances and accents Alas, arise, arise now and see the shepherds, Look upon this honored company Alas, arise my soul This, said Damon, while around him, beautiful fairies passed happy days

Movetevi a pietà
Movetevi a pietà del mio tormento E dove il pianto e’l sospirar non giunge Deh portate voi lunge Portat’aure benigne il mio lamento Lasso ch’io prego al vento e non m’avveggio Morend’ahimè ch’al vento aita chieggio Be moved to pity my torment And where the crying and sighing does not reach Alas, take far away and bring soft winds to my lament Alas, that I pray to the wind and I do not notice Dying alas I ask the wind for help

Arte mi sia’l fuggire
Arte mi sia’l fuggire Quell’ingrata e amore Che l’un m’abbruggia’l sen l’altr’ard’il core Ma s’io fuggo che sia S’io tardo Moro s’io resto e lung’ahime tutt’ardo Che deggio far su cor meglio è morire Amando che partire Cor generos’e quando D’amor soffro le fiamm’e mor amando Art is my way to flee That ungrateful and love That one scorches the breast and the other burns the heart But if I flee then what If I am slow I die if I stay alas and consume myself What should I do O heart it is best to die Loving that departs A generous heart is when Of love you suffer the flames and die loving

Onde nasce il dolore
Onde nasce il dolore Ch’ogn’hor t’affligg’il core Dagl’assalti d’amor e di fortuna Che l’un m’abbruggia e l’altro legn’aduna Com’accendon’il foco Per cui non trovi loco Fortuna l’idol mio m’ascond’e fura Amor del suo voler non m’assicura Perche non cangi voglia E prend’un che t’accoglia Vo piutosto morir mesta per lui Che viver fortunata per altrui Ben mert’esser tua fede D’ogni gran ben’erede Vivrò dunque fedel’al mio signore Premio aspettand’al mio leale amore Where pain is born Every hour that your heart hurts From the attacks of love and fortune That one burns and the other that gathers wood As they ignite the fire, thus you find no place Fortune, my idol, hides and runs from me, Love, love and his desire does not assure me Why not change your desire And take one that welcomes you I would rather die, sad for him That lives in fortune for others Well deserving is your faith, Of every great good is heir I will therefore live faithful to my lord The prize awaiting me for my loyal love