Monteverdi’s musical whirligig, with a Latin contrafactum by Lawrence Rosenwald. Live, HD video from the Venetian Christmas Vespers concert, December, 2013, performed on original instruments by the San Francisco based Early Music ensemble Voices of Music.
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In the renaissance and baroque, it was common practice to take a really great piece of music and give it new lyrics for a special occasion: the new text was called a “contrafactum.” For this concert, we decided to take one of Monteverdi’s best duets, Chiome d’oro–which had already been given a new text for Easter in the 17th century–and make a new Latin text for our Christmas Vespers.
Puer natus, sum laetatus, in hac die gaudiosa,
dies splendens et formosa.
Veni nunc ad redimendum, e rosarum rosa natus,
in presepio beatus.
O caelorum imperator, sol justitiae vocaris,
natus es e stella maris.
Clavis David qui aperis, veni nunc desideratus,
Nostre vitae fons et acqua, dulcis infans et creator,
nobis lumen et salvator.
On this bright and beautiful day,
A child is born, and I rejoice on this joyful day,
a bright and beautiful day.
Come now to redeem, O child born of the rose of roses,
blessed in the manger.
O ruler of the heavens, called the sun of justice,
you were born of the star of the sea.
Key of David to open, come now O long-desired,
mindful of the wretched.
Fountain and water of our life, sweet child and creator,
our light and savior.
Text and translation by Lawrence Rosenwald, arrangement and musical concept Voices of Music. (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.)
Voices of Music
Hanneke van Proosdij & David Tayler, directors
Laura Heimes, soprano
Jennifer Ellis Kampani, soprano
Carla Moore, baroque violin
Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin
(violin courtesy of Philharmonia period instrument trust)
William Skeen, viola da gamba
David Tayler, archlute
Hanneke van Proosdij, baroque organ