Alma Vergin Gentile (Giovanni Maria Nanino and Giovanni Bernardino Nanino)

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  • (Posted 2020-07-23)  CPDL #59856:         
Editor: Andreas Stenberg (submitted 2020-07-23).   Score information: A4, 18 pages, 433 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: A semi-diplomatic edition.

General Information

Title: Alma Vergin Gentile
Composers: Giovanni Maria Nanino and Giovanni Bernardino Nanino

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: SST
Genre: SacredMadrigalLauda

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1599 in Tempio armonico (ed. Giovanni Giovenale Ancina), no. 106
Description: A set of 7 laude spirituale setting in all 11 stanzas of text. The four first laude are composed by Giovanni Maria Nanino and the three last by his younger brother Giovanni Bernardino Nanino. Stanzas 5 & 6 and 10 & 11 are presumably sung to laude 4 and 9 respectively. The text is an invocation to the Mother of God during the great flood 1598 when the Tiber broke its banks. Some of the stanzas invoke the help of the Blessed Virgin as some others describe the fury of the elements during the flood.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

In Vallicela per la smisurata, & prodigiosa Inondatione
del Tevere successa puntalemente in tempo del Sacro
Natale del Signiorere. 1598.

1. Alma Vergin gentile,
Ch'alberghi in questa Vall' angust' humile,
Che fai prego, che fai?
Che del tuo sacro volto ascond' irai,
Mentre piú gonfio hor l'un hor l'altra sponda
Rotta il Tebro vernoi sgorga, et inonda?

2. Hoggi che dolce mele
Stillano i Ciel al Mondo, amorosele,
Versasi à Roma sola,
Che pace turba,
e ogni dolcezza inuola?
Gia fuor d'ogni misura oltre'l costume
Di fier' orgoglio è piè l'Trato fiume.

3. Mira felice Madre,
Come vibri del' onde armare squadre
Ver la tua Casa adorna,
Come contra le porte alzi le corna:
Ecco già del tuo eccelso, e sacro Altare
A la falda si scorge, e'l gorgo appare.

4. Il Ciel tutto si vela,
D'oscure nubi, e'l Sol n'asconde, e cela:
Mugge l'aer d'intorno:
Larga copia di nenbi annebbia'l giorno:
A Luna, e à stelle toglie il suo splendore.
Cieca la notte in tenebroso horrore.

5. Ne quì finisce il male,
(Se mal' è pena à grave colpa vguale)
Chi sià che me ne scampi?
Tuona, e folgora il ciel d'horroendi lampi:
Sorto crollando à piè trema la terra,
Scuore le Torri, e le magioni atterra.

6. Soffian contrarii venti;
Stridono gli Austri à nostri mali intenti
Urtando'l Mar, che torni
Ritorto il Tebro, e Roma allaghi, e scorni:
Contra di noi Aer, Terra, Aqua, e Cielo:
Tal che mancanui sol la fiamma, e'l gelo.

7. Volgi pietosa i lumi,
Pria ch'in tutto si strugga, e si consumi
Madre il suo caro Gregge,
Che da te pende, e si governa, e regge:
Defendil' hor, ch'in Cielo e'n terra puoi,
Come Vergin Tu sosti e prima, e poi,

8. Ben sò ch'acerbe pene
De non si à chi t'offese e'l sommo Bene:
E à me vie più d'ogn' altro
Fium' e folgor conviensi
Ma tu pur dolce, e più benigna sei
A chi ti serve, à confitenti, e rei.

9. Deh Mouati pietade,
di Roma almen divota à tua bontade,
Benche di gravi salme
Carco Popol vi sia, ch'affondan l'alme:
Fa sì Vergine c'hor più non l'inonde
Tebro, ne Mar, ma fian tranquille l'onde.

10. E Perch' io nulla merto
Fallo pe'l Parto tuo pien d'ogai merto
E d'ogni gratia fonte,
Che per più dimostrar sue voglie pronte,
Del tuo latte homai sparge in sangue tinto,
Primo saggio d'amor, ch'à noì l'ha avinto.

11. C'hor fien tai mezzi scarsi,
(Se pur può guunta à l'infinito farsi)
Ecco di zelo ardente
Lagrime verse il gran Pastor Clemente:
E del pio nostro Fondatore l'ossa
Pietà gridati entr'à l'aurata fossa.

English.png English translation

In Vallicela for the immense & prodigious Flood of
the Tiber which happened punctually in time of
the Holy Christmas of the Signiorere. 1598.

Bountiful and kind Vergin,
we who dwell in this Valle of anguish humbly ask:
What are you doing, what are you doing?
Why does your holy face radiate wrath,
While hour by hour, rising higher, the other shore
Broken, the Tiber gushes and floods?

 As of today sweet honey
from The heaven to earth drips, lovingly,
Only in Rome alone,
the peace is disturbed,
as is the sweetness of the manger?
Already out of any measure of custom
The river is swollen with pride.

Behold blessed Mother,
How the undulating waves like armed troops
attack your adorned house,
How against the doors they raise their horns:
They are already at your exalted and sacred Altar.
behold the scythe, behold the abyss opening.

The whole sky is in turmoil,
As dark clouds hide the sun and the sky:
The surrounding air bellow:
Large, numerous clouds darken the day:
The moon and stars hide their splendour.
Blinding the night with dark horror.

Is this the end to Evil,
(If it is it is great pain caused by serious offence)
Who knows how to escape?
It thunders and the sky is brightened by horrendous bolts of lightning:
The earth rises and collapses. It trembles,
shaking the Towers, and the mansion lands.

Contrary Winds are blowing,
striking hard at our evil intent
urging the waters of the sea back
 back up the Tiber, flooding and scouring Rome:
Air, earth, water, and heaven rise against us:
Only the flame is missing, and the frost.

Turn your light of pity towards us,
Before everything melts away and is consumed
Mother his dear Flock,
Which depend on you, which you govern, and holds:
Defend it in this hour, as only you in Heaven and on earth can,
thou that is Vergin first and ever.
Well, I know it pains you
It is not you who offends the greatest Good:
And with me more than anything else
rivers and streems agree.
You are sweet, and most benign
You we serve, i you we put our trust, and in the King.

Oh. Turn to pity
towards Rome, give the devote to your goodness,
Those that remain
Your burdened people are here, seeking your grace:
Virgin, in this hour, stay the waters,
Calm the waves of the Tiber and the sea.

And as I don't deserve it,
Do because of him you bore,
the source of all grace,
who is ready to do your will
repaying your gift of milk pouring it like stained blood,
The first essay of love, who won it.

As our resources have run half scarce,
(Even those that spring from eternity)
With ardent zeal
the great Pastor Clemente pour forth tears.
And bones of our Founder
shout for pity out of his dark grave.