Limpido e fresco fonte (Hans Leo Hassler)

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  • (Posted 2021-10-27)  CPDL #66402:         
Editor: Gerhard Weydt (submitted 2021-10-27).   Score information: A4, 11 pages, 293 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transposed down a minor third because of the chiavette used.

General Information

Title: Limpido e fresco fonte
Composer: Hans Leo Hassler
Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SSATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1596 in Madrigali a 5, 6, 7 & 8 voci, no. 12 & 13

External websites:

Original text and translations

Two names in the text are written with capitals, these are the (via Latin) italianised names of the two main rivers running through Augsburg, where Hassler was organist at the Fugger court: Lico = Lech and Vindo = Wertach; the Wertach, now female, was regarded as male when the usage of these names and of Augusta Vindelicum (Vindelicorum) for Augsburg started in the 16th century, later on Vinda was used. A fountain on the square in front of the town hall, the „Augustusbrunnen“, shows allegorical figures of these two alongside with two minor “rivers”, the Singold and the Brunnenbach. The fountain was erected in 1594, and Hassler’s madrigal may well have some connection with this event. The subject of its text must be one of these two latter rivers, as it is said that it mixes its waters with the ones of Lech and Wertach. But even the assignment of the four rivers to the figures of the fountain is discussed controversially, so it seems impossible to say which of these latter two is meant by the sparse information provided in the text.

Italian.png Italian text

Limpido e fresco fonte
A piè d'ameno monte,
Onor del più bel chiostro
Ch’ornin Pomona e Flora in questi campi,
Per che habbino ricetto
Mille ne laghi tuoi guizzanti pesci,
E gl'odorati fiori,
Tinti qual d'or qual d'ostro,
Mantengan freschi e vivi i lor honori,
D'argento un rio fuor manda del tuo letto.

Così, benché la terra arda et avampi,
Non fieda il sol mai il gelo tuo, ne scalde
E VINDO e LICO, con cui l'onde mesci.
Intatti dalle greggie e da' Pastori
serbino i tuoi cristalli,
E sol in queste falde
Guidin' Amor e Ninfe e lieti balli.

German.png German translation

Klare und frische Quelle
am Fuß eines lieblichen Berges,
Ehre des schönsten Tals,
das Pomona und Flora in diesen Gefilden schmückten,
weil sie aufgenommen haben
in deinen Tümpeln Tausende schnellende Fische,
und die duftenden Blumen,
manche golden, manche purpurn gefärbt,
erhalten frisch und lebhaft ihre Ehren,
es entspringt ein Bach aus Silber aus deinem Bett.

Daher, obwohl die Erde brennt und glüht,
mindert die Sonne nie deine Kühle, noch erhitzt sie
sowohl Wertach als auch Lech, mit denen du die Wässer mischst.
Ungetrübt von Herden und Schäfern
bleiben deine Kristalle,
und nur an jenen Hängen
mögen Amor und Nymphen aufführen fröhliche Tänze.

Translation by Gerhard Weydt
English.png English translation

Clear and fresh fountain
at the foot of a lovely mountain,
honour of the most beautiful valley,
adorned by Pomona and Flora in these realms,
because they have housed
in your ponds thousands of darting fishes,
and the fragrant flowers,
some tinted golden, some crimson,
retain freshly and lively their honours,
a silvery river emanates from your bed.

Hence, although the earth burn and glow,
the sun doesn’t lessen your chill, nor does she scald
Wertach or Lech with which you mix your waters.
Undisturbed by herds or shepherds
your crystals remain,
and only an these slopes
Amor and nymphs may perform cheerful dances.

Translation by Gerhard Weydt