Quivi sospiri pianti ed alti guai (Giovanni Battista Mosto)

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  • (Posted 2020-09-20)  CPDL #60640:       
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2020-09-20).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 88 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Quivi sospiri pianti ed alti guai
Composer: Giovanni Battista Mosto
Lyricist: Dante Alighieri

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1578 in Il primo libro de madrigali a 5 voci (Venice: Girolamo Scotto press

Description: Mosto word-paints the phrase "diverse lingue orribili" by switching into a different mensuration for each of the 5 voices, creating a pseudo-cacophony for the space of a few breves.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Quivi sospir con pianti et alti guai,
 risonavan per l'aer senza stelle,
 perciò ch'al cominzar ne lagrimai,
Diverse lingue horribili favelle,
 parole di dolor accenti d'ira,
 voci alt'e fiocche e suon di man con elle.

English.png English translation

There sighs, complaints, and ululations loud
 resounded through the air without a star,
 whence I, at the beginning, wept thereat.
Languages diverse, horrible dialects,
 accents of anger, words of agony,
 and voices high and hoarse, with sound of hands.
Translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow