Francesca Caccini - Cosí perfida Alcina

by Magnificat

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A live recording from Magnificat's performance of Francesca Caccini's La Liberazione di Ruggiero, October 18, 2009 in San Francisco.

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released August 18, 2010

Boby Borisov, engineer

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Magnificat San Francisco, California

For 20 years Magnificat has explored the emotionally charged music of the 17th Century, each season bringing together an assembly of internationally recognized musicians to present innovative programs that inspire the imagination. With dramatic flair and sensitivity to historical context, Magnificat imbues each concert with an infectious joy and a delight in musical make-believe. ... more

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Track Name: José Lemos, countertenor & Katherine Heater, harpsichord - Caccini/Così perfida Alcina
Text & English Translation

Così perfida Alcina,
Con mentita beltade
D’un’ ingannevol volto
Credi tener sepolto
Tra’ tuoi nefandi ardori,
Quel fior d’ogni guerriero,
Quel invitto Ruggiero
Eletto a riportar si chiari allori?
Così terra, che vane
Sian le promesse mie, l’alta Donzella,
E della stirpe gloriosa e bella
Non usciranno i destinati eroi?
Nò, nò, s’io son Melissa,
Faro contenti à pieno,
O fida Bradamante, i desir tuoi,
Simulerò l’aspetto
Dell’Affricano Atlante,
Della perfida Amante,
Farò noto à Ruggiero il volto, e l’arte;
Così l’indegne spoglie
Di servitù lasciva à terra sparte,
Farò, ch’egli s’invoglie,
A seguir l’honorate opre di Marte,
Preghi, e sospir intanto
Sparga fiumi di pianto
L’ingannatrice Maga, et omicida,
Che da’ raggi di gloria anima accesa
Indarno alletterà bellezza infida.

Thus, treacherous Alcina,
with the false beauty
of a deceitful countenance,
through your nefarious lust,
you believe you can entomb
that flower of all warriors,
the invincible Ruggiero,
destined for such greatness?
Thus do you seek to nullify
my promises to the noble lady,
that from her fair and glorious lineage
the destined heroes will not be brought forth?
No, no! as I am Melissa
I will fully satisfy your wishes,
O faithful Bradamante;
I will feign the appearance
of the African Atlante,
and make known to Ruggiero
the true face and deceits of his perfidious lover.
Thus the unworthy refuse
of such lascivious service will be laid bare;
I will re-awaken in him the desire
to follow the honorable works of Mars;
and while the deceiving, murderous sorceress
may pray, may sigh,
may shed rivers of tears,
his soul, kindled by rays of glory
will in vain be tempted by her treacherous beauty.