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Like the dialogue "Alma, che fai, che pensi?" the moral madrigal "Fuggi, fuggi" was composed in the late 1630s and shares the advise to flee worldly delights in pursuit of lasting heavenly pleasures. While Alma, che fai took the form of a dialogue between the body and the soul, Fuggi quel ben is an example of a strophic aria that communicates a serious spiritual text in a style more often reserved for lighter themes.

Warren Stewart, artistic director

Paul Elliott, tenor
Scott Whitaker, tenor
David Tayler, theorbo
Hanneke van Proosdij, organ

Live performance at St. Gregory Nyssen Episcopal Church, San Francisco on September 24, 2004.


Text & Translation

Fuggi, fuggi quel ben che tanto alletta
l'incauto cor de' miseri mortali!

Dolcezza stabile
tra noi non è
e variabile
non serba fe’.

È fior ma velenoso,
è velen ma vezzoso;
allor inganna più quando più ride,
quando gl'occhi lusinga i cori uccide.

Corri corri a quel ben che solo accende
il puro cor de’ più felici amanti!

Gioia più nobile
il ciel non ha,
ché ferma immobile
sempre sarà.

L’ardor non è penoso,
arde, sì, ma pietoso,
e quando infiamma più tanto è più grato:
rende gl’occhi piangenti e’l cor beato.

(English Translation)

Flee, flee that love that so entices
the incautious hearts of wretched mortals!

Sweetness is not
constant between us,
and changeable
devotion does not last.

It is a flower but poisonous,
it is a poison but pretty;
the more it deceives more, the more it smiles.
when it charms the eyes, it slays the heart.

Run, run to that love that alone enflames
the pure hearts of the happiest lovers!

Joy more noble
the heavens don’t have,
that constant and unmoving
will always be there.

Passion is not painful;
it burns, true, but compassionately,
and the more it enflames, the more it is pleasing:
it makes the eyes weepy and the heart happy.


from Vanitas Vanitatem - Music of Carissimi's Rome, released November 1, 2004
Mark Lemaire & David Tayler, engineers. David Tayler, mastering & editing.


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