Carissimi - Vanitas Vanitatem Part 6: Hinc, mortales, ediscite

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Though lacking the dramatic narrative that propels most of Carissimi's oratorios, Vanitas Vanitatum is nevertheless a tightly constructed and compelling meditation on the ephemeral nature of material pursuits. With it's highly structured architecture, clearly punctuated by ritornellli, Carissimi's effervescent and engaging oratorio belies its weighty subject matter of the transience of human existence. Here, the admonition to forego worldly pleasures for heavenly ones, a theme common in the spiritual literature of Counter Reformation Italy is communicated in a style only one step removed from the first operas.

Magnificat
Warren Stewart, artistic director

Catherine Webster, soprano
Jennifer Ellis Kampani, soprano
Paul Elliott, alto
Scott Whitaker, tenor
Peter Becker, bass
Rob Diggins, violin
Jolianne von Einem, violin
Warren Stewart, violoncello
David Tayler, theorbo
Hanneke van Proosdij, harpsichord, organ

lyrics

Text & English Translation

Cantus Primus et Cantus Secondus (Catherine Webster & Jennifer Ellis Kampani)
Hinc, mortales, ediscite
quod vana mundi guadia,
inanes labores,
fugaces honores,
mendaces favores:
omnia vanitas et umbra sunt.

Altus, Tenor et Bassus (Paul Elliott, Scott Whitaker, Peter Becker)
Sceptra, coronæ, purporæ,
pompæ, triumphi, lauræ,
decora, ornatus, gloriæ,
et lusus, et deliciæ,
et fastus, et divitiæ:
omnia vanitas et umbra sunt.

First and Second Soprano
From here, oh mortals learn
that the joys of the world are vain,
struggles are vain,
honour is frivolous,
favors are false:
all things are vanities and darkness.

Alto, Tenor, Bass
Sceptres, crowns, robes,
ceremony, triumphs, victories,
honors, ornaments, glories,
and games, and delights,
and splendors, and riches,
all are vanities and darkness.

credits

from Vanitas Vanitatem - Music of Carissimi's Rome, released November 1, 2004
Live recording at St. Gregory Nyssen Episcopal Church on September 24, 2004. Mark Lemaire & David Tayler, engineer; David Tayler, editing & mastering.

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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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