La Mantovana

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La Mantovana or "Il Ballo di Mantova" (Mantua Dance) is a popular sixteenth-century song attributed to the Italian tenor Giuseppe Cenci, also known as Giuseppino del Biado, (d. 1616)[1] to the text Fuggi, fuggi, fuggi da questo cielo. Its earliest known appearance in print is in Biado's collection of madrigals of the year 1600. The melody, later also known as "Ballo di Mantova and "Aria di Mantova", gained a wide popularity in Renaissance Europe, being recorded variously as the Flemish "Ik zag Cecilia komen", the Polish "Pod Krakowem", the Romanian "Carul cu boi", the Scottish "My mistress is prettie", and the Ukrainian "Kateryna Kucheryava". It is best known as the melody of Bedřich Smetana's Vltava and of the Israeli national anthem "Hatikvah".

Appearances in classical music[edit]

La Mantovana appears in Il Scolaro by Gasparo Zanetti, 1645, as "Ballo di Mantua"; in Duo tessuti con diversi solfeggiamenti, scherzi, perfidie et oblighi by Giuseppe Giamberti in 1657, and as "An Italian Rant" in John Playford's Dancing Master.

"Fuggi, fuggi, dolente cor", a version of the madrigal setting, provides the source material for Biagio Marini's 1655 trio sonata in G minor (Op. 22, Sonata sopra "Fuggi dolente core").[2]

The melody was famously used by the Czech composer Bedřich Smetana in his symphonic poem Vltava (Moldau) from his cycle celebrating Bohemia, Má vlast:

 \relative c'' { \set Staff.midiInstrument = #"string ensemble 1" \clef treble \key e \minor \time 6/8 \tempo "Allegro commodo non agitato" \partial 8*1 b8-.\p_"dolce" | e4(\< fis8) g4( a8)\! | b4 b8-. b4.--\< | c4.\sf\! c->\> | b->\!\p~ b4 b8\<( | a4.)\!\dim a4 a8 | g4( a8 g4) g8(\< | fis4.)\!\> fis4(\!\> fis8-.)\! | e4\> r8\! }

Jewish immigrant Samuel Cohen to Israel in 19th century from Moldavia adapted a Romanian version of the song "Carul cu boi" as the setting for "Hatikvah", later recognized by the state of Israel as its national anthem.[3] There is another similar Romanian folk song "Cucuruz cu frunza-n sus" also based on La Mantovana.

Lyrics[edit]

Italian  

Fuggi fuggi fuggi da questo cielo
Aspro e duro spietato gelo
Tu che tutto imprigioni e leghi
Né per pianto ti frangi o pieghi
fier tiranno, gel de l'anno
fuggi fuggi fuggi là dove il Verno
su le brine ha seggio eterno.

Vieni vieni candida vien vermiglia
tu del mondo sei maraviglia
Tu nemica d'amare noie
Dà all'anima delle gioie
messagger per Primavera
tu sei dell'anno la giovinezza
tu del mondo sei la vaghezza.

Vieni vieni vieni leggiadra e vaga
Primavera d'amor presaga
Odi Zefiro che t'invita
e la terra che il ciel marita
al suo raggio venga Maggio
vieni con il grembo di bei fioretti,
Vien su l'ale dei zefiretti.

Flee, flee, flee from this sky,
harsh and unyielding, relentless cold.
You, who shackle all in prison
neither bending nor breaking to tears.
You, the year's cruel, frozen tyrant,
flee, flee, flee to wherever winter
has its eternal throne over the frost.

Come, come white, come vermilion,
you are the marvel of the world.
You, nemesis of all things dreary,
give joy to the soul
through your message of spring.
You are the youth of the year
and the beauty of the world.

Come, come, come, graceful and gentle,
spring of foreboding love.
Harken Zephyrus who invites you,
and the earth that marries the sky;
may May come at its ray,
come with your lap full of beautiful blossoms,
come on the wings of little Zephyrs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Walter Hill. ""Cenci, Giuseppe"". Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved February 21, 2010. (Subscription required (help)).
  2. ^ Sonata sopra 'Fuggi dolente core', Op. 22, No. 21 (Marini, Biagio): Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
  3. ^ "Ha-Tiqvah", Ingeb.org

External links[edit]