Alma Beata et Bella

Instrumentation/Voicing: 
SSATB (div.) a capella

I found the poem from which the text for this piece is excerpted when perusing an old book of 15th-century Italian poetry. I decided to set the poem in the original Medieval Italian dialect. The piece is a six-minute slow swirl of voices moving toward heaven and light. It culminates by "blooming" as the soul reaches heaven.

Audio: 

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Order Sheet Music
Catalog Number: 
HP04-04
Duration: 
6:00
Total Pages: 
15
Text
Text Author or Source: 
Jacopo Sannazaro
Language: 
Medieval Italian
Text: 

Alma beata et bella,
Che da'ligami sciolta
Nuda salisti ney superni chiostri,
Ove con la tua Stella
Ti godi insieme accolta.

Quasi un bel sol ti mostri
Tra li piu chiari spirti.
Altri monti, altri piani,
Altri boschecti et rivi
Vedi nel cielo et piu novelli fiori.

Tal fra suavi odori
Dolce cantando all'ombra
Siede il nostro Androgeo
Et di rara dolcezza il cielo ingombra,
Temprando gli elimenti.

Alma beata et bella,
Quasi un bel sol ti mostri
Tra li piu chiari spirti.

Translation: 

Delightful and beautiful soul,
Free from bondage,
You have risen naked to celestial cloisters,
Where, together with your star,
You may be gathered in joy.

Like a beautiful sun, you reveal yourself
Among the most luminous spirits.
Other mountains, other plains,
Other groves and streams,
You see in heaven and in the newly
bloomed flowers.

Betwixt sweet scents,
Sweetly singing in the shade,
Dwells our Androgeo,
Encumbering the heavens with rare
sweetness,
Tempering the elements.

Delightful and beautiful soul,
Like a beautiful sun, you reveal yourself
Among the most luminous spirits.

Trans. Alexander Shundi