Coro di Spiriti

(2017) 5' / for choir SSATB and three percussionists
Commissioned for the CHORTROMMEL project initiated by Fritz Hauser. The world premiere took place at the Lucerne Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland. The performers were:
Basler Madrigalisten (Raphael Immoos, director)
contrapunkt chor (Abélia Nordmann, director)
Schlagzeugtrio Klick / Fritz Hauser, Lucas Niggli, Peter Conradin Zumthor


choir SSATB
3 female voices (soprano, mezzo soprano, alto)
3 percussionist (from the choir) each with two tuned logs (oak or beech) played with wooden hammers, and a pail of water
The text used is taken from the libretto by Alessandro Striggio (1573-1630) to Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643), more specifically the Coro di Spiriti at the end third act. 
Nulla impresa per huom si tenta in vano 
nè contro a lui più sa natura armarse. 
Ei de l’instabil piano 
arò gl’ ondosi campi, e ’l seme sparse 
di sue fatiche, ond’ aurea messe accolse. 
Quinci, perché memoria
vivesse di sua gloria,
la Fama a dir di lui sua lingua sciolse:
ch’ei pose freno al mar con fragil legno
che sprezzò d’Austro e d’Aquilon lo sdegno. 
No undertaking by man is tried in vain,
Nor can Nature further arm herself against him.
He has ploughed of the uneven fields
And scattered the seeds of his labour, 
Whence he has gathered in golden harvests.
Wherefore, so that memory
May live in his glory,
Fame has loosened her tongue to speak of him
Who tamed the sea with fragile craft,
And who mocked the fury of Auster and Aquilo.
Translation: Hugh Ward-Perkins
Nichts unternimmt der Mensch vergebens
und die Natur steht ihm unbewaffnet gegenüber.
Auf unebenem Boden
pflügt er Felder mit Ackerfurchen und streut den Samen
seiner Arbeit, dann holt er goldene Ernte.
Daher, um die Erinnerung
an seinen Ruhm fortleben zu lassen,
löste die Fama, um von ihm zu erzählen, ihre Zunge:
dass er das Meer bezwang mit zerbrechlichem Boot,
dass er das Wüten von Auster und Aquilo verachtete.
Übersetzung: Andreas Odenkirchen
© 2004 Ernst Eulenburg & Co GmbH, Mainz

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