« הקודםהמשך »
Th' applauding deities with pleasure heard,
On a soft couch of turf the body lay; Th' approaching deities press'd all around, Prepar'd the sacred rites to pay In silence, and with awe profound. Flora thrice bow’d, and thus was heard to pray. “Jove! mighty Jove! whom all adore, Exert thy great creative power! Let this fair corpse be mortal clay no more; Transform it to a tree,to bear a beauteous flower”— Scarce had the goddess spoke, when see! The nymph's extended limbs the form of branches wear: Behold the wondrous change, the fragrant tree! To leaves was turn'd her flowing hair; And rich diffus'd perfumes regal'd the wanton air.
Heavens! what new charm, what sudden light, Improves the grot, and entertains the sight! A sprouting bud begins the tree to adorn; The large the sweet vermilion flower is born 1 The goddess thrice on the fair infant breath'd, To spread it into life, and to convey The fragrant soul, and every charm bequeath'd To make the vegetable princess gay: Then kiss'd it thrice: the general silence broke, And thus in loud rejoicing accents spoke.
“ Ye flowers at my command attendant here,
Thus speaking, she the new-born favourite The transformation was complete; scrown'd, The deities with songs the queen of flowers did greet: Soft flutes and tuneful harps were heard to sound; While now to Heaven the well-pleas'd goddess flies With her bright train, and reascends the skies.
six CANTATAs, or PoEMS FOR MUSIC,
after The MANNER OF the ITALIANs. set to Music BY MR. Pepusch.
Non antè vulgatas per artes
THE PREFACE, As it was PRINTED BEFORE THE MUsic. TO THE LOVERS OF MUSIC.
Mr. Perusch having desired that some account should be prefixed to these cantatas relating to the
words, it may be proper to acquaint the public, that they are the first essays of this kind, and were written as an experiment of introducing a sort of composition, which had never been naturalized in our language. Those who are affect
low music to speak any other; but if reason may be admitted to have any share in these entertain
edly partial to the Italian tongue will scarce o
inents, nothing is more necessary than that the words should be understood, without which the end of vocal music is lost. The want of this occasions a common complaint, and is the chief, if not the only reason, that the best works of Searlati and other Italians, except those performed in operas, are generally but little known or regarded here. Besides, it may be observed, without any dishonour to a language which has been adorned by some writers of excellent genius, and was the first among the moderns in which the art of poetry was revived and brought to any perfection, that in the great number of their operas, serenatas, and cantatas, the words are often unuch inferior to the composition; and though, by their abounding with vowels, they have an inimitable aptness and facility for notes, the writers for music have not always made the best use of this advantage, or seem to, have relied on it so much as to have regarded little else; so that Mr. Waller's remark on another occasion may be frequently applied to them:
Soft words, with nothing in them, make a song.
Yet so great is the force of sounds well chosen and skilfully executed, that, as they can hide indifferent sense, and a kind of associated pleasure arises from the words though they are but mean; so the impression cannot fail of being in proportion much greater, when the thoughts are natural and proper, and the expressions unaffected and agreeable.
Since, therefore, the English language, though inferior in smoothness, has been found not incapable of harmony, nothing would perhaps be wanting towards introducing the most elegant style of music, in a nation which has given such generous encouragements to it, if our best poets would sometimes assist this design, and make it their diversion to improve a sort of verse, in regular measures, purposely fitted for music, and which, of all the modern kinds, seems to be the only one that can now properly be called lyrics.
It cannot but be observed on this occasion, that since poetry and music are so nearly allied, it is a misfortune that those who excel in one are often perfect strangers to the other. If, therefore, a better correspondence were settled between the two sister arts, they would probably contribute to each other's improvement. The expressions of harmony, cadence, and a good ear, which are said to be so necessary in poetry, being all borrowed from music, show at least, if they signify any thing, that it would be no improper help for a poet to understand more than the metaphorical sense of them. And on the other hand, a composer can never judge where to lay the accent of
his music, who does not know, or is not made sen
sible, where the words have the greatest beauty
and force. There is one thing in compositions of this sort
which seems a little to want explaining, and that
is the recitative music, which many people hear without pleasure, the reason of which is, perhaps, that they have a mistaken notion of it. They are accustomed to think that all music should be air; and being disappointed of what they expect, they lose the beauty that is in it of a different kind. It may be proper to observe, therefore, that the recitative style in composition is founded on that variety of accent which pleases in the pronunciation of a good orator, with as little deviation from it as possible. The different tones of the voice, in astonishinent, joy, sorrow, rage, tenderness in affirmations, apostrophes, interrogations, and all the varieties of speech, make a sort of natural music, which is very agreeable; and this is what is intended to be imitated, with some helps by the composer, but without approaching to what we call a tune or air; so that it is but a kind of improved elocution or pronouncing the words in musical cadences, and is indeed wholly at the inercy of the performer to make it agreeable or not, according to his skill or ignorance, like the reading of verse, which is not every one's talent. This short account may possibly suffice to show how properly the recitative has a place in compositions of any length, to relieve the ear with a variety, and to introduce the airs with the greater advantage.
As to Mr. Pepusch's success in these compositions, I am not at liberty to say any more than that he has, I think, very naturally expressed the sense of the words. He is desirous the public should be informed, that they are not only the first he has attempted in English, but the first of any of his works published by himself; and as he wholly submits them to the judgment of the lovers of this art, it will be a pleasure to him to find, that his endeavours to promote the composing of music in the English language, after a new model, are favourably accepted.
CANTATA I. ON ENGLISH BEAUTY.
When Beauty's goddess from the ocean sprung,
And rais'd her tuneful voice, and thus she sung.
airt. Hail, Britannia! hail to thee, Fairest island of the sea! Thou my favourite land shalt be. Cyprus too shall own my sway, And dedicate to me its groves; Yet Venus and her train of Loves Will with happier Britain stay. Hail, Britannial hail to thee, - Fairest island of the sea! Thou my favourite land shalt be. RF citative. Britannia heard the notes diffusing wide, And saw the power whom gods and men adore, Approaching nearer with the tide, And in a rapture loudly cry'd, O welcome! welcome to my shore!
At R. Lovely isle' so richly blest! Beauty’s palm is thine contess'd. Thy daughters all the world outshine, Nor Venus' self is so divine. Lovely isle so richly blest! Beauty's palm is thine contess'd,
CANTATA II. ALEXIS.
See,_from the silent grove Alexis flies,
CANTATA III. ON THE SPRING. with violins,
FRAGRANT Flora' haste, appear,
While thus the shepherd did his song renew.
Love and pleasures gaily flowing,
Come this charming season grace! Smile, ye fair! your joys bestowing, Spring and youth will soon be going,
Seize the blessings ere they pass : Love and pleasures gaily flowing,
Come this charming season grace!
CANTATA IV. MIRANDA.
MiRANDA's tuneful voice and fame
Recitative. The god then summon'd every Muse to appear, Aud hail their sister of the quire; shear, Smiling they stood around, her soothing strains to And fill'd her happy soul with all their sire. AIR. . O Harmony how wondrous sweet, Dost thou our cares allay ! When all thy moving graces meet, How softly dost thou steal our easy hours away ! O Harmony! how wondrous sweet, Dost thou our cares allay!
CANTATA V. CORY DON. recitative.
While Corydon the lonely shepherd try’d
The god of Love his motion spics, Lays by the pipe, and shoots a dart Through Corydon's unwary heart, Then, similing, from his ambush flies; While in his room, divinely bright, The reigning beauty of the groves surpris’d the shepherd's sight. at R. Who, from love his heart securing, Can avoid th’ enchanting pain * Pleasure calls with voice alluring, Beauty softly binds the chain. Who, from love his heart securing, Can avoid th’ enchanting pain?
CANTATA VI. THE CO2UET.
AiRy Cloe, proud and young,
The PRAISES OF HEROIC I’IRTUE. from The frac McNTs of TYRtatus.
rRANslated in the YEAR 1701, on occasion of
THE KING OF FRANCE's BREAKING THE PEACE OF RYSWICK.
O Sparras youths! what fascinating charms
Or can you see their armies rush from far,
Recr"ATI ve. Bright Venus and her son stood by, And heard a proud disdainful fair Thus boast her wretched liberty; They scorn'd she should the raptures share, Which their happier captives know, Nor would Cupid draw his bow To wound the nymph, but laugh d out this reply. A 1 ft. Proud and foolish' hear your fate' Waste your youth, and sigh too late For joys which now you say you hate. When : our decaying eyes Can dart their fires no more, The wrinkles of three score Shall make you vainly wisc. Proud and foolish hear vour fate' Waste your vouth, and sigh too late For joys which now you say you hate.
Os silver Tyber's vocal shore, The fam'd Scarlatist rook his lyre, • And strove, with charms unknown before, The springs of tuneful sound to explore, Bevond what Art alone could e'er inspire; When see—the sweet essay to hear, Venus with her son drew near, And, pleas'd to ask the master's aid, The mother goddess, smiling, said. * a tr. Harmonious son of Phoebus, see, 'Tis Love, ’tis little Love I bring. The queen of beauty sues to thee, To teach her wanton boy to sing. Rrcio ATI ve. The plas'd musician heard with joy, And, proud to teach th' intaortal boy, Did all his songs and heavenly skill impart; The boy, to recompense his art, Repeating, did each song improve, And breath’d into his airs the charns of love, And taught the inaster thus to touch the heart. A tit. . Love inspiring, Sounds persuading, Makes his darts resisticss fly; !3eauty aiding, Arts aspi, in: ,