Vieni Imeneo

Marriage and Music in the Italian Renaissance

The Boston Camerata

Anne Azéma Artistic Director

Joel Cohen Music Director Emeritus

Salome Sandoval soprano, lute

Anne Azéma mezzo-soprano, direction

Deborah Rentz-Moore contralto

Daniel Hershey tenor

Donald Wilkinson bass-baritone

Carol Lewis vielle, viola da gamba

Michael Collver cornetto, countertenor

Steven Lundahl sackbut, shawm, recorder

Mack Ramsey sackbut

Brian Kay sackbut

Assisted by

The Choral Fellows of the
Harvard University Choir

Edward Jones director


Marina Connelly

Audrey Fernandez-Fraser

Bridget Haile

Jasmine Miller


Safia Ahmed

Marissa Glynias

Avery Lindeman

Jessica Rucinski


Chad Cannon

Michael Cherella

Ian Clark

Michael Lesley


Ryan Duncan

Jerome Fung

William Hawley

Jack Huizenga

Program conceived by Joel Cohen, 2008
Originally commissioned by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
A Boston Camerata series premiè€re, October 2010

I. Invocation to Hymen

after Catullus (ca. 84 BC – ca. 54 BC)

Hymen, O Hymenae

Hymen, o Hymen! Hymen, o Hymen! Hymen, o Hymen!

Claudio Monteverdi

Vieni Imeneo

Come Hymen, o come, and may your glowing visage be as the rising Sun, bringing tranquil days to these lovers, driving away the shadows of torment and despair.

II. 1423: A Wedding Invitation from Rimini

Guillaume Dufay (1400-1474)


Awaken, all tender lovers, and rejoice, spurn melancholy, for today is the wedding feast of noble Charles of Malatesta. He has chosen a fine lady, who will honor him; she is called Victory [Vittoria] and her progeny come from a pillar [Colonna], and that is why she has been demanded in marriage by the noble Charles of Malatesta.

Francisco de la Torre (fl. 1483-1504)


III. The Virgin Bride


Veni de Libano

Arise, my love, come with me from Lebanon. You have wounded my heart.

Arnold de Lantins (d. Before 1432)

Total pulchra es

Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee. Milk and honey are on thy tongue, and the smell of thine ointments surpasses all perfumes. The flowers appear on the earth, and the voice of the turtle is heard in the land. Arise, my love, come with me from Lebanon.

Antoine Brumel (c. 1460-c. 1512)

Sicut lilium inter spinas

As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

Music: Anonymous, the Ruggiero
Text: Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533)

La verginella

"The virgin has her image in the rose/Sheltered in garden on its native stock,/Which there in solitude and safe repose,/Blooms unapproached by sheperd or by flock.
For this earth teems, and freshening water flows,/And breeze and dewy dawn their sweets unlock:/With such the wistful youth his bosom dresses./With such the enamored damsel braids her tresses.
"But wanton hands no sooner this displace/From the maternal stem, where it was grown,/Than all is withered; whatsoever grace/It found with man or heaven; bloom, beauty, gone.
The damsel who should hold in higher place/Than light or life the flower which is her own,/Suffering the spoiler's hand to crop the prize,/Forfeits her worth in every other's eyes.”

Andrea Gabrieli

La verginella

The virgin has her image in the rose...

IV. The Hardy Groom

Josquin des Près (1450-1521)
Anonymous (Naples ca. 1480)

La vida de Colin

Colin’s life will not last forever. How his refined friends do behave! They go to the tavern, with great devotion.

Anonymous (Naples ca. 1480)
Anonymous (Naples ca. 1480)

La vida de Culin

Dindiridin, I awoke one morning before dawn, off to the garden to gather wallflowers. There I met the nightingale, who was singing under the branches. “Sweet nightingale, be my intermediary, and tell my lover that I am already married, dindiridin.”

Loyset Compère (c. 1445-1518)


Scaramella goes to war, with lance and buckles. Scaramella is quite the dandy with his cape and shoes!

Heinrich Isaac

Donna, didentro de la tua casa

Lady, within your house are roses, lilies, and flowers. Give me some of that cracker! Fortune, you’ve shown me a great time...give me some of that cracker!

V. The Young Bride’s Prayer

Adrian Willaert (c. 1490-1562)

Virgo gloriosa christi Margareta

Margaret, glorious virgin of Christ, hear our prayers in the presence of your brightness, We join our voices to the eternal choir that you may protect us from calamity.

VI. Epithalamium: The Wedding Feast


Simile est regnum caelorum

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Who, when he had found one pearl [margarita] of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Luzzascho Luzzaschi (1545-1607)
Luca Marenzio

Scendi dal Paradiso, Venere

Descend from Paradise, O Venus, bringing your little cupids with you. May graces and laughter be merrier than accustomed; beneath a serene sky may the Tiber flow to the sea, bearing pearls in lieu of water in its cornucopia. And may your songs touch the stars, because the fair souls of Amaryllis and Thyrsis are united in the sacred and holy knot, like the vine to the elm, like ivy or acanthus to the trunk of the tree.

Giulio Caccini

O che felice giorno

O happy day, o happy returning, reviving the weary heart. How much sweetness do I feel! O my light, my life, my infinite joy!

Claudio Monteverdi
Orazio Vecchi

Vieni Imeneo (reprise)
Fa una canzona

If you wish to win my favor, then write a song with no black notes. Do it in a mode that invites sleep, sweetly, sweetly, to a close. First of all, let there be no harshness, because my ears are not used to that. Do it in a mode that invites sleep, sweetly, sweetly, to a close.

Thomas Campion (1567-1620)
after Catullus
Claudio Monteverdi

While dancing rests
Hymen, O Hymenae
Si, ch’io vorrei morire

Yes, Love, I wish to die, now that I kiss the beautiful mouth of my heart’s desire. Ah, dear and sweet tongue, give me such moisture that I die from sweetness against her breast. Ah, my life, hold me against your white breast until I faint. Ah, lips, kisses, tongue, and thus I say again: I wish to die, to die...

Giovanni Gastoldi

Amor vittorioso

Come all ye, armed, my hardy soldiers! Fa la la. I am Love the unconquered, the accurate marksman. Do not fear in the slightest, but in a handsome formation, united, follow me, lusty ones. Fa la la!
They seem strong heroes, those arrayed against you. Fa la la. But against those who know how to hit the target, they will know not how to defend. Do not fear in the slightest, but, bold and strong, land your blows with skill. Fa la la!

Orazio Vecchi

So ben, me, ch’a bon tempo

I know well, yes I do, who is having a good time – but hush! I know who is the favorite, but I can’t say it. Ah, if only I could say who is in, and who is out. I’ll give you a little hammer, to drive you to despair. Salutations and handkissings, they are all for naught. Fa la la!