Vide Cor Meum   Leave a comment

Dante meets Beatrice at Ponte Santa Trinita

Dearest Arwen…

Thanks so much for a pleasant lunch and walk, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Needed the break…

Here, as I promised, is “Vide Cor Meum”, which I intended to send you ages ago…

You’re into literature; you probably know of the story of Dante Alighieri and Beatrice Portinari; “I did but see her passing by, but yet I love her, till I die”… He claimed he only ever saw her twice in his life, first when she was 8, second, when she was 18… Likely poetic license on Dante’s part… they were both members of Florence’s upper crust after all…

Beatrice was murdered at the age of 24 in the bitter factionalism that was the Florentine politics of the 13th century… and that, alas, is just about all we know about her.

“Vide Cor Meum” is an aria by Irish Composer Patrick Cassidy; a duet between Dante and Beatrice, based on the sonnet “A ciascun’alma presa” from Dante’s La Vita Nuova. I’m going to get a copy of the book, regrettably in English; time to learn Italian I suppose.

The provenance of the aria leaves somewhat to be desired. It was written for the movie Hannibal, of all things, but Patrick was so amazed at the positive reception for the work he apparently is composing a complete opera around it. Don’t be put off by its origins; the music — obviously about lost love — is indescribably beautiful.

I should add, that in The Divine Comedy, while Virgil was Dante’s guide through Hell — Beatrice was his guide through Paradise.

Love always,

Captain Roy Harkness

ITALIAN/LATIN                                  ENGLISH

Chorus: E pensando di lei                   Chorus: And thinking of her
Mi sopragiunse uno soave sonno         Sweet sleep overcame me

Beatrice: Ego dominus tuus                 Beatrice: I am your master
Vide cor tuum                                    See your heart

Dante: E d’esto core ardendo             Dante: And of this burning heart
Beatrice: Cor tuum                             Beatrice: Your heart
(Chorus: Lei paventosa)                      (Chorus: She trembling)
Dante: Umilmente pascea.                  Dante: Obediently eats.
Beatrice: Appreso gir lo                      Beatrice: Weeping, I saw him then
ne vedea piangendo.                          depart from me.

Dante: La letizia si convertia                Dante: Joy is converted
In amarissimo pianto                          To bitterest tears

Beatrice: Io sono in pace                     Beatrice: I am in peace
Dante: Cor meum                               Dante: My heart
Beatrice: Io sono in pace                     Beatrice: I am in peace
Dante: Vide cor meum                        Dante: See my heart

PS: Don’t sweat the course work. You’re bright, and you seem to be making good work a habit. Keep it up.

Beatrice's Tomb

The Tomb of Beatrice Portinari

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Posted February 17, 2012 by Capt. Roy Harkness in Uncategorized

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