Michelangelo's Sonnet

Composed by Z. Randall Stroope
Voicing: SSAATBB a cappella
Catalog number: AMP 1104
Price: $2.00

Michelangelo's Sonnet

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (more commonly known as “Michelangelo”) was born on March 6, 1475, (17 years before Columbus landed in America), to a very modest family in Caprese, Italy in the Republic of Florence. His artistic output, even by today's standards, was staggering. Before he was 30, he had already created his two most famous sculptures - the Pietư and David. His large painting on ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is considered one of the most influential frescoes in the history of Western art. As an architect, he finished the dome in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. If that was not enough, he penned over 300 sonnets and madrigals, and was equally well-known in his day for his literary output as much as his other artistic endeavors. His contemporaries often called him “The divine one,” because his work in any one of the four disciplines (let alone, all four) - sculpture, painting, architecture and writing - was considered almost humanly impossible. To this day, nearly 500 years later, no one has approached this level of output. The name of “Michelangelo

Sonnet XXIV

Spirto ben nato *

L'amor mi prende, e la beltà mi lega;
La pietà, la mercè con dolci sguardi
Ferma speranz' al cor par che ne doni.
Qual uso o qual governo al mondo neiga.
Qual crudeltà per tempo o qual più tardi.
C'a sì bell'opra morte non perdoni?

Amor, pietà, mercè, cose sì rare.

*Spirto ben nato (text in Italian)

   Noble Sprit

Love takes me captive; beauty binds me;
Pity and mercy with sweet glances
Fill my heart with strong hope.
What law or power in the world,
What cruelty of this time or of a time to
come, Could keep Death from sparing
such a lovely face? [and beautiful soul]
Love, piety, mercy, things so rare.

Translation by Carl Johengen
used with permission

Click here to hear a recording of Michelangelo's Sonnet on YouTube. (MP4)

Z. Randall Stroope is an American composer, conductor and university professor. His composition teachers were Normand Lockwood and Cecil Effinger, both students of Nadia Boulanger, the famous French teacher (and student of Gabriel Fauré). He is the artistic director of two European summer music festivals, has conducted music for mass at the Vatican on numerous occasions, as well as annually conducting at Carnegie Hall, Chicago Orchestra Hall, and many other U.S. and international venues. He has 180 published works and has received numerous composition awards. Recordings of his music can be heard on his web site (www.zrstroope.com), or other social media sites.

Click here to see a sample.

Click here to listen to a recording (MP3).



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