Composed by Z. Randall Stroope
Voicing: SSAATBB a cappella
Catalog number: AMP 1104
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
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)
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
About the composer...
Z. Randall Stroope is an American composer, conductor and university professor. www.zrstroope.com His composition teachers
were Normand Lockwood and Cecil Effinger, both students of Nadia Boulanger, the famous French teacher
(and student of Gabriel Faure.) He is the artistic director of international summer music festivals in Rome
and Barcelona, as well annually conducting at Carnegie Hall (New York), Kennedy Center for the Performing
Arts (Washington, D.C.), Chicago's Orchestra Hall, and other U.S. and international venues. He has over
180 published musical works and has received numerous composition awards. Recordings of his music can
be heard on his web site www.zrstroope.com , publisher websites, or definitive recordings he has made of
his works for youtube (Z. Randall Stroope, conductor and composer).
here to hear a recording of Michelangelo's Sonnet on YouTube. (MP4)
Click here to see a sample.
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