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G 11.015 CoverGiuseppe Porsile (1680–1750)
Posa sopra d’un faggio

Cantata for soprano voice, alto recorder and basso continuo
Edited by Franz Müller-Busch
Realization of the thorough bass by Eckhart Kuper

Girolamo G 11.015, score and 3 parts, € 19,00
ISMN 979-0-50084-063-3

sample page

G 11.014 G 11.016



Giuseppe Porsile was born on 5th May 1680 in Naples. He grew up in a family of musicians and received his musical education at the Naples' Music Academy. In 1695 however, Porsile was appointed by Charles II in Barcelona to become maestro di capella of the court chapel. Charles II died in 1700 whereupon quarrels and a war broke out as to who should be heir to the throne. When Charles III was crowned in 1703 there came no end to the upheavals, on the contrary, the con-flicts deepened. During this period Porsile dwelled at the court in Barcelona. In 1711 Charles III was crowned as Charles VI, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Porsile followed Charles VI to Vienna in the same year and stayed there for the remaining 39 years of his life. He died on 29th May 1750 at the Imperial Habsburg Court.

Together with Johann Joseph Fux (1660–1741) and Antonio Caldara (approx. 1671–1736), Porsile held a prominent post at the court being mainly responsible for the musical activities. He composed round about 20 operas and 13 oratorios as well as a considerable amount of cantatas and instrumental music. He also served as a singing-master to the Empress Elisabetta Cristina and her daughters Maria Josepha and Maria Amalia.

Only very few of his operas were performed outside Vienna. Many copies of his cantatas nevertheless are to be found in Belgium, Germany, England, Italy and Hungary which points to the fact that these works were very popular. His expressive and passionate arias as well as his mastery of counterpoint were highly appreciated. Porsile was therefore the only representative of the Neapolitan School who managed to hold his ground at the Habsburg court.

The present cantata Posa sopra d'un faggio is taken from a volume of manuscripts with the signature "Manuscript 1577a" kept in the Liszt Ferenc Zeneakadémia in Budapest, Hungary. The volume, which was written around 1840 and contains a total of 28 cantatas, bears the title "Cantate / per una voca / del Singnore Giuseppe Porsile" and originates from the Singing Academy of the Ofen-Buda choral society. The cantata itself is headed "Cantata. 26. à Flauto solo." and does not bear a composer's name.

This first edition is kept closely to the source. Adjustments have been made to the accidentals and the Italian spelling has been modernized. All further additions by the editor are indicated in the score.

Translation: Julia Whybrow

Celle, June 2015, Franz Müller-Busch


Recitativo 1

Posa sopra d'un faggio
lieta la tortorella
e in suo linguaggio
al dolce sposo suo d'amor favella.
Favella anche d'amor la su l'erbetta
quell' amante agnelletta
al suo diletto.
Pur se vuol cruda sorte
o ria magia che da lor
si allontani il caro oggetto,
meste si lagnan
del fatal destino,
né per girar de giorni
si scema in loro
il gran desio ch'ei torni.

Aria 1

Al belar d'ogn' altro agnello
l'agnelletta si rammenta
il suo caro e'l crede quello,
ma s'inganna e s'addolora.

E la tortora che mira
gir volando ogn'altro augello,
prima osserva se sia quello
poi sospira e più s'accora.

Recitativo 2

Nice già udisti e credo ben che pensi
che ciò che muove il core dell'agnelletta
e della tortorella sia un effetto d'amor
e non è amore.
Questo è un premio maggiore
che al cor più fiero spesso
da natura è concesso
sia merto qualità
sia ciò che sia
costanza o simpatia
tra sorte tal che ogn'ora
se ne rammenta chi un sol dí l'adora.

Aria 2

Sotto la fredda neve
la terra ancor sospira
del sole il vivo ardor
che la fa germogliar.

E mentre che'l riceve,
sgombrare si rimira
tutto il gelato umor
e l'erbe poi spuntar.

Recitativo 1

The turtle-dove, settled happily
atop a beech tree,
speaks in her own language
of her love for her sweet spouse.
So does the sheep
in the grass
speak of her devotion to her true love.
But should it come to pass,
through cruel fate
or evil magic,
that their loved ones part from them,
they will deplore their misfortune,
and day after day will pass,
without their great longing
for his return fading.

Aria 1

Each time a ram bleats,
the sheep will remember her loved one,
believing the bleating to be his,
but she will be wrong, and her sorrow will be great.

And the turtle-dove, in flight,
will look at every bird,
to see whether it is he,
and she will sigh, and her heart will suffer even greater pain.

Recitativo 2

Nike, you have heard this, and I believe
you think that the heart of the sheep
and of the turtle-dove
are moved by infatuation
and not by love.
This is like a great prize,
often given by nature
to the proudest heart,
be it for merit,
or for constancy, or affection.
Such the heart will never forget,
even if it only loved for a single day.

Aria 2

The earth under cold snow
is still yearning for the sun,
whose warmth
makes the plants blossom.

And the earth receives its warmth,
whilst itself admiring
the fading away of the cold,
and the growth of new grass.

Translation: Christa Lange-Rudd