Asia felice (Andrea Gabrieli)

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  • (Posted 2010-05-25)  CPDL #21656:        (Sibelius 6)
Editor: Lewis Jones (submitted 2010-05-24).   Score information: A4, 10 pages, 84 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Down a fourth according to the rules of chiavette transposition. This madrigal is likely for two four part choirs, choir 1 (AATBar) sing part 1, choir 2 (TTBarB) sings part 2 and both choirs sing part 3 (ATBarB).
  • (Posted 2003-10-22)  CPDL #05829:      (Sibelius 2)
Editor: Steven Langley Guy (submitted 2003-10-22).   Score information: A4, 11 pages, 92 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Asia felice
Composer: Andrea Gabrieli

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicings: SSAT or ATBB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1589 in Madrigali et ricercari a 4 voci, no. 15–17
Description:  These pieces were almost certainly written for the celebration after the naval Battle of Lepanto and the victory over the Ottomans in 1571. Each piece, describing the continents Asia, Africa and Europe, features a different cleffing (G2,G2,C2,C4; C1,C2,C3,F3; and G2,C2,C3,F3 respectively) and mensuration. Iain Fenlon believes it likely these were each sung by three separate choirs, followed by a now-lost fourth piece that would have been scored a 12.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Asia felice hor ben posso chiamarmi
Ch’è vint’in mar di me l’empio nemico.
Ma più sarò quando con gaudio l’armi
De’ figli miei faransi ogn’un amico.

Et io più all’hor felice Affrica piene
Havrò di frutti e fior l’aride arene
E, per campagne più che mai feconde
Porterà il Nilo al mar d’argento l’onde.

Felice Europa anch’io godo non meno
Che più che mai con gloriose prove
Hor sotto un vero Dio, non falso Giove
Havrò del mond’ un’ altra volta il freno.

English.png English translation

I, Asia, can call myself happy with good reason,
For my wicked enemy has been vanquished at sea.
Yet even happier shall I be when with joy
My sons' arms make everyone their friend.

I, Africa, happier still, shall have my sandy wastes
Filled with fruits and flowers
And the Nile, flowing through lands more fertile
Than ever seen before, will bear its waters to the silver sea.

I, Europe, happy too, rejoice no less
That more irresistibly than ever, thanks to glorious feats,
Now guided by a true God, not by false Jove,
Once again I shall take the reins of the world in my hands.
Translation by Mick Swithinbank