Dopo il duol, dopo il mal
Do you recall, O shady woods,
my long, bitter torments,
when the rocks, their hearts softened,
replied to my laments?
This is the text that begins the song (aria) from Monteverdiâ€™s Lâ€™Orfeo that inspired this work. The flute begins as a narrator, and later becomes the singing voice, but still oscillates from sections of spoken word, impressions, and back to singing again. The characters of the harp and percussion are also that of musical bards. Although Dopo il duol, Dopo il mal was inspired by this text written by librettist Alessandro Striggio for Lâ€™Orfeo, it is only a starting place and is independent from any real musical influences from Monteverdiâ€™s Lâ€™Orfeo.
I bless my torments;
after sorrow, one is all the more content,
after woe, one is all the happier
This is the stanza that ends the song (aria), and this piece ends with five repetitions of this text. Each repetition is broken up into three bars of a happier sentiment, followed by two bars of more sorrowful reminiscences, reflecting the dichotomy of joy and sorrow, which echo throughout the entire text of the aria.
- Alexandra du Bois
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