Amore e 'l cor gentil sono una cosa
The full title of Amore translates to, “Love and the gentle heart are one and the same,” and I wrote this love duet especially for my dear friends Jennifer and Eddie’s nuptials in Florence, Italy.
What better text could I set than a beautiful love sonnet in Italian from La vita nuova by Dante, the revered Florentine poet?
Amore also kicks off National Philharmonic’s Spring 2021 live stream concert, Amore & Mozart, which is simulcast on WETA, the leading public broadcasting station in the nation’s capital.
Led by conductor Piotr Gajewski, the concert features my favorite operatic duo of Met soprano Danielle Talamantes and bass-baritone Kerry Wilkerson - who sang it at the wedding and for whose voices I wrote the duet!
There are three versions of Amore:
- Soprano, Baritone, String Quintet and Piano - Danielle and Kerry premiered this version at the 2019 High Peaks Music Festival in Great Barrington, MA in the Berkshires.
- Soprano, Baritone and Chamber Orchestra - This version enjoys its premiere with National Philharmonic in Spring 2021.
- Soprano, Baritone and Piano (or Organ) - This is an orchestral reduction for recital or church performance.
Danielle, Kerry and I recorded Amore for our latest album, At That Hour: Art Songs by Henry Dehlinger, which was released in October 2020 by Avie Records.
I'm especially thrilled that Amore is featured on Spotify’s curated High Notes playlist, representing “the best new releases in opera and vocal music.”
Amore e 'l cor gentil sono una cosa,
Sì come il saggio in suo dittare pone,
E così esser l'un sanza l'altro osa
Com/alma razional sanza ragione.
Falli natura quand'è amorosa,
Amor per sire e 'l cor per sua magione,
Dentro la qual dormendo si riposa
Tal volta poca e tal lunga stagione.
Bieltate appare in saggia donna pui,
Che piace a gli occhi sì, che dentro al core
Nasce un disio de la cosa piacente;
E tanto dura talora in costui,
Che fa svegliar lo spirito d'Amore.
E simil face in donna omo valente.
Love and the gentle heart are one same thing,
Even as the wise man in his ditty saith:
Each, of itself, would be such life in death
As rational soul bereft of reasoning.
'Tis nature makes them when she loves: a king
Love is, whose palace where he sojourneth
Is called the heart; there draws he quiet breath
At first, with brief or longer slumbering.
Then beauty seen in virtuous womankind
Will make the eyes desire, and through the heart
Send the desiring of the eyes again;
Where often it abides so long enshrin'd
That Love at length out of his sleep will start.
And women feel the same for worthy men.
Dante Alighieri, 1265 - 1321
(Trans. Dante Gabriel Rossetti)
YEAR OF COMPOSITION
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
Full Score: Soprano, Baritone & Orchestra (fl.ob.cl.bn/hn/str)
Chamber Score: Soprano, Baritone, String Quintet (2vn.va.2vc) & Piano
Vocal Score: Soprano, Baritone & Piano
Digital & Print: J.W. Pepper