The first part of this essay explains the poetry features for music of abbot Francesco Buti from Narni. The second one contains the modern edition of poems for Li Fiori, a group of polyphonic “villanelle” set to music and published in 1632 by the German nobleman Girolamo Kapsperger. Performed in a private concert in Rome, probably under the patronage of Cardinal Francesco Barberini, this work is the unique example of a music collection of 16th-century Italy entirely devoted to flowers. Buti’s poetry resumed the ancient Greek legends of the jasmine, violet, rose, purple anemone, hyacinth, narcissus and iris aiming at transforming them as means to enhance the catholic ethic. In some cases, e.g. in reference to the jasmine, Buti was inspired by the contemporaneous iconography, in particular Guido Reni’s, Guercino’s and Cartari’s pictures (cf. the “Aurora” at Rospigliosi-Pallavicini Palace, another “Aurora” at Ludovisi Casino, the treatise of Vincenzo Cartari “Le imagini dei dei degli antichi”, 1626). The core meaning of “Li Fiori” metaphors, which establish close ties with the Counter-Reformation mentality, is the slogan “talking/painting” drawn from Horace’s “Ars poetica” and Marino’s “Dicerie sacre” (1614). The poems, taken from the score of Kapsperger’s music, are conceived in an unusual structure. They intermingle different kinds of verse to which Buti adds a refrain. The absence or the ambiguous use of rhymes, and the irregular length of verses, in some cases increase the difficulty to establish the authentic form of the lines. Regarding the lexicon, some terms are retraceable also in the libretti written by the poet twenty years later for the French Royal Opera House at the time of Louis XIV’s reign.
|Number of pages||25|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|