Le musiche sopra l'Euridice
, b) Tirsi: Nel pur ardor
Jacopo Peri (1561-1633)
Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music, CD 3 Track 54
Jacopo's nuptial report might have been a good exercise for Maria and the van Trapp children. Not only did Peri make good use of do, re, mi, he also provides some nice trios for early recorder. The childlike simplicity of this narration inevitably fills the listener with optimism for our doomed lovers.
Though Peri might have left much of the instrumentation to the performer's discretion, the trios that support Tirsi are particularly effective on recorder. The long pedal tones happen to be the first note an aspiring recorder player would learn. With the exception of the highest pitch, and even that 'e' easily mastered, all of these excerpts play very comfortably. Whether Peri meant it or not, the ease with which the recorders perform supports the meaning of Rinuccini's poem.
What I like about this tune are those long pedal tones in the third recorder part. This third part benifits from the other two as much as it supports them. Alone, this part, though attractive, would be odd. Joined by its comrades, it provides the listener with a reference to follow the more active fist and second parts. In return, the more active parts fill out this unadorned line.