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Weekles

Thomas Weekles (ca. 1575-1623)

As Vesta Was Descending

CD 1, Track 53


This madrigal comes from an anthology of English madrigals entitled The Triumphes of Oriana written in honor of Queen Elizabeth in 1601 (the Queen was often called Oriana). The work consists of six voices and portrays Vesta (the Roman goddess of the hearth) and her attandants in an encounter with the "maiden queen" (Elizabeth/Oriana) on a mythical hill. Note in the example below that Vesta descending the hill is musically depicted (painted) by a descending melodic line. Conversely, an ascending scale depicts the maiden queen climbing the hill.

 

53)      Descending As Vesta was from Latmos hill descending,
  scales.  
     
:14 Ascending she spied a maiden queen the same ascending,
  scales. attended on by all the shepherds swain,
  Rapid to whom Diana's darlings came running down amain.
  descending  
  figures.  
     
1:08 Two voices. First two by two,
  Three voices;       then three by three together,
  all voices.  
     
  Solo voice. leaving their goddess all alone, hasted thither,
    and mingling with the shepherds of her train
    with mirthful tunes her presence entertain.
    Then sang the shepherds and nymphs of Diana,
     
  Brief joyful Long live fair Oriana!
  phrase  
  imitated  
  among voices;  
  long notes in  
  bass.  



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