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This piece was created by La Cetra d’Orfeo with the counter-tenor Dominique Corbiau, under the direction of Michel Keustermans, who dedicated it to Princess Mathilde of Belgium on 17 October 2012 in Istanbul.
The original orchestration was intended for an alto or mezzo-soprano voice, tenor viol, 2 recorders, percussion (def, derbouka or zarb) ad lib., with bass continuo (viola da gamba, harp, archilute). Other instruments are possible, such as a string quartet (2 violins, viola and ‘cello) or 2 violins and 2 viols. Harpsichord or organ can also be added to the bass continuo.
A version for high voice (soprano or tenor) also exists with some small modifications to the melodic line.
The text comes from a sonnet by Petrarch CCLX, who was describing the character of a person of noble rank. In style, the music is evocative of an Italian canzonetta from the time of Frescobaldi, bringing out as much as possible the full meaning of the text by some rhetorical devices.