terreno o vago

Lianus

New Member
"Terreno e vago" was the title of a chamber concert I attended recently and which puzzled me. The performers said it was intended to describe contrasts in 17th century Italian music. Is it possible to translate "terreno e vago" as "earthy and foggy"? Is there a better translation?
 
  • Mary49

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Terreno e vago "Terreno e vago takes its inspiration from two Italian words that can be used to characterize emotional polarities found in music of the Italian Baroque. Terreno represents the earth – that which is profane, secular, regular and defined. Vago, in contrast, is music of reflection: it is irregular, spiritual, sacred, elusive and vague".
    I don't think that "blithe" is correct in this context.
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Terreno e vago "Terreno e vago takes its inspiration from two Italian words that can be used to characterize emotional polarities found in music of the Italian Baroque. Terreno represents the earth – that which is profane, secular, regular and defined. Vago, in contrast, is music of reflection: it is irregular, spiritual, sacred, elusive and vague".
    I don't think that "blithe" is correct in this context.
    Presumably the Italian phrase is used in English, but if we had to translate it, I'd go for the age-old symbolism of the two elements and translate it as "Earth and Air."
     

    Venus and Venice

    New Member
    Italian - Venice
    The context is 17th century music. In 17th century Italian "vago" primarily meant "beautiful", not "vague". The term would often be used to describe works of art. I'm currently translating art inventories and commentaries written in 1650.
     

    Mary49

    Senior Member
    Italian
    The context is 17th century music. In 17th century Italian "vago" primarily meant "beautiful", not "vague". The term would often be used to describe works of art. I'm currently translating art inventories and commentaries written in 1650.
    It's the title given to a 2012 performance; it isn't the title of a 17th century musical piece.
    "Earthly" and "blithe" are not opposite, while "earthly" and "spiritual" are.
    Again from my post:
    "two Italian words that can be used to characterize emotional polarities found in music of the Italian Baroque".
    Can you find "emotional polarity" in "earthly and blithe"? I cannot.
     

    A User

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Ho trovato riscontri (A.D. 1694) per cui vago si intende la musica sacra (ma non in senso stretto).
    Quindi sarebbe l'equivalente di Sacro e profano, detto al contrario.
    Profano agg. …b. Che ha per argomento motivi terreni, mondani, non religiosi.

    …Antonio di cognome Tedesco compose molti vaghi capricci di Musica, non più sentiti in quel modo di comporre, ma superò sé stesso nel celebrare i funerali del Duca Galeazzo Maria di Milano.
    …E sua op(e)ra appunto è il vago, e bellissimo Coro in Bologna della Chiesa di S Michele in Bosco.
    …e fu sua habitazione il vago, e ameno Monastero di S. Pietro Oliveto
    …Havendo veduto per fede del P. Inquisitore nel libro intitolato: Vago, e Curioso Ristretto Sagro, e Profano dell'Historia Bresciana di Leonardo Cozzando. (
    in disaccordo con il titolo sulla copertina dello stesso libro: Vago, e curioso ristretto profano, e sagro.)
    In letteratura Vago ha anche il senso di …Con sfumatura onirica d'incanto, contemplativo.
     
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    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    How do you know "Terreno e vago" meant to describe "emotional polarities found in Italian Baroque music"? Did you attend, produce or perform in the concert?
    Mary is simply quoting from the site she linked to. The person who wrote the text for the site presumably did any or all of the above, or had the text approved by those who did. If you think Pallade Musica or the Harbourfront Centre is wrong about the terms, then make your case. Mary's knowledge is not the issue here.
     

    Pietruzzo

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I'm still wondering what "terreno e vago" refers to. Music? But then, shouldn't it be "terrena e vaga"? Anyway, there aren't such issues with English. My try: "Earthly and ethereal" or even "Earthly and... unearthly"
     

    elfa

    Senior Member
    English
    I'm still wondering what "terreno e vago" refers to. Music? But then, shouldn't it be "terrena e vaga"? Anyway, there aren't such issues with English.
    Does it need to refer to anything? You often get fanciful titles applied to concerts and exhibitions - they're usually a peg to hang the programme or exhibition around. Perhaps it bothers you more as an Italian than it does me as a BE native, Pietru ;) I can think of plenty of instances where you would have just have two adjectives - "Sacred and profane" or "The sacred and profane", for the sake of argument - without having the need to justify what it refers to. :)
     

    Odysseus54

    Mod huc mod illuc
    Italian - Marche
    There are a lot of meanings for "vago" in that dictionary (have you checked all of them?); but if you read my post #4 you may agree that "blithe" is not the correct meaning for "vago":
    "Vago, in contrast, is music of reflection: it is irregular, spiritual, sacred, elusive and vague".
    Qual'è la fonte di questa definizione? Anche io tenderei a leggere 'vago' come 'leggiadro' e sim. (cfr anche un secolo e mezzo dopo 'Vaghe stelle dell' Orsa, io non credea..")
     

    Pietruzzo

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Qual'è la fonte di questa definizione?
    Si trovano molte recensioni di quel concerto, a parte quella citata da @Mary49. Questa per esempio, da cui cito:
    They called the program Terreno e Vago, Italian terms meaning, roughly, the earthly and the ineffable. In musical terms, they translate roughly into the metrical and regular (that is, the dance impulse) and the free and rhapsodic (the impulse toward extravagant recitative and expressive aria).
     

    Mary49

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Again: Look up "vago", at bottom left corner of page: Florio's 1611 Italian/English Dictionary

    "Vago" did not mean "vague" in 17th century Italian. The most common meaning then was "beautiful" or "lovely". See the modern Italian verb "invaghirsi". The verb comes from "vago" with the meaning of "desideroso", not "bello".
    "Terreno e vago" is not 17th century Italian. It's a title created in modern times.
    Perhaps you haven't read the definition given by this site: Terreno e vago

    Moreover, in your post #3 you suggested "blithe", which doesn't mean "beautiful" or "lovely", but BLITHE | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary "happy and without worry".
    Among its synonyms there are neither "beautiful" nor "lovely".
     
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