If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Patrick Cassidy 'Vide Cor Meum' ~ Hannibal

Vide Cor Meum is a song composed by Patrick Cassidy, a brilliant Irish composer, based on Dante's "La Vita Nuova", specifically on the sonnet "A ciascun'alma presa", in chapter 3 of the Vita Nuova.

The song was produced by Patrick Cassidy and Hans Zimmer and was performed by Libera / Lyndhurst Orchestrathe, conducted by Gavin Greenaway. Singers are Danielle de Niese and Bruno Lazzaretti, who play Beatrice and Dante, respectively.

The song first appeared in the movie Hannibal (2001), while Dr. Hannibal Lecter and Inspector Pazzi see an outdoor opera in Florence, and was specially composed for the movie. This aria was chosen to be performed at the Oscars in 2002 during the presentation of a lifetime achievement award to producer Dino De Laurentiis and at the 53rd Annual Emmy awards.

It was also used in Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven (2005), during King Baldwin IV's funeral. - wikipedia

(Chorus: Pensando di lei
Mi E sopragiunse uno soave sono)

Ego dominus tuus
Vide cor tuum
E d'esto core ardendo
Cor tuum

(Chorus: Lei paventosa)

Umilmente pascea.
Appresso gir lo ne vedea piangendo.
La letizia si convertia
In amarissimo pianto
Io sono in pace
Cor meum
Io sono in pace
Vide cor meum

(Chorus: And thinking of her
Sweet sleep overcame me)

I am your master
See your heart
And of this burning heart
Your heart

(Chorus: She trembling)

Obediently eats.
Weeping, I saw him then depart from me.
Joy is converted
To bitterest tears
I am in peace
My heart
I am in peace
See my heart

- Vide Cor Meum.

To every loving heart and captive soul
into whose sight these present words may come
for some elucidation in reply,
greetings I bring for their sweet lord’s sake, Love.
The first three hours of night were almost spent,
the time that every star shines down on us,
when Love appeared to me all of a sudden
and I still shudder at the memory.
Joyous love looked to me while he was holding
my heart within his hands, and in his arms
my lady lay asleep wrapped in a veil.
He woke her then and trembling and obedient
she ate that burning heart out of his hand;
weeping I saw him then depart from me.

- Sonnet 1, Il Vite Nuovo, Dante Aligheri.

The words to Vide Cor Meum were taken from Dante's La Vita Nuova (The New Life) where Dante describes his first forays into poetry. Vide Cor Meum is concerned with the first sonnet where Dante describes a vision he had and asks for help in interpreting it.

As Dante tells it, when he was 9, he became quite smitten with a little girl he called Beatrice. He only saw her in passing but was soon obsessed with her. Nine years later, he sees her again. This time she says hello and Love overwhelms poor Dante. He goes back to his room and "thinking of her, sweet sleep overcame" him. Then he sees the vision of Love holding a woman (Beatrice) who is wrapped in a veil. Love says, "I am your master."

In one of Love's hands there is a heart on fire and he says to Dante, "Vide cor tuum: See your heart". Then Love wakes Beatrice and feeds Dante's burning heart to her which she reluctantly eats.
Love, then, becomes very sad and takes Beatrice with him up toward heaven.

Dante never tells us what it means. In fact, the sonnet asks for possible interpretations. One such interpretation was recorded by Dante's good friend Cavalcanti who suggested that falling in love was, on the lady's part, a sad event and perhaps a prelude to her death.

Both Dante and Beatrice married other people and Beatrice died at the age of 24. Dante wrote La Vita Nuova about 2 years later. It was right about at that time when Dante was becoming interested in philosophy and politics.

One theory suggests that Beatrice might have been a symbol of some secret Florentine political society but I don't know enough about that to make any sense of it. What makes the most sense to me now is that Beatrice was Dante's muse. - hannibal.hannotations

A video tribute to Hannibal Lecter with the classical opera song Vide Cor Meum from the soundtrack of The Silence Of The Lambs


  1. What beautiful music, but I could never watch the film.

  2. Happy to note
    that you like this, Sue.
    Indeed, this is truly
    a heavenly choral piece
    as music integrates
    with poetry...

    You could never
    watch Silence of the Lambs?
    Why, might I ask?
    Certainly it is a packed
    with an all-out horror theme
    and psycho-study
    that could make anyone
    quiver in fear and
    cringe from their seats.