Thursday, February 16, 2017

Music to relax after campaigning: Haydn's 'Insanae et vanae curae'

Today's music spot to relax after campaigning was chosen because, while the music is beautiful, the words appear particularly appropriate to the scaremongering about the local NHS perpetrated by Labour during the Copeland by-election.

When translated into English the first two lines of the lyrics of this motet could almost have been written to describe how anyone unfortunate to be taken in by the Labour propaganda might feel.

The next two lines, which are very similar in meaning to Mark's Gospel, Chapter 8, verse 36, * might be a reminder to the people responsible for writing and circulating this Labour propaganda, more than one of whom have publicly described themselves as "Christian socialists," about how hollow an achievement it is to seek worldly power, office or status by frightening vulnerable people with scaremongering and deception.

The words of the motet are

Insanae et vanae curae invadunt mentes nostras,
saepe furore replent corda, privata spe.
Quid prodest, O mortalis, conari pro mundanis,
si coelos negligas?
Sunt fausta tibi cuncta, si Deus est pro te.

These are taken from the chorus “Svanisce in un momento” in the Oratorio, “Il ritorno di Tobia” and can be loosely translated as

"Furious and hopeless fears invade our inmost hearts
again and again they fill us with unreasoning terror.

How can it profit you, oh mortal, to seek for earthly status
If you take no thought of Heaven.

Yet all things can go well for you
If God is on your side."

* Mark 8:36 reads 

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

(King James Version)

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