¡Ay! Linda Amiga
arrangement for soprano and mezzo-soprano (or alto) a cappella (2012)
by Ron Hannah

Duration: 2 minutes

     Every three years, Mindelheim, in Bavaria, holds its Frundsberg Fest, during which the town goes Renaissance. People parade about in sumptuous costumes, battles are re-enacted, there are trumpets and drums, and much beer is consumed (never mind that Georg von Frundsberg (1473-1528) was as much a thug as a hero). In 2012 the festival included a play from that time, namely La Mandragola, a comedy by Machiavelli. "Wait", I hear you say (because I said it myself), "Machiavelli, the cynical author of The Prince?" Well, yes, and it's very funny. It's also kind of a morality play in the sense that everyone gets what he wants, both the



good guys and the bad guys. Thought of that way, it can more easily be accepted as being by Machiavelli (who never actually said "The end justifies the means", btw).

     It was directed by Andrea Mellis, who became my wife the following year. When she directs historical plays of this sort she likes to interpolate music where it is appropriate. In this case, she inserted several of her favourite madrigals at scene changes. One of those was ¡Ay! Linda Amiga, an anonymous, and very sensuous, Spanish love song. The cast performed it twice, once in 4 parts (SATB), and once by two women alone: my arrangement. They sang it as if it were a conversation, across a simple table, and it was very effective. Andrea had specified that it should be decorated and florid, so that is what I endeavoured to write. It's not the sort of thing I would normally consider, but this was a special request from a friend with the assurance that very good singers would be performing it. That assurance was correct: the reviewer in the Augsburger Allgemeine wrote "Besonders eindrucksvoll [Especially striking...}: das Duett von Sonja Berthel als Mutter Lucrezias, und Barbara Lutz als Dienerin des Callimaco." It doesn't matter if you can't read the German (I'm learning). It is praise for the duet overall, and while I am sure the reviewer was impressed at the singers' vibrant delivery, I'm going to take my share of the credit too! To watch a video taken during a costume run-through, please send me an email (below).

     The first page of the score may be obtained by clicking above. If you wish to perform it, please contact me. I do this so that I may elicit from you a promise to send me the details of your performance so that I can keep my performance page up-to-date!