The extreme smallness of insects (Maggie Furtak)
- Editor: Maggie Furtak (submitted 2017-05-26). Score information: Letter, 7 pages, 1.68 MB Copyright: Personal
- Edition notes:
First published: 2017
Description: This text is from the chapter in Pliny the Elder's "Natural History," (Libros Naturalis Historiae) on the smallness of insects, in which he wonders at the ability of nature to not only glue the wings onto gnats without making a sticky mess of the job, but also to provide those wings with nerves and a circulatory system, and to somehow fit a startlingly loud voice into the package as well.
I've included a piano reduction for rehearsal. Please note the two tenor notes in parentheses at measure 30, which may be employed in addition to, or instead of the 1st tenor notes, if your second tenors require them, or if you have only second tenors and attempting to sing an A will cause tuning problems. Enjoy, and please feel free to contact me with any questions or feedback.
Original text and translations
sed turrigeros elephantiorum miramur umeros taurorumque colla et truces in sublime iactus,
tigrium rapinas, leonum iubas, cum rerum natura nusquam magis quam in minimis tota sit.
…cum in contemplatione naturae nihil possit videri supervacuum.
We marvel at the shoulders of elephants carrying turrets, and bulls tossing aside whatever stands in their way with their strong necks,
at the ravening of tigers, at lions' manes, but Nature is nowhere greater than in her smallest works.
…in the study of the natural world, nothing is superfluous.