Talk:Alma Nemes (Orlando di Lasso)

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Nemes?

Not a character in standard mythology books, Nemes turns up as an Hungarian name and Nemessag is "nobility" in Hungarian, while Alma is a cognate of Turkish Elma. Are we dealing with a play on Nemes alma, apparently a highly cultivated apple variety? Richard Mix (talk) 22:14, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

Bergquist is of the opinion that it refers to a singer, from the circle of the Antwerp banker Stephano Gentile, who adopted a "pseudo-antique" nickname based on Nemesis, and from that infers a relationship with Lasso. Hmm… Richard Mix (talk) 03:46, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

Well, I certainly cannot give an "expert" opinion. It is true, that Nemes is a Hungarian name (indeed, it means Noble), and Alma indeed means Apple. I think the weak point of Bergquist's opinion is that if Nemes refers to a man (Stefano Gentile) why is it feminine? Alma is a feminine adjective. This female Nemes is likened to Aphrodite (Cypris), Pallas Athene (Pallas) and the Graces (Chiaris), which are all female persons. Generally Latin does not truncate Greek words (I think it improbable, that Nemesis was shortened to Nemes). However, "Gentile" may also mean Noble, i.e. Nemes. So Nemes might be the Hungarian translation of Gentile. We should know more about Stefano Gentile. Was he of Hungarian origin? Did he have any connection with Hungary? Or did he or Lassus know some Hungarian? Is this his original name, or an Italianised name? Or was this piece written for Stefano Noble's wife? She would be Nemes and also feminine. Or is this a reference (vocemque tuam funde, canas mecum novumque melos) to a singer, which is perhaps meant ironically and it refers to a woman who was not beautiful as Aphrodite, not wise as Pallas and certainly could not sing well? Imruska (talk) 15:48, 18 September 2018 (UTC)