La cortesia (Orlando di Lasso)

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  • (Posted 2013-10-28)  CPDL #30438:        (Finale 2008)
Editor: André Vierendeels (submitted 2013-10-28).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 70 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2008-02-18)  CPDL #16118:         
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2008-02-18).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 20 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: NoteWorthy Composer file may be viewed and printed with NoteWorthy Composer Viewer.
  • (Posted 2006-06-22)  CPDL #11925:         
Editor: Sabine Cassola (submitted 2006-06-22).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 67 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: La cortesia
Composer: Orlando di Lasso

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularVillanella

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1555 in Le quatoirsiesme livre a 4 parties, no. 11
    2nd published: 1565 in Dixhuictieme livre de chansons (Le Roy & Ballard), no. 10
    3rd published: 1570 in Second livre des chansons a 4 et 5 parties, no. 4
    4th published: 1576 in Cantiones suavissimae (Leonhard Schröter) – sacred contrafact, no. 11
    5th published: 1584 in Continuation du mellange, no. 14
    6th published: 1592 in La fleur des chansons, no. 20

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

La cortesia voi, donne, predicate
ma mai non l’osservate, vi so dire:
R: Voi lo vedete s’è come dico io?
Sol ch’io ti parlo, dici: "va' con Dio!"

Se la dicete perchè non me amate
et hai pietà di tanto mio martire?

Quando vi tengo mente, ve n’entrate,
e senza causa me vòi far morire.

Va', figlia mia, se vòi predicare
l’opere bone, ti bisogna fare.

German.png German translation

1. Die Höflichkeit, die ihr Frauen predigt,
haltet ihr selbst nicht ein,
das kann ich euch sagen;
willst du sehen, daß es so ist, wie ich sage?
Ich brauche dich nur anzusprechen
und schon sagst du: Geh mit Gott!

2. Wenn ihr so sagt, warum liebt ihr mich also nicht
und lasst mich grundlos sterben?

3. Wenn ich euch halte, wenn ihr hereinkommt,
habt ihr Mitleid mit meinem grossen Martyrium?

4. Geh, meine Tochter, auch wenn ihr predigt,
die guten Werke wollen getan sein.

English.png English translation

You ladies preach courtesy
but never observe it, I can assure you.
You know I'm telling it exactly as it is,
yet when I talk to you, you say, "Get lost".

You say that ["Get lost"] because you don't love me,
and you pity my great suffering?
You know…

When I pay attention to you, you go inside
and, for no reason at all, you wish me dead.
You know…

Go, my girl, because if you want to preach,
you've got some good deeds to do.
You know…

Translation by Campelli
English.png English translation

You women preach kindness,
but never display any yourselves, let me tell you.
Refrain: Wouldst thou see whether what I say is true?
If I but speak to thee, at once thou biddest me farewell.

If this is how you talk, why do you not love me?
not take pity on so much suffering?

When I hold you in my arms as you come in,
Without cause thou seekest to bring about my death.

Come, my girl, to preach is all very fine,
But good works must be performed as well.
Translation by Mick Swithenbank
Note: The mixture of singular/familiar and plural/polite 'you' forms in this text seems rather arbitrary, but I have reflected it in the translation. 'Cortesia' can mean 'courtesy', 'kindness' or 'graciousness'.

Latin.png Latin text

Omnia plena vis facisque Deus
repleti sumus et nos esculentis,
gratias agimus tibi datori,
fac et in Coelis olim gaudeamus.
Contrafact from Cantiones suavissimae (Leonhard Schröter)