Perch' al viso (Jacques Arcadelt)

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  • (Posted 2013-03-21)  CPDL #28576:        (Finale 2008)
Editor: André Vierendeels (submitted 2013-03-21).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 115 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Perch' al viso
Composer: Jacques Arcadelt
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1538 in Madrigali a cinque voci (Philippe Verdelot), Edition 1, no. 29

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Perch'al viso d'Amor portava insegna,
mosse una pellegrina il mio cor vano,
ch'ogni altra mi parea d'onor men degna.

Et lei seguendo su per l'erbe verdi,
udí' dir alta voce di lontano:
Ahi, quanti passi per la selva perdi!

Allor mi strinsi a l'ombra d'un bel faggio,
tutto pensoso; et rimirando intorno,
vidi assai periglioso il mio vïaggio;

et tornai indietro quasi a mezzo 'l giorno.

Canzoniere 54
English.png English translation

Because she bore Love's emblems in her aspect,
a pilgrim, she stirred my idle heart,
so that all others seemed less worthy of honour.

And I followed her over the green grass:
hearing a loud voice from the distance:
'Ah, how many steps you lose in this wood!'

I crouched in the shade of a lovely beech,
pensively: and looking all around me,
I saw many dangers on my road:

and turned back, almost at the point of noon.

Translation by Anthony S. Kline ©
German.png German translation

Weil sie im Antlitz trug der Liebe Zeichen,
Mußt’ eine Pilgrinn mir das Herz bewegen;
Denn keine schien an Liebreiz ihr zu gleichen.

Durch grüne Gräser folgt’ ich ihrem Tritte,
Und fernher scholl mir eine Stimm’ entgegen:
„Ach! Durch den Wald wie viel verlierst du Schritte!“

Da hilet in schöner buche Schattenkreise
Ich sinnend still und sandt’ umher die Blicke,
Und sah, wie so gefährlich meine Reise,

Und kehrte fast um Mittagszeit zurücke.

Translation by Karl Förster