Cathalina apra finestra (Orlando di Lasso)

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  • (Posted 2018-08-25)  CPDL #50996:         
Editor: Walker Boyle (submitted 2018-08-25).   Score information: Letter, 11 pages, 266 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Cathalina apra finestra
Composer: Orlando di Lasso

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicing: SSATTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1581 in Libro de villanelle, moresche et altre canzoni, no. 18

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Part 1:
Cathalina, apra finestra,
se voi senta Giorgia cantara;
se tu en'a me sonara,
passa tutta fantanasia.
Je te priega, core mia,
Non volere scorrucciare,
Perche Giorgia vol cantara,
Per passare fantanasia.
Spetta loco et non partutta,
Quant'accordo quissa Liuta;
Tron, tron, tirin tron, . . .

Part 2:
Andar avalenza, Gia calagia,
Schincina bacu, sana laqua!
Affaci'un poco, quissa pertusa!
Lassa via un poc' a tia,
Vogio cant'una canzona
Come fusse tamborina,
Hu, a te bella, hu a te mania,
Hu, a te canazza! Zuccara mia!
Chissa capilla come latte,
Fronte luce, come crescere,
Occhi tua come lanterna,
Chissa nassa sprofilata,
Faccia tua come smeralda,
Chissa labra marzapanata
Bocca tua come doanna,
Cizza grossa come fiascone;
Lassa biber'a Giorgia tua,
Bella infanta!
Vostr 'amore mi fa morire!
Tutta la notte la galla canta;
Giorgia mia non puo dormire;

Mala francisca possa venire
Come na ladra figla de cane,
Tira va trasse, bibe la broda
Come gatta nigra.

Poi che tu non voi facciare,
Jo di qua voglio par tutta.

Su, schiavo ladra, cana musata,
Diriet'a la porta, nistillingo,
Madonna trovata, nistillingo,
Con Giorgi'abracciata, nistillingo


English.png English translation

Part 1:
GIORGIO: Caterina, open your window,
if you want to hear your Giorgio sing.
If you listen to my song,
you'll forget your ill humour.
I beg of you, my heart,
don't fly into a rage
when Giorgio wants to sing
to make you a little happier.
Wait a little, don't go away,
let me tune my lute.
Tron, tron, tiri tron…

Part 2:
Come on, show your face,
hurry up, devil take you!
Come to the window,
show your face for just a minute.
I'm going to sing you a song
just like the drummers do,
for you, my lovely one, for you, rascally girl,
the light of my life.
 'Your hair as soft as milk,
 your forehead like a crescent moon,
 your eyes like two lanterns,
 your straight and splendid nose,
 your face, shining like an emerald
 your lips like marzipan
 your mouth like that of a doe,
 your breasts as big as wine gourds,
 let your Giorgio drink from them,
 lovely child!
 All night long, the cock sings*,
 and Giorgio can no longer go to sleep.'

CATERINA: You can die from the pox
like a wretch, you son of a bitch.
Get the hell out of here, go and drink your fill in the kitchen
Like a black cat.

GIORGIO: Since you don't want to come out,
I'm going away forever.

CATERINA: Off with you, you wretched dog snout.
Over my dead body
would I be found behind a door
in Giorgio's arms.

  • In the Italian, as well as in English, this is an intentional metaphor for male genitalia.