Fiera stella (Orlando di Lasso)

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  • (Posted 2018-11-22)  CPDL #52216:   
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2018-11-22).   Score information: Letter, 5 pages, 124 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2014-06-20)  CPDL #32294:    (MIDI)    
Editor: Pothárn Imre (submitted 2014-06-20).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 103 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Original pitch (chiavi naturali) and note-values. Both parts included.

General Information

Title: Fiera stella
Composer: Orlando di Lasso
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1555 in Primo libro di madrigali a 5 voci, no. 14
Description: Madrigal in two parts: Fiera stella, and Ma tu prendi.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Prima parte
Fiera stella (s'el ciel ha forza in noi
Quanto alcun crede) fu sotto ch'io nacqui
E fiera cuna dove nato giacqui
E fiera terra ove i pie mossi poi

E fiera donna che con gli occhi suoi
E con l'arco a cui sol per segno piacqui
Fé la piaga onde Amor teco non tacqui
Ché con quelle arme risaldar la puoi.

Seconda parte
Ma tu prendi a diletto i dolor miei
Ella non già perché non son più duri
E'l colpo è di saetta e non di spiedo

Pur mi consola che languir per lei
Meglio è che gioir d'altra e tu mel giuri
Per l'orato tuo stral ed io tel credo.

Canzoniere 174

Many of the text sources have fera, rather than fiera, throughout.

English.png English translation

First part
Cruel the star (if the heavens have power
in us, as some believe) under which I was born,
and cruel the cradle where I lay once born,
and cruel the earth, where my feet then walked:

and cruel the lady, who with her eyes,
and with her bow favouring me as target,
made a wound: Love, I'm not silent about these things,
since with those weapons you could heal my hurt.

Second part
But you take some delight from my sorrow:
she does not because it is not far worse,
being only an arrow-wound, and not a spear's.

I console myself that to pine for her
is better than to joy in another: you swear it
by your golden arrow, and I believe you.

Translation by Anthony S. Kline ©