L'alto consiglio (Philippe de Monte)

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  • (Posted 2024-02-27)  CPDL #79294:         
Editor: Pothárn Imre (submitted 2024-02-27).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 112 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed from 1581 print. Original key (chiavi naturali) and note values. Accents added to text according to modern usage.

General Information

Title: L'alto consiglio
Composer: Philippe de Monte
Lyricist: Vittoria Colonna
Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SAATB
Genre: SacredMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1581 Il primo libro de madrigali spirituali a cinque voci, no. 2

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

L’alto consiglio alhor ch’elegger volse
Madre a Dio in terra con divina cura
Vedendo già cader nostra natura
Lei sola tenne e in grembo a sé l’accolse

Dal giusto sdegno suo colui la tolse
Che sol forma le leggi e il ciel misura
E fuor d’ombra d’error candida e pura
Dal nodo universal non mai la sciolse.

Perchè non la legò, né meno in forse
La lasció di cader ma caro in mano
Sempre serbò quel bel cristallo intiero

E per far l’ordin suo più dritto il torse
Per altro solo a lui noto sentiero
E lo condusse al camin nostro humano.

English.png English translation

The high Counsel, the One who chose
with divine providence the Mother of God on earth,
saw our nature falling, and
He held her alone and kept her on His lap.

From His righteous indignation He took her away,
He who alone forms the laws and measures the heavens.
And out of the shadow of error, he took her, radiant and pure,
never detached from the universal connection.

For He has not bound her nor ever let her
Fall, but held her dearly in his hand,
kept her intact as a precious jewel.

And, to make his commandment even straighter, He twisted it
to take another path, known to Him only,
and led it on our human path.