L'alto signor dinanzi a cui non vale (Cipriano de Rore)

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  • (Posted 2024-01-23)  CPDL #78858: 
Original key (high chiavette):   (MIDI)    
Transposed down a fourth:      
Editor: Pothárn Imre (submitted 2024-01-23).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 134 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed from 1557 edition. The errors corrected against the 1563 edition. Original note values.
  • (Posted 2015-05-13)  CPDL #35390:          (Finale 2014)
Editor: Willem Verkaik (submitted 2015-05-13).   Score information: Letter, 6 pages, 555 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: L'alto signor dinanzi a cui non vale
Composer: Cipriano de Rore
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1557 in Il quarto libro de madrigali a cinque voci, no. 20
Description: Sonnet 241

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

L’alto signor dinanzi a cui non vale
 nasconder né fuggir, né far difesa,
 di bel piacer m’avea la mente accesa
 con un ardente et amoroso strale;

E benche’l primo colpo aspro e mortale
 fossi da sé, per avanzar sua impresa
 una saetta di pietate à presa,
 e quince e quindi il cor punge et assale.

L’una piaga arde e versa foco e fiamma;
 lagrime l’altra che’l dolor distilla,
 per gli occhi miei, del vostro stato rio:

né per dui fonti sol una favilla
 rallenta de l’incendio che m’infiamma,
 anzi per la pietà, cresce’l desio.

English.png English translation

The lord up high, before whom
There is no hiding, nor fleeing, nor arguing,
Had kindled sweet bliss in my mind
With a glowing arrow of love.

And though his first blow was bitter and deadly,
To pursue his onslaught,
He has taken an arrow made of compassion,
And stabs and assails all sides of my heart.

One wound burns and gushes fire and flame,
The other tears—which grief presses
Through my eyes for your wretched condition:

Neither spring can douse the least flicker
Of the blaze that inflames me:
Instead, desire grows from compassion.