La nuict froide et sombre (Orlando di Lasso)

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  • (Posted 2020-11-15)  CPDL #61440:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2020-11-15).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 234 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score. Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download. Original pitch for ATTB
  • (Posted 2015-05-02)  CPDL #35280:       
Editor: Robert Urmann (submitted 2015-05-02).   Score information: Executive, 2 pages, 170 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: newly transcribed from 1576 partbooks.
  • (Posted 2010-01-29)  CPDL #20917:        (Finale 2003)
Editor: Robert van der Peijl (submitted 2010-01-29).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 95 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: In D dorian (no key signature).
  • (Posted 2006-08-06)  CPDL #12258:      (PostScript)    
Editor: Mark Wenzel (submitted 2006-08-06).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 30 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: In D dorian '. Based on CPDL #1903. Note values halved.
Error.gif Possible error(s) identified. Error summary: Mistake in pdf: first note for tenor should be one tone higher.
  • (Posted 2017-05-29)  CPDL #12257:       
Editor: Vincent Carpentier (submitted 2017-05-29).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 40 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: D dorian '. Based on CPDL #1903 and checked with the 1576 part books. Also available on IMSLP.
  • (Posted 2000-12-13)  CPDL #01903:    (MuP)
Editor: Vincent Carpentier (submitted 2000-12-13).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 40 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transposed up a tone to E dorian (2 sharps).  '. Written with Music Publisher (MUP). MUP file is zipped.

General Information

Title: La nuict froide et sombre
Composer: Orlando di Lasso
Lyricist: Joachim du Bellay

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicings: SATB or ATTB
Genre: SecularChanson

Language: French
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1576 in Les meslanges, tant en vers latins qu’en ryme francoyse, no.  
  2nd published: 1931 in Das Chorwerk, no. 13.4
Description: The text is an ode by Joachim du Bellay (1522-1560), first published in 1549. Lassus has written very expressive music, following closely the meaning of the words.

External websites:

Original text and translations

French.png French text

La nuict froide et sombre,
Couvrant d'obscure ombre
La terre et les cieux,
Aussi doux que miel,
Fait couler du ciel
Le sommeil aux yeux.
Puis le jour luisant,
Au labeur duisant,
Sa lueur expose,
Et d'un tein divers,
Ce grand univers
Tapisse et compose.

English.png English translation

The night, cold and dark,
Covering with obscure shadow
Earth and skies,
As sweet as Honey
Pours from the sky
The sleep into the eyes.

Then, the gleaming day
Leading to labour,
Its light spreads.
And with diverse tint
Drapes and composes
This Great Universe.

(modifications welcome)

Alternate translation:
Night cold and sombre,
covering with dark shade
earth and heaven,
pours from the sky
sleep, as sweet as honey,
on the eyes.

Then day, following
and leading men to toil,
spreads its light,
and with varying colours
weaves and ordains
this great universe.

Dutch.png Dutch translation

Translation by Dick Wursten (2005)- letterlijke vertaling

De nacht, koud en somber
bedekkend met duistere schaduw
de aarde en de hemel…,
net zo zoet als honing
laat zij stromen uit de hemel
de slaap in de ogen.

Dan de dag, daaropvolgend,
bij de aangename arbeid
stelt zijn licht ten toon…
en met heel verscheiden tint
bekleedt zij dit grote universum
en voegt het samen.

German.png German translation

Die Nacht, kalt und dunkel,
Bedeckt mit undurchdringlichen Schatten
Die Erde und den Himmel.
So sanft wie Honig
Lässt sie den Schlaf
In die Augen fließen.

Doch am nächsten Tag
Zur harten Arbeit
Breitet sie ihren Glanz aus
Und bedeckt und gestaltet
Mit schillernden Farben
Dieses große Universum.

Korean.png Korean translation

천지를 컴컴한 음영으로 뒤덮는
춥고 어두운 밤이
꿀처럼 달디단 졸음을
하늘로부터 두 눈에 흘린다

그리고 빛나는 날이
사람을 일터로 이끌며
그 섬광을 드러내고
이 장대한 우주를
수천가지 색으로
뒤덮고 만들어낸다