Lasciar' il velo (Francesco de Layolle)

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  • (Posted 2011-06-16)  CPDL #23746:        (Sibelius 6)
Editor: Walker Boyle (submitted 2011-06-16).   Score information: Letter, 6 pages, 96 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Musica ficta added to cadences by the editor. : Note by Mick Swithinbank: In performance I would add a few more E flats to the bass part: certainly in bars 2, 46 and 60. In bar 40, a possible alternative reading would be C natural in the Soprano with E flat in the Bass.

General Information

Title: Lasciar' il velo
Composer: Francesco de Layolle
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca : (Rerum vulgarium fragmenta), Ballata XI

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1539 in Il primo libro de' madrigali a 4 voci, no. 1.24

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Lassare il velo o per sole o per ombra,
donna, non vi vid’io
poi che in me conosceste il gran desio
ch’ogni altra voglia d’entr’al cor mi sgombra.

Mentr’io portava i be’ pensier’ celati,
ch’ànno la mente desïando morta,
vidivi di pietate ornare il volto;
ma poi ch’Amor di me vi fece accorta,
fuor i biondi capelli allor velati,
et l’amoroso sguardo in sé raccolto.

Quel ch’i’ piú desïava in voi m’è tolto:
sí mi governa il velo
che per mia morte, et al caldo et al gielo,
de’ be’ vostr’occhi il dolce lume adombra.

Canzoniere 11

English.png English translation

I have not seen you, lady,
remove your veil in sun or shadow,
because you knew my great desire
that dispels all other wishes from my heart.

While I held concealed the thoughts
that cause the mind to desire death,
I saw your face don compassion;
but as soon as Love warned you of my presence,
the veil came to hide your blonde hair,
and the lovely countenance drew inwards.

What I cherished most from you is taken from me:
the veil has such power over me
that to my death, be it because of the heat, or of the cold,
 it shades the sweet light of your pretty eyes.

Translation by Campelli