Luce ne gl'occhi (Hans Leo Hassler)

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  • (Posted 2021-10-30)  CPDL #66450:         
Editor: Gerhard Weydt (submitted 2021-10-30).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 181 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transposed down a fourth because of the chiavette used.

General Information

Title: Luce ne gl'occhi
Composer: Hans Leo Hassler
Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1596 in Madrigali a 5, 6, 7 & 8 voci, no. 14
    2nd published: 1900 in Ausgewählte Madrigale und mehrstimmige Gesänge , Book II, no. 4

External websites:

Original text and translations

LUC e RETIA are written using capitals, forming the name Lucretia, although not consequently and correctly in all voices. This name may have been the reason for Alfred Noe (“Die Präsenz der romanischen Literaturen…”, 1997) – or one of the sources he used – to attribute the text to Tasso, who wrote many poems for Lucrezia Bendidio, a member of the first Concerto delle Donne in Ferrara. But the text is not to be found in the Einaudi edition of Tassos’s works and nowhere else in the net), and there is no indication that Lucrezia Bendidio played the lute or harp, as indicated in the poem.
“retia” ist the Latin plural of “rete”, better fitting the intent than the Italian “reti”.

Italian.png Italian text

LUCe ne gl'occhi e RETIA nelle trezze,
Ond' arde e lega i cori
Di gentil nodi e di soavi ardori,
Questa vaga d'amor nova sirena.
Ma chi la voce, piena
D'angeliche dolcezze,
Gode felice, e quell' alta armonia
Che bianca e dotta mano
In modo sopraumano
Tempra con maestrevol leggiadria,
Sopra l’uso mortal soavemente
E cor et alma in un rapir si sente.

German.png German translation

Licht in den Augen und Netze im Haar,
daher verbrennt und bindet sie die Herzen
mit zarten Knoten und süßen Begierden,
diese durch Liebe reizende neue Sirene.
Aber wer die Stimme, voll
engelsgleicher Süße,
voll Glück genießt, und jene erhabene Harmonie,
die eine weiße und kundige Hand
in übermenschlicher Weise
mit meisterlicher Leichtigkeit ertönen lässt,
der fühlt sich über das sterbliche Maß hinaus
sanft in Herz und Seele hingerissen.

Translation by Gerhard Weydt
English.png English translation

Light in the eyes and nets in her hair,
so she burns and ties the hearts
by gentle knots and sweet desires,
this new siren, charming by love.
But he who happily listens to the voice,
full of angelic sweetness,
and that sublime harmony,
that a white and skillful hand
in a superhuman manner
lets resound with masterly ease,
is softly ravished above mortal extent
in both heart and soul.

Translation by Gerhard Weydt