Nasce la pena mia (Alessandro Striggio)

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  • (Posted 2015-01-07)  CPDL #34168:       
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2015-01-07).   Score information: Letter, 7 pages, 107 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: Parts and source available at IMSLP.
  • (Posted 2010-11-18)  CPDL #22645:      (XML)
Editor: Renato Calcaterra (submitted 2010-11-18).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 209 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: MusicXML file is zipped. Transcribed from the "Harmonia Celeste di diversi eccellentissimi musici a IIII. V. VI. VII et VIII voci, nuovamente raccolta per Andrea Pevernage et data in luce in Anversa appresso Pietro Phalesio & Giovenni Bellero - 1589". The time signatures, keys, notes' values and accidentals are as in the original print. The C clefs are transposed to the G clef and to the modern Tenor clef.

General Information

Title: Nasce la pena mia
Composer: Alessandro Striggio

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1560 in Primo libro de madrigali a sei voci, no. 3
    2nd published: 1583 in Harmonia celeste, Edition 1, no. 37
    3rd published: 1584 in Pratum musicum (ed. Emanuel Adriaenssen) – arr. for two voices and lute, Edition 1, no. 32
    4th published: 1588 in Gemma musicalis Liber primus, no. 13
    5th published: 1589 in Harmonia celeste, Edition 2, no. 37
    6th published: 1609 in Hortus musicalis (ed. Michael Herrer) – sacred contrafact, Book 2, no. 29

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Nasce la pena mia
Non potendo mirar mio vivo sole
E la mia vita e ria qual hor lo miro
Perch’il guard’e tale
Che lasciarmi peggior che morte suole
Ahi vita trist’e frale
Che fia dunque di me che far mi deggio
S’io mir’ho male e s’io non mir’ho peggio.

English.png English translation

My torment begins
When I cannot gaze upon my dazzling sun;
And my life is wretched
Whenever I admire it, for its glance is so strong
That it usually leaves me worse off than death.
Ah, sad, feeble life,
What will become of me then, what should I do?
If I gaze, I feel pain; and if I don’t, I feel worse.

Translation by David Butchart