O invidia, nemica di vertute (Orlando di Lasso)

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  • (Posted 2014-05-18)  CPDL #32043:    (MIDI)    
Editor: Pothárn Imre (submitted 2014-05-18).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 101 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Original key and note-values. Midi files zipped.

General Information

Title: O invidia, nemica di vertute
Composer: Orlando di Lasso
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB, SMsATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1555 in Primo libro di madrigali a 5 voci, no. 11
    2nd published: 1597 in Cinquante pseaumes de David (ed. Simon Goulart) – psalm contrafact, part one only, no. 13
Description: The setting of Petrarca's Canzoniere 172 in two parts.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

O Invidia nimica di vertute,
ch'a' bei principii volentier contrasti,
per qual sentier cosí tacita intrasti
in quel bel petto, et con qual' arti il mute?

Da radice n'ài svelta mia salute:
troppo felice amante mi mostrasti
a quella che' miei preghi humili et casti
gradí alcun tempo, or par ch'odi et refute.

Né però che con atti acerbi et rei
del mio ben pianga, et del mio pianger rida,
poria cangiar sol un de' pensier' mei;

non, perché mille volte il dí m'ancida,
fia ch'io non l'ami, et ch'i' non speri in lei:
che s'ella mi spaventa, Amor m'affida.

Canzoniere 172
English.png English translation

O Envy enemy to virtue, that willingly
opposes all our best intentions,
by what path have you entered silently
into that lovely breast, by what art the mute?

You have shattered my health at its root:
shown me as too happy a lover, whose humble
and chaste prayers she once valued,
and now seems to deny and hate.

But though with bitter and harsh actions
she weeps at my good fortune, laughs at my tears,
she cannot change a single thought of mine:

nor, though she murder me a thousand times,
make me not love her, or not hope for her:
though she make me afraid, Love gives me hope.

Translation by Anthony S. Kline ©