Quel rossignuol che si soave piagne (Orlando di Lasso)

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Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2021-11-08).   Score information: Letter, 5 pages, 105 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2018-08-25)  CPDL #50995:       
Editor: Willem Verkaik (submitted 2018-08-25).   Score information: Letter, 5 pages, 439 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Quel rossignuol che si soave piagne
Composer: Orlando di Lasso
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SSATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1567 in Libro quarto de madrigali a 5 voci, no. 3

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Quel rossignuol che sí soave piagne,
Forse suoi figli o sua cara consorte,
Di dolcezza empie il ciel e le campagne
Con tante note sí pietose e scorte,

E tutta notte par che m'accompagne,
E mi rammenti la mia dura sorte:
Ch'altri che me non ho di cui mi lagne,
Che 'n Dee non credev' io regnasse Morte.

O che lieve è ingannar chi s'assecura!
Que' duo bei lumi assai piu che 'l sol chiari
Chi penso mai veder far terra oscura?

Hor conosco io che mia fera ventura
Vuol che vivendo et lagrimando impari
Come nulla qua giu diletta e dura.
 Petrarca, Canzoniere 311

English.png english translation

That nightingale who weeps so sweetly,
perhaps for his brood, or his dear companion,
fills the sky and country round with sweetness
with so many piteous, bright notes,

and it seems all night he stays beside me,
and reminds me of my harsh fate:
for I have no one to grieve for but myself,
who believed that Death could not take a goddess.

Oh how easy it is to cheat one who feels safe!
Who would have ever thought to see two lights,
clearer than the sun, make earth darken?

Now I know that my fierce fate
wishes me to learn, as I live and weep:
nothing that delights us here is lasting.
 Translation A.S.Kline