Sassi, Palae, Sabbion, del Adrian lio (Andrea Gabrieli)

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  • (Posted 2015-01-05)  CPDL #34138:    1p:   2p:    
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2015-01-05).   Score information: Letter, 6 pages, 122 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: Parts and source available at IMSLP.

General Information

Title: Sassi, Palae, Sabbion, del Adrian lio
Composer: Andrea Gabrieli
Lyricist: Antonio Molino

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1564 in Il primo libro delle Greghesche, no. 16
Description: The text is written in "gregesche", a dialect that mixes Venetian Italian with Greek and Dalmatian influences, perhaps invented by Molino. The work is a humorous lament on the death of Adrian Willaert.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

(The text is actually in a mixture of Greek and Venetian dialect, the invention of the poet Antonio Molino, who wrote it.)
Sassi, palae, sabbion del Adrian lio,
Alleghe, zoncchi, herbazi chie la stéu,
Velme, barene, chie scundéu
L'ostregha'l cappa, e'l passerin polio
E vui del valle pesci e d'ogni rio,
E del mar grandi e pizuli chie séu,
Scombri, chieppe, sardun, chie drio tiréu,
Le syrene dunzell'e ch'a mario.

E vu fiumi chie dèu tributo al mari,
Piave, Ladese, Po, Sil, Brenta et Ogio,
Vegnì, vegnì cha tutti canti a lagrimari,
La morte d'Adrian, del chal me dogio,
Chie no'l porà mie versi plio lustrari
Cu'l dulce canto chie rumpre ogni scogio.
O megàlas cordogio del mundo tutto,
Chy sarà mo chello
Chie in armonia del par vaga cun ello?

English.png English translation

Translation by Mick Swithinbank

(NB: This translation owes a huge debt to the German translation published in an article by Katelijne Schiltz of the University of Regensburg, which supplemented my fragmentary understanding of the original text. Thanks also to Andrew van der Beek for a couple of geological corrections.)

Stones, piles, sandbanks on the Adriatic coast,
seaweeds, reeds and other plants which live there,
mudflats, saltings that are home to
oysters, cockles and the amiable flatfish,

and you, fish in every stream in the valley
and in the sea, both large and small,
mackerel, cuttlefish, sardines which swim around there,
mermaids, both unattached and married,

and you, rivers that do tribute to the sea –
Piave, Adige, Po, Sil, Brenta and Ogio –
come, so that all may lament

the death of Adrian, which fills me with grief,
who will never again set my verses
to sweet song, breaking apart every rock on the shore.

Oh what a great sorrow for the whole world!
Who will there be now
that can rival him for harmony?