Il mal mi preme (Cipriano de Rore)

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  • (Posted 2020-04-12)  CPDL #57963: 
Original key (high chiavette):   (MIDI)    
Transposed down a fourth:   (MIDI)   - Alto in transposed violin clef
Editor: Pothárn Imre (submitted 2020-04-12).   Score information: A4, 9 pages, 171 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed from 1552 Gardano edition. Original note values.

General Information

Title: Il mal mi preme
Composer: Cipriano de Rore
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1542 in Il primo libro de madrigali a cinque voci, Edition 1, no. 10
    2nd published: 1544 in Il primo libro de madrigali a cinque voci, Edition 3, no. 11
Description: Two-part madrigal:
I. Il mal mi preme
II. Bench'i non sia

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Il mal mi preme, et mi spaventa il peggio,
Al qual veggio sì larga et piana via,
Ch’i’ son intrato in simil frenesia,
Et con duro pensier teco vaneggio.

Né so se guerra o pace a Dio mi cheggio,
Ché ’l danno è grave, et la vergogna è ria.
Ma perché più languir? Di noi pur fia
Quel ch’ordinato è già nel sommo seggio.

Ben ch’i’ non sia di quel grande honor degno
Che tu mi fai, che te ne ’nganna amore,
Che spesso occhio ben san fa veder torto,

Pur d’alzar l’alma a quel celeste regno
È ’l mio consiglio, et di spronare il core,
Perché ’l camin è lungo, e ’l tempo è corto.
Petrarca, Canzoniere 244

English.png English translation

Ill oppresses me, and I am terrified by the worst,
toward which I see so broad and smooth a way
that I have entered into frenzy like yours
and with hard thoughts rave with you.

I do not know whether to ask God for war or peace,
for the danger is grave and the shame is cruel.
But why languish any more? It shall be with us
as is already ordained at the highest throne.

Although I am not worthy of that great honor
which you do me—for love deceives you
which oft makes a healthy eye see crooked—

still, my counsel is to lift your soul
to that heavenly kingdom, and spur your heart,
for the road is long and the time is short.