Je ne veux plus que chanter (Orlando di Lasso)

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  • (Posted 2016-10-27)  CPDL #41588: 
Original key (high chiavette):        
Transposed down a fourth:      
Editor: Pothárn Imre (submitted 2016-10-27).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 75 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed from Mellange d'Orlande de Lassus, 1570. Original note-values. French spelling modernised.

General Information

Title: Je ne veux plus que chanter
Composer: Orlando di Lasso
Lyricist: Pierre de Ronsard

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

Language: French
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1564 in Premier livre des chansons a 4 et 5 parties, no. 18
    2nd published: 1565 in Dixhuictieme livre de chansons (Le Roy & Ballard), no. 15
    3rd published: 1570 in Mellange d'Orlande de Lassus, no. 63
    4th published: 1574 in La fleur des chansons des deux plus excellens musiciens de nostre temps (Bavent), Livre 2, no. 9
    5th published: 1576 in Le thresor de musique (sacred contrafact), Edition 1, no. 75
    6th published: 1582 in Le thresor de musique (sacred contrafact), Edition 2, no. 100

External websites:

Original text and translations

French.png French text

Original text
Je ne veux plus que chanter de tristesse
Car autrement chanter je ne pourrais
Vu que je suis absent de ma maîtresse
Si je chantais autrement je mourrais.

Pour ne mourir il faut donc que je chante
En chant piteux ma plaintive langueur
Pour le départ de ma maîtresse absente
Qui de mon sein me déroba le coeur.

Sacred contrafact (from Le thresor de musique d'Orlande de Lassus)
Je ne veux plus que chanter de tristesse,
Car autrement, chanter je ne pourrois,
Veu que peché incessamment m'oppresse:
Si je chantois autrement, je mourrois.

Pour ne mourir il faut donc que je chante
En chant piteux ma plaintive langueur,
Pour le peché qui mon ame tourmente,
Et qui Dieu m'a destourné le coeur.

English.png English translation

I want only to sing of my anguish
To sing of anything else I cannot
Since my lady is absent, I languish
And if I sang otherwise I would rot.

To avoid death I’ve no choice but to sing
A wretched song of my longing oppressed
A song of my absent lady’s parting
Of she who has torn the heart from my breast.

Translation by Thomas Daughton