Quante volte diss'io (Adrian Willaert)

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  • (Posted 2023-09-01)  CPDL #75159:        (LilyPond)
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2023-09-01).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 96 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Quante volte diss'io
Composer: Adrian Willaert
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: ATTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1542 in Madrigali a quatro voce libro primo (Girolamo Scotto), no. 35
    2nd published: 1549 in Il vero terzo libro di madrigali de diversi autori a note negre (Venice: Gardano), no. 11
    3rd published: 1563 in Madrigali a quattro voci (Adrian Willaert), no. 2
    4th published: 1569 in Corona libro primo (Venice: Zorzi), no. 3

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Quante volte diss'io
allor pien di spavento:
Costei per fermo nacque in paradiso.
Così carco d'oblio
il divin portamento
e'l volto e le parole e'l dolce riso
m'aveano, così diviso
dall'imagine vera,
ch'io dicea sospirando:
Qui come venn'io, e quando?
credendo esser in ciel, non là dov'era.
Da indi in qua mi piace
questa erba sì ch'altrove non ho pace.

English.png English translation

Then, full of apprehension,
how often I said:
'For certain she was born in Paradise.'
Her divine bearing
and her face, her speech, her sweet smile
captured me, and so separated me,
from true thought
that I would say, sighing:
'How did I come here, and when?'
believing I was in heaven, not there where I was.
Since then this grass
has so pleased me, nowhere else do I find peace.

Translation by Anthony S. Kline