Dolcissima mia vita (Orazio Vecchi)

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  • (Posted 2009-04-07)  CPDL #19184:  Icon_pdf_globe.gif Icon_snd_globe.gif Icon_zip_globe.gif (MusiXTex)
Editor: Christian Mondrup (submitted 2009-04-07).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 103 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: MusiXTex file is zipped.

General Information

Title: Dolcissima mia vita
Composer: Orazio Vecchi

Number of voices: 7vv   Voicing: SAT.ATTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1590 in Selva di varia ricreatione, no. 29

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Dolcissima mia vita,
Quando sia mai che mi ritorni in vita?
Dunque sei senza vita
E spiri e parli come foss' in vita?
Si ch'altri non hà vita chi non hà vita
E nel cor sta la vita
Però s'io parlo ahi ahi ch'io non son' in vita.
E come senza cor poi star in vita?
Qual hor io miro te mio cor mia vita.
Chi ti privò togliend' il cor di vita
Tu involatrice d'ogni cor' e vita
M'el rubast' e col guardo tuo mia vita
Mi togliesti la vita.
Più tosto perderei l'alm' e la vita
Che tuor altrui la vita.
Hor vivi e godi più felice vita
E in noi sia un sol voler e una sol vita.

English.png English translation

Light of my life,
when will you ever return to life for me?
How can it be that you are lifeless
and yet you breathe and speak as if you were alive?
Other people are dead if they are not alive
and it is in the heart that life is to be found.
Yet, although I speak, alas, I live not.
And how can anyone, without a heart, be living?
When I look upon you, my heart, my life,
[I ask myself] who it was that killed your heart,
you thief of all hearts and lives:
you robbed me of mine, and with your glances
you stole away my life.
I would rather lose my soul and my life
than be responsible for the death of others.
Now you live and enjoy a happier life:
let us have a single will and a single life.

Translation by Mick Swithinbank