Che debb'io far? (Bartolomeo Tromboncino)

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  • (Posted 2021-09-25)  CPDL #65872:    (Petrucci) (Bossinensis) (Antico)    
Editor: Andreas Stenberg (submitted 2021-09-25).   Score information: A4 (landscape), 28 pages, 1.73 MB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: A double edition, trice: Diplomatic and practical scores for both the four-part versions from the early print sources (Petrucci and Antico). Diplomatic (Italian tablature), semi-diplomatic (French tablature) and raw transcript for the Bossinensis Solo-voice and lute arrangement. MXL file contains practical editions only.

General Information

Title: Che debb'io far?
Composer: Bartolomeo Tromboncino
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1507 in Frottole libro 7, no. 15, p. 14
    2nd published: 1509 in Tenori e contrabassi intabulati col sopran, Libro Primo (Francisco Bossinensis), no. 8
    3rd published: 1510 in Canzoni nove con alcune scelte ... (Antico), no. 33
Description: A Frottola to Canzone CCLXVIII in morte de Laura. (only the first two stanzas are given in the original print sources). The Frotola was publiced as a four part setting by Petrucci in 1507 and in a sligthly different version, by Andrea Antico 1510. An arrangement for solo voice and Lute by Francisco Bossinensis was published 1509 by Petrucci.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Francesco Petrarca - Canzoniere (Rerum vulgarium fragmenta) No. 268.

Che debb’io far? che mi consigli, Amore?
Tempo è ben di morire,
et ò tardato piú ch’i’ non vorrei.
Madonna è morta, et à seco il mio core;
5et volendol seguire,
interromper conven quest’anni rei,
perché mai veder lei
di qua non spero, et l’aspettar m’è noia.
Poscia ch’ogni mia gioia
10per lo suo dipartire in pianto è volta,
ogni dolcezza de mia vita è tolta.

Amor, tu ’l senti, ond’io teco mi doglio,
quant’è il damno aspro et grave;
e so che del mio mal ti pesa et dole,
15anzi del nostro, perch’ad uno scoglio
avem rotto la nave,
et in un punto n’è scurato il sole.
Qual ingegno a parole
poria aguagliare il mio doglioso stato?
20Ahi orbo mondo, ingrato,
gran cagion ài di dever pianger meco,
ché quel bel ch’era in te, perduto ài seco.

English.png English translation

Translation by S.A. Kilne

What must I do? What do you counsel, Love?
The time has truly come to die,
and I have lingered longer than I wish.
My lady is dead, and my heart with her:
and if I wish to follow,
I must interrupt this cruel life,
since I have no more hope
of seeing her here, and waiting galls me.
Now all my joy
has turned to weeping at her going,
all sweetness has been taken from my life.

Love, you feel how deep and bitter
is this loss, where I grieve with you:
and know the weight and pain of my ill,
or rather ours, because a reef
has shattered the vessel,
and in a moment our sun is darkened.
What ingenuity with words
could express my grievous state?
Ah, blind, thankless world,
you’ve good reason to weep with me,
since what was beautiful in you is lost with her.

(Translation © Copyright 2002 A. S. Kline, All Rights Reserved
The translation may be freely reproduced, stored and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose.)