Chi no'l sa di ch'io vivo e vissi sempre (Orlando di Lasso)

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  • (Posted 2020-07-27)  CPDL #59903:        (LilyPond)
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2020-07-27).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 117 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2018-09-20)  CPDL #51335:       
Editor: Willem Verkaik (submitted 2018-09-20).   Score information: Letter, 5 pages, 415 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Chi no'l sa di ch'io vivo e vissi sempre
Composer: Orlando di Lasso
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1576 in Musica di 13 autori illustri, no. 2

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Chi nol sa di chi vivo, e vissi sempre,
dal di che prima que belli occhi vidi,
che mi fecer cangiar vita e costume?
Per cercar terra e mar da tutti i lidi,
chi puo saper tutte l'humane tempre?
L'un vive, ecco, d'odor, là sul gran fiume;
io qui di foco e lume
queto i frali e famelici miei spirti.
Amor, (e vo ben dirti),
disconviensi a signor l'esser si parco.
Tu hai li strali e l'arco:
fa di tua man, non pur bramand'io mora,
ch'un bel morir tutta la vita honora.
 Petrarca, Canzoniere 207, Stanza 5

English.png English translation

Who does not know how I’ve lived, and always lived,
from that day I first saw her lovely eyes,
which made me change my life and habits?
By searching earth and sea and every shore
who can discover all of human nature?
See, one lives on perfumes by the great river:
I, living here supply
fire and light and feed my spirit.
Love, I say to you truly,
it’s unworthy of a lord to be so mean.
You have your arrows and bow:
send death by your hand, and not because I yearn,
since dying well honours a life complete.
 Translation A.S.Kline