Mentre qual viva pietra (Luca Marenzio)

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Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2023-11-10).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 93 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: Transposed down a 5th.
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2023-11-10).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 94 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: Original high clefs.
  • (Posted 2018-11-25)  CPDL #52370:         
Editor: Annie Pousse (submitted 2018-11-25).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 353 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Mentre qual viva pietra
Composer: Luca Marenzio

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1594 in Il sesto libro de madrigali a cinque voci, no. 13

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Mentre qual viva pietra
verso per gli occhi miei lagrime mille,
sperando nel mio sen l'alte faville
spegner d'una ver me gelata pietra,
sento che l'alma mia gridando dice:
In queste fiamme sol viv'io felice,
talché liet'e giocondo
sia dunque il foco eterno le rispondo,
e così d'una pietra fredda e viva
esce la fiamma che'l mio cor avviva.

English.png English translation

While like a living stone
I spill from my eyes a thousand tears,
hoping in my breast to extinguish
the lofty sparks of a truly frozen stone,
I feel my soul, crying out, says:
In these flames alone I live happily,
such that, joyous and merry,
therefore let the flame be eternal, I respond to her,
and so from a stone, cold and yet living,
escapes the fire that gives life to my heart.

Translation by Allen Garvin