Quando dal terzo cielo (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina)

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  • (Posted 2018-02-02)  CPDL #48645:         
Editor: Wim Looyestijn (submitted 2018-02-02).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 91 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: This madrigal is part 29 from "Il Trionfo di Dori", a series of 29 madrigals by various composers and poets, all ending with the exclamation "Viva la bella Dori". English translation adopted from Tactus. Dutch translation by editor.
  • (Posted 2015-12-23)  CPDL #37942:       
Editor: Roel Griffioen (submitted 2015-12-23).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 73 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Edited by Klaas Dijkstra.

In English: O say what nymph

  • (Posted 2020-03-15)  CPDL #57520:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2020-03-15).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 92 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

Score previews

General Information

Title: Quando dal terzo cielo
Composer: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Lyricist: Cortese Cortesi

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicing: SSATTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1592 in Il Trionfo di Dori, no. 29
    2nd published: 1605 in Nervi d'Orfeo, no. 77
    3rd published: 1881 in Novello's Part-Song Book (2nd series), Vol. 14, no. 415

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Quando dal terzo cielo,
Spirò benigna stella,
Dori di cui più bella,
Ninfa non cinse mai terrestre velo,
A le grati e a gl’amori,
Lieto disse Cupido o per costei,
Quant’alm’e quanti cori,
Quanti havrem nell’Arcadia ampi trofei,
Hor ecco in quest’aurate illustre sponde,
Quanti nobil pastori,
L’aria fan risonar la terra e l’onde,
Viva la bella Dori.

English.png English translation

When from the third heaven
a benevolent star, Dori, came down to earth
than whom no lovelier nymph
e’er donned a veil of mortal flesh,
to the graces and to the gods of love
joyfully said Cupid: “Oh, for this lady,
how many souls and how many hearts,
how many lavish trophies shall we have in Arcady!
Now behold, on these golden, illustrious shores,
how many noble shepherds
Make the air, the earth, and the sea resound!
Long live fair Dori!”.

English.png English text

O say what nymph invites us,
Shepherds, what name delights us?
Dori, whose peerless beauty Venus with envy sees;
Fair Queen, renowned
She comes with garlands crowned,
And splendour all amazing;
How bright, how lovely,
Her eyes like sunbeams blazing!
O give her joyous greeting
With choicest harmony,
While Echo, the welcome still repeating,
From hill and mountain hoary,
Each tuneful voice shall join in chorus meeting
Long live our beauteous Dori,
Our Queen, our beauteous Dori.

Dutch.png Dutch translation

Toen uit de derde hemel een goedaardige ster,
Dori, naar de aarde afdaalde,
geen lieflijkere nimf had ooit
een sterfelijke gestalte aangenomen,
sprak Cupido verheugd tot de gratiën
en de goden der liefde: O, voor haar,
hoeveel zielen en hoeveel harten,
hoeveel weelderige trofeeën zullen we in Arcadië hebben.
Zie nu, aan deze gouden en luisterijke kusten,
hoeveel edele herders over de lucht,
de aarde en de zee laten weerklinken:
Lang leve de schone Dori!