Quando talhor il bel viso (Vincenzo Ruffo)

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Editor: Gerhard Weydt (submitted 2024-07-08).   Score information: A4, 9 pages, 245 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Second part starts at 2:39 in the mp3 file.

General Information

Title: Quando talhor il bel viso
Composer: Vincenzo Ruffo
Lyricist: Lodovico Corfinocreate page
Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SAATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1553 in Il secondo libro a cinque voci, Edition 1, no. 4
    2nd published: 1557 in Il secondo libro a cinque voci, Edition 2, no. 1
    3rd published: 1593 in Nuova spoglia amorosa, no. 38
Description: 

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Quando talhor il bel viso lucente
Veggio di rose e di ligustro1 adorno,
Parmi veder nell’apparir del giorno
La bella Aurora alzarsi in Oriente,
E aprendo il grembo sparger dolcemente
Celesti fiori al bel zefiro intorno,
Cinthia2 coprir e l’uno e l’altro corno,
E le stelle affrettarsi all’Occidente,

Dico il bel viso di colei ch’adoro,
Cui presso è tanto ogn’altra donna bella,
Quanto al giorno seren, la notte oscura.
D’ogni raro valor fonte, e tesoro;
se non che altiera, e di pietà rubella
Piace a se stessa e d’altro amor non cura.

1 le labbra rossi e le denti bianchi
2 epitheto de Artemis, anche la dea della luna

German.png German translation

Wenn ich zuweilen das schöne strahlende Antlitz,
geschmückt mit Rosen und Liguster1, betrachte,
dann kommt mir vor, ich sähe beim Erscheinen des Tages
die schöne Aurora sich erheben im Orient,
und, den Schoß öffnend, sanft ausstreuen
himmlische Blüten ringsum im lieblichen Zephyr,
Cynthia2 verhüllen sowohl das eine wie das andere Horn,
und die Sterne eilen zum Orient,

ich sage, das schöne Antlitz jener, die ich anbete,
neben der jede andere Frau ebenso schön ist,
wie die dunkle Nacht gegenüber dem heiteren Tag,
jeder außergewöhnlichen Tugend Quell, und Schatz;
nur dass sie hochmütig und ohne Mitgefühl
sich selbst gefällt und sich um andere Liebe nicht kümmert.

1 rote Lippen und weiße Zähne
2 Beiname der Artemis, auch die Göttin des Mondes

Translation by Gerhard Weydt
English.png English translation

Sometimes, when I look at the beautiful radiant face,
adorned with roses and privet1,
it seems to me that I behold, at the appearance of day,
beautiful Aurora rising in the orient,
and, opening the womb, gently dispersing
heavenly flowers all around in the sweet zephyr,
Cynthia2 covering one horn and the other,
and the stars rushing to the orient,

I say, the beautiful face of her that I adore,
who compares to every other woman
as the bright day against the dark night,
fountain of every rare virtue, and treasure;
only that haughtily and without pity
she pleases herself and doesn’t mind the love of others.

1 red lips and white teeth
2 surname of Artemis, also the goddess of the moon

Translation by Gerhard Weydt