Quant'è Madonna mia (Jacques Arcadelt)

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  • (Posted 2013-04-22)  CPDL #28825:        (Sibelius 6)
Editor: Walker Boyle (submitted 2013-04-22).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 84 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: All ficta added by the editor (notated in parentheses).

General Information

Title: Quant'è Madonna mia
Composer: Jacques Arcadelt

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1539 in Il primo libro de' madrigali a 4 voci, no. 1.42

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Quant'è, madonna mia, foll'el pensiero:
se pur de la mia morte ingorda sete,
se già voi non porgete aiuto
tal col divin volt'altiero ch'in me vita porge,
di quel manco:
perché morir non può chi non ha vita
e quel che vive deve morir' ancho
dunque se me darete vita,
mia mort' havrete
et io per mort' anchor havrò la vita.

English.png English translation

How crazy is this thought, my lady:
although you are craving for my death,
if you do not help me by looking at me
with that scornful countenance that gives me life,
and which I miss so much:
then, since who has no life cannot die
and he who has life must die,
then—if you give me life, you'll have my death,
and I, through death, will gain my life.

Translation by Campelli