Nessun visse giamai (Luca Marenzio)

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  • (Posted 2018-11-14)   CPDL #51969:   
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2018-11-14).   Score information: Letter, 5 pages, 104 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2015-01-27)   CPDL #34421:        (Finale 2004)
Editor: Willem Verkaik (submitted 2015-01-27).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 320 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transposed down one tone from a-minor. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Nessun visse giamai
Composer: Luca Marenzio
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1584 in Il secondo libro de madrigali a sei voci, no. 2

Description: The 7th stanza of Petrarch's double-sestina Mia benigna fortuna.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Original text and translations may be found at Mia benigna fortuna e 'l viver lieto v. 7

Italian.png Italian text

Nessun visse giamai piu di me lieto;
Nessun vive piu tristo e giorni e notti:
E doppiando'l dolor, doppia lo stile,
Che trahe del cor si lagrimose rime.
Vissi di speme; hor vivo pur di pianto,
Ne contra morte spero altro che morte.

English.png English translation

No one has ever led a happier life than I once did:
no one's days and nights are more sorrowful than mine.
As the pain is redoubled, so doubled is the dagger
that draws from my heart such tearful verse.
I used to live inspired by hope; yet now my life is filled with lamenting:
no remedy for death there is but death itself.
Translation by Mick Swithinbank