Quando 'l voler (Orlando di Lasso)

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  • CPDL #31973:    (MIDI)  
Editor: Pothárn Imre (submitted 2014-05-11).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 107 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Original pitch and note values. Midi files zipped.

General Information

Title: Quando 'l voler
Composer: Orlando di Lasso
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First Published: 1555 in Primo libro di madrigali a 5 voci, no. 5.

Description: The setting of Canzoniere 147 in two parts.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Quando 'l voler che con duo sproni ardenti,
et con un duro fren, mi mena et regge
trapassa ad or ad or l'usata legge
per far in parte i miei spirti contenti,

trova chi le paure et gli ardimenti
del cor profondo ne la fronte legge,
et vede Amor che sue imprese corregge
folgorar ne' turbati occhi pungenti.

Onde, come collui che 'l colpo teme
di Giove irato, si ritragge indietro:
ché gran temenza gran desire affrena.

Ma freddo foco et paventosa speme
de l'alma che traluce come un vetro
talor sua dolce vista rasserena.

Canzoniere 147

English.png English translation

When my passion, that leads and rules me,
with two fierce spurs and a harsh rein,
escapes its usual curbs from time to time
and raises my spirits to some degree,

it finds her who reads the fear and daring
of the heart's depths in the face,
and sees Love, who corrects false actions,
flashing from her pained and troubled eyes.

Then, like one afraid of a blow
from angry Jove, it retreats once more:
since great fear restrains a great desire.

But cold fire and fearful hope
in my soul, transparent as glass,
sometimes clear her sweet face again.

Translation by Anthony S. Kline ©