O sonno (Cipriano de Rore)

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  • (Posted 2018-01-28)   CPDL #48583:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2018-01-28).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 67 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Reformatting of #28814, with minor adjustments to the underlay. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
  • CPDL #28814:        (Finale 2010)
Editor: Hans Niklas Kuhn (submitted 2013-04-20).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 111 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
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  • CPDL #04644:  IMSLP1.png
Editor: Vincent Carpentier (submitted 2003-02-22).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 216 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Link changed (11/13/03) to Icking archive.

General Information

Title: O sonno
Composer: Cipriano de Rore
Lyricist: Giovanni della Casa

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1552 in Il secondo libro de madrigali a quatro voci, no. 3
  2nd published: 1557 in Di Cipriano de Rore il secondo libro de madregali a quatro voci con una canzon di Gianneto sopra di Pace non trovo, Venice, Gardano
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External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

O sonno, o della queta, umida, ombrosa
notte placido figlio; o de’ mortali
egri conforto, oblio dolce de’ mali
si gravi, ond’ è la vita aspra e noiosa;

soccorri al cor omai, che langu’ e posa
non have, e queste membra stanch’ e frali
solleva: a me ten vola, o sonno, e l’ali
tue brune sovra me distendi e posa.

Ov’è ’l silentio che’l dì fugge e’l lume?
E i lievi sogni, che con non secure
vestigia di seguirti han per costume?

Lasso, ch’invan te chiamo, e queste oscure
e gelide ombre invan lusingo. O piume
d’asprezza colme! O notti acerb’ e dure!

English.png English translation

O sleep, O that quiet child of peaceful,
fresh and shadowy night; O afflicted mortals'
comfort; sweet oblivion of ills
so grave they make life harsh and tedious,

give succor to my heart that, now waning and restless, languishes
and raise these frail and weary limbs.
Envelop me, O sleep, and spread
your dark wings over me.

Where is the silence which the day flees
and the light and gentle dreams
which leave no certain trace?

Alas in vain I call you, and these gloomy
and cold shadows in vain I entice: O plumes
with harshness filled, O hard and painful nights