Et io qual fui (Orlando di Lasso)

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  • CPDL #29925:        (Finale 2008)
Editor: André Vierendeels (submitted 2013-08-22).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 80 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Et io qual fui
Composer: Orlando di Lasso

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1555 in Le quatoirsiesme livre a 4 parties, no. 1.5
  2nd published: 1560 in Madrigali a 4 voci, libro primo, no. 5.5
Description: This is the fifth part of the six-part madrigal set that opens Orlando di Lasso's first publication. The full set:

  1. Del freddo Rheno
  2. Ch'il credera
  3. Rotava et e pur ver
  4. Si fe cristallo
  5. Et io qual fui
  6. Hor su la nuda terra

External websites:

Original text and translations

See the text and translation for full poem at: Del freddo Rheno a la sinistra riva.

Italian.png Italian text

Fifth stanza:
Et io qual fui restai senza la voce
et mi perdei nel mio gradito stato
caddi o ventura mia sopra la riva,
e morto credo in me, vivo in quel foco,
dir volsi o nume, e sorrise ella e'l sole,
ch’io dissi o neme, e mi legò in quell'herbe.

English.png English translation

Fifth stanza:
And there I was, left speechless
And I lost myself, and I that agreeable state
I fell (oh, my good fortune!) above that bank
and dead I believe within me, alive in that fire
I say I turned Oh nume*, and she smiled with the sun,
I spoke: "Oh neme", and she re-bound me in the grass.

  • Nume is a term in Italian for a sacred spirit that lives in a specific place or object.