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Passan vostri triomphi e vostre pompe,
Passan le signorie, passano i regni;
Ogni cosa mortal temp’interrompe;
E ritolta a men buon, non da à piu degni:
E non pur quel di fuor il tempo solve,
Ma le vostr’eloquentie e i vostri ingegni.
Cosi fuggend’, il mondo seco volve;
Ne mai si posa ne s’arest’ o torna,
Fin che v’ha ricondotti in poca polve.
Your triumphs and your pomp transpire,
The nobility passes and kingdoms crumble,
Time brings low all mortal things;
And what he reaps from those less good, he does not pass to those more worthy:
And not only the superficial things are laid waste by time,
But also your eloquence and works of genius.
Thus sped along, the world moves with him;
He takes no time to rest; neither does he stop nor turn from his appointed course,
Until in the end he has transformed you back to your essence: a bit of dust.
–Francesco Petrarca, Trionfo del Tempo (The Triumph of Time), v. 112-120 (S.H. transl.) (ca. 1352)
Listen to Orlando di Lasso’s setting of Petrarcha’s Passan vostri triomphi e vostre pompe (Your triumphs and pomp transpire) from Trionfo del Tempo (vv. 112-120) as a madrigal for 11 voices, a masterpiece of the late polyphonic tradition, here in a purely instrumental performance.
And listen here for a vocal performance by the Orlando di Lasso Ensemble.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Number of people who attended the World Grits Festival, held in St. George, South Carolina, last spring:
The brown bears of Greece continued chewing through telephone poles.
In Peru, a 51-year-old activist became the first former sex worker to run for the national legislature. “I’m going to put order,” she said, “in that big brothel which is Congress.”
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“Civilization masks us with a screen, from ourselves and from one another, with thin depth of unreality. We habitually live — do we not? — in a world self-created, half established, of false values arbitrarily upheld, largely inspired by misconception, misapprehension, wrong perspective, and defective proportion, misapplication.”