From Petrarcha's Trionfo del Tempo | Harper's Magazine

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From Petrarcha’s Trionfo del Tempo

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il-trionfo-della-morte-brussels-tapestry-ca-1510-after-the-work-of-francesco-petrarcha

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.

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