Troppo ben può
Luzzascho Luzzaschi, publ. 1601
Luzzasco Luzzaschi studied under the famous Cipriano de Rore, and his position in Ferrara as court organist and
composer made him influential in turn as a teacher of many members of the so–called Roman
IMSLP Petrucci Music Libary and Neapolitan schools. Unfortunately, little of his work survives other than his madrigals, but his affiliation with the Concerto delle donne assures him a well–deserved place in the history of music.
The written–out accompaniment of Luzzaschi’s Madrigali per cantare et sonare (“Madrigals to sing and play”) is deceptively simple, with the right hand essentially doubling the voices except for ornaments, and the left supporting with simple chords. The notation of vocal ornaments, on the other hand, is very specific. The focus of the songs was clearly the virtuosity of the singers; to show them off to best effect meant there was little room for improvisation.
Troppo ben può questo tiranno Amore
Too well able is this tyrant Love
per far soggetto un core
to subjugate a heart;
se libertà non val nè val fuggire
if freedom is useless then it is useless to flee
a chi non può soffrire.
for [those] who cannot suffer him.
Quando penso talor com’arde, e punge
When I think sometimes how he burns and stings,
com’il suo gigo è dispietato e grave
how his yoke is heavy and grievous,
I’ dico al core sciolto:
I say to my unfettered heart:
Non l’aspettar, che fai?
don’t wait, what are you doing?
Fuggilo sì che non ti giunga mai!
flee him, that he comes to you no more!
Ma non so come il lusinghier mi giunge
But I know not how this flatterer
e sì dolce e si vago e sì soave
so sweet and so lovely and so charming
ch’ì dico: ah core stolto
that I say: oh foolish heart
Perché fuggito l’hai?
why have you fled from him?
Fuggilo sì che non ti fugga mai.
flee him, yes, that he does not flee from you.
and of course saving the most florid and spectacular passages for the finish.