Balletto De la bellezza le dovute lodi (Claudio Monteverdi)

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  • (Posted 2015-03-01)   CPDL #34691:     
Editor: Peter Rottländer (submitted 2015-03-01).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 138 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Instrumental parts:   Score information: A4, 9 pages, 152 kB   
Edition notes:
  • CPDL #05837:     
Editor: Steven Langley Guy (submitted 2003-10-23).   Score information: A4, 11 pages, 100 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: original C clefs, revised version posted March 30, 2004

General Information

Title: Balletto de la Bellezza le Dovute Lodi
Composer: Claudio Monteverdi

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: SSB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: 2 violins, basso continuo

First published: 1607 in Scherzi musicali, no. 18


External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

De la bellezza le dovute lodi
celebriam con lieto canto
e tu Ciprign'intanto
de tuoi prieghi altera godi.
Godi pur ch'alta vittoria
si prepara a meriti tuoi
onde chiara ogi fra noi
splenderai per nuova gloria.

E' la bellezza un raggio
de la celeste luce
che quasi un Sol di Maggio
temprat'ardor n'adduce.
Quinci nel nostro core
nascono i fìor d'amore.

Chi di tal lume non splend'ornato
dirsi beato in van presume
che' vil tesoro son gemm'et oro
e valor cade contro beltade.

Ben sallo Alcide il forte
da duo begl'occhi vinto
quantunque avvinto
traesse il cor da le tartaree porte
e sallo il Dio de l'arme
de l'ira e del furore
quando la Dea d'Amore
gl'impon che si disarme.

Ond'ei cangiato stile
mansueto ed humile
mirando il suo bel volto
la spada oblia fra belle braccio accolto.

Dunque a lei che di beltate
ottenne il pregio e'I vanto
quest'altere alme ben nate
concordi al nostro canto
guidano in queste valli
per far l'honor quest'amorosi balli.

English.png English translation

Let us celebrate in joyous song
While you, Cypris,
Proudly rejoice in your prestige.
Rejoice, too, that a lofty triumph
Is prepared in your honor,
Which today will make you
Shine among us with even brighter glory.

Beauty is a ray
Of celestial light,
That like the sun in May
Brings gentle warmth:
Thus in our hearts
Are born the flowers of love.

He who does not glitter with the splendor of that light
In vain presumes to call himself happy,
For precious stones and gold are but an ignoble treasure,
And value declines in the face of beauty.

Even mighty Hercules fell,
Vanquished by a pair of beauteous eyes
Though he had dragged the dog
In chains from the gates of Tartarus.

So too does the God of weapons,
Of rage and of fury know beauty's power,
When the Goddess of love
Orders him to disarm.

Then, changing his manner,
Calm and humble,
Gazing on her fair face,
Heedless of his sword, he is welcomed into her arms.

Therefore, for her who has obtained
The prize and the glory of beauty,
Let these proud, high-born souls
Join in our songs
And lead through these valleys,
To do her honor, these loving dances.

- translation by Charles Johnston