Luis Milán

Madonna per voi ardo


El Maestro (1536), fol. R3v


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Source title Este soneto q[ue] se sigue se ha d[e] tañer muy a espacio. y el ca[n]tor puede hazer garganta. y podeys se tañer si quereys sin los redobles q[ue] son aq[ue]llas disminucion de corcheos que no tiene[n] cifras coloradas. y si se tañeys sin los redobles hauereys de tener dos co[m]pases cada cifra colorada postrera q[ue] esta antes d[e]l redoble: y p[ara] seguir adela[n]te sin tañer el redoble
Title in contents  
Text incipit Madonna per voi ardo


Category song

Genre Soneto

Fantasia type

Mode 8

Voices 4

Length (compases) 84


Tuning A

Courses 6

Final V/5

Highest I/5

Lowest VI/0

Difficulty not specified

Tempo slow

Song Text

Language IT

Vocal notation texted cifras rojas


Rubric: “This sonnet that follows has to be played very slowly, and the singer can embellish and it can be played without the redobles which are those diminutions in quavers that have no red ciphers. And if you play it without the redobles you will have to have give two compases for each red number at the end of the phrase before the redoble, and then to continue without playing the redoble.”

As can be seen, Milán places a redoble between each of the sung phrases, but his introductory rubric explains that the song can be performed as written, or by omitting the redobles if preferred.

The modal classification here, based on the criteria of final, range and other cadences is not altogether convincing as a description of the tonal organisation of the music.

The text is not a full sonnet of Petrarchan structure, but only of nine verses. The same text was set by Verdelot as a four-voiced madriga, published in 1533l, and arranged as a lute song by Willaert and published also in 1536.

Song Text

Madonna, per voi ardo
Et voi non me credete
Perche non pia quanto bella sete
Ogn’hora miro e guardo
Se tanta crudeltà cangiar volete.
Donna, non v’accorgete
Che per voi moro e ardo
Et per mirar vostra beltà infinita
Et voi sola servir bramo la vita.

Madam, for you I burn
And you do not believe me,
For you are less kind than beautiful.
I constantly look at you and admire you.
If you wish to change this great cruelty,
Lady, are you unaware
That for you I die and burn?
And by admiring your infinite beauty
And serving you alone, I crave life.

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