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Medieval Music Database

Chi vuol veder l'angelica belleza

Three-voice ballata by Paolo da Firenze


Paris: BibliothŤque Nationale, fonds italien 568, fol. 75v-76 (3/1).


1. Italian Secular Music: Bartolino da Padova, Egidius de Francia, Giulielmus de Francia, Don Paolo da Firenze, edited by W. Thomas Marrocco, Monaco: Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre, 1975. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century IX, p. 114.
2. The Music of Fourteenth-Century Italy, edited by Nino Pirrotta and Ursula GŁnther, Rome: American Institute of Musicology. Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 8/VI. [forthcoming]

Text Editions

1. CORSI, Giuseppe. Rimatori del Trecento, Turin: Unione tipografica editrice torinese, 1969, p. 1076.
2. CORSI, Giuseppe. Poesie musicali del Trecento, Bologna: Commissione per i testi di lingua, 1970, p. 275.


BAUMANN, Dorothea. Die dreistimmige italienische Lied-Satztechnik im Trecento, Baden-Baden: Valentin Koerner, 1979. Sammlung musikwissenschaftlicher Abhandlung no. 64, passim.


Chi vuol veder l'angelica belleza
miri sott'un bel velo
e vedra pi· che non ci mostra 'l cielo.

Se 'l ciel ci mostra 'l sol e le suo stelle.
quest'angelica dea
ci mostra 'l suo lucente e gentil viso;
mostraci le suo luci sante e belle.
e quando men lucea.
avanz= di belleze el paradiso.
Per Dio, mirate el suo sacrato riso
sotto candido velo.
che d'ora in ora ne fa invidi'al cielo.


Whoever wants to know what angelic beauty is.
let him look under that beautiful veil.
and he will see more beauty than Heaven can hold.

If Heaven shows us the sun and the stars.
this angel-like goddess
shows us her shining and noble face;
she turns on us her luminous, pure and beautiful eyes.
When her beauty was least bright
she outclassed the beauty of Paradise.
By God, look at her chastely smiling
under her candid veil:
surely Heaven must envy it all the time.

Text revision and translation © Giovanni Carsaniga

Content Approved by: MMDB Director
Last updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2003

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