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While reading my Italian edition of Petrarch's sonnets, I noticed that Sonnet 104, one of the three Liszt took inspiration from for the pieces in Années de pèlerinage, is not the famous one that is always presented as such (Pace non trovo); that seems to be instead Sonnet 134. Here is the Sonnet 104 I have in my edition:

L’aspectata vertu, che ‘n voi fioriva
quando Amor comincio darvi bataglia,
produce or frutto, che quel fiore aguaglia,
et che mia speme fa venire a riva.

Pero mi dice il cor ch’io in carte scriva
cosa, onde ‘l vostro nome in pregio saglia,
che ‘n nulla parte si saldo s’intaglia
per far di marmo una persona viva.

Credete voi che Cesare o Marcello
o Paolo od Affrican fossin cotali
per incude gia mai ne per martello?

Pandolfo mio, quest’opere son frali
a ll lungo andar, ma ‘l nostro studio e quello
che fa per fama gli uomini immortali.

Does anyone know what's going on here?

Edit: this seems to be an issue concerning also the other two Sonnets of the collection. Benedetto sia 'l giorno appears as Sonnet 61, while I' vidi in terra angelici costumi should be Sonnet 156, but they are cited by Liszt respectively as Sonnet 47 and Sonnet 123.

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Petrarch's Canzoniere includes not just sonnets, but also ballads, songs, madrigals, and sestinas. Pace non trovo is indeed the 104th sonnet in the collection. It is, however, the 134th poem. That explains the dual numbering: whether you're counting by each poem, or by specific type of poem. See details in this answer to the corresponding question at Literature Stack Exchange.

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"Since Liszt's discovery of Petrarch scholars have renumbered the Sonnets, so Liszt's 'Sonetto 47 del Petrarca' is now found as Sonnet 61." https://www.paulrobertspiano.com/index.php/blog/liszts-petrarch-sonnets

"I found a few days ago on this forum, some confusion over the number of the Petrarch Sonnet that Liszt set as number 123. The sonnet in question is actually number 156. ...... (The other two are correctly numbered as 47 and 104)." https://forums.abrsm.org/?showtopic=19039

The LiederNet archive (Petrarch Sonnets Song Cycle) has the Italian original(s) of the sonnets and their translations.

  1. Pace non trovo appears in Canzoniere (Rerum vulgarium fragmenta), in 1. Rime In vita di Madonna Laura, no. 134. Based on a text in Italian (Italiano) by Francesco Petrarca, no title, appears in Canzoniere (Rerum vulgarium fragmenta), in 1. Rime In vita di Madonna Laura, no. 134 Note: Liszt's second version is erroneously listed as Sonnet 104.

  2. Benedetto sia 'l giorno appears in Canzoniere (Rerum vulgarium fragmenta), in 1. Rime In vita di Madonna Laura, no. 61. Based on a text in Italian (Italiano) by Francesco Petrarca, no title, appears in Canzoniere (Rerum vulgarium fragmenta), in 1. Rime In vita di Madonna Laura, no. 61 Note: sometimes erroneously listed as Sonnet 47.

  3. I' vidi in terra angelici appears in Canzoniere (Rerum vulgarium fragmenta) , in 1. Rime In vita di Madonna Laura, no. 156 Based on a text in Italian (Italiano) by Francesco Petrarca, no title, appears in Canzoniere (Rerum vulgarium fragmenta) , in 1. Rime In vita di Madonna Laura, no. 156 Note: *sometimes this is erroneously listed as Sonnet 123.

LiederNet

Best I could do. It seems to be only the pianist (paulrobertspiano.com) who mentions scholars renumbering them.

If you want any more help you could try the Literature community hereabouts. Good luck!

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  • I thank you very much for the many references and your patience. The only thing I'd like to understand now is what caused this mismatch in the numbering of the Sonnets. As you suggested, I asked the same question on the LiteratureStackExchange; you can follow the discussion here literature.stackexchange.com/questions/15175/… – kEldest Aug 15 '20 at 8:46
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Welcome to M:P&T!

Interesting question.

It seems to be an error. Apologies for any confusion!

It seems Italian scholars renumbered the sonnets. In Italian listings,

Warfare I cannot wage, yet know not peace

appears as no.134.

The three poems he chose to set were:

Pace non trovo
Benedetto sia'l giorno
I vidi in terra angelici costumi

Here's the first line of the song Liszt Song:

And here's bar 5 of the piano version:

Liszt Piano version

So the piano piece is definitely based on the Pace non trovo sonnet.

If you Google for "Franz Liszt's settings of three Petrarch sonnets", there's a pdf you can download. It would be useful I think. (I can't do a link, for some reason.)

You're not playing them are you?

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  • Thank you for the source! I was planning to play them next year. So we can be sure that Liszt originally referred to Pace non trovo, but using the wrong corresponding number? – kEldest Aug 13 '20 at 19:43
  • @kEldest I've added a lot to my answer. I hope it helps. (Wow! It's already been marked down.) It's a really difficult set of pieces! I couldn't play it. Gnomenreigen is the hardest piece of his I can play, AND I don't play it as quickly as I should. – Old Brixtonian Aug 14 '20 at 0:07
  • Thank you very much! The pdf inspects the subject very thoroughly, even though I have yet to come across the info regarding the re-numbering of the sonnets. Could you please tell at which page of the pdf you found that information? Also, it looks like this is a "problem" regarding not only the Pace non trovo Sonnet, but also the other two. I'll add this to the original question. – kEldest Aug 14 '20 at 8:17
  • I didn't get that info from the pdf, sorry. I can find it again. Give me time though. – Old Brixtonian Aug 15 '20 at 2:49

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