Ardita zanzaretta (Carlo Gesualdo)

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  • (Posted 2018-09-03)  CPDL #51164:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2018-09-03).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 77 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Reformatting of #5348, with minor corrections.
  • (Posted 2003-07-21)  CPDL #05348:  Network.png
Editor: Vincent Carpentier (submitted 2003-07-21).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 436 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: revised May 28, 2004.
Error.gif Possible error(s) identified. See the discussion page for full description.

General Information

Title: Ardita zanzaretta
Composer: Carlo Gesualdo
Lyricist: Illuminato Perazzolicreate page : Fileno, 1596

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SSATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1611 in Madrigali a 5 voci, libro sesto, no. 13

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Ardita zanzaretta
morde colei che il mio cor strugge e tiene
in così crude pene;
fugge poi, e rivola
in quel bel seno che il mio cor invola,
indi la prende e stringe e le dà morte
per sua felice sorte.
Ti morderò ancor io,
dolce amato ben mio,
e se mi prendi e stringi, ahi, verrò meno
provando in quel bel sen dolce veleno.

English.png English translation

A daring little mosquito
bites her who breaks my heart and keeps it
in such cruel torment;
then it flees and flies back again
to that fair breast that has stolen my heart,
then she catches it, squeezes it and gives it death
which is its happy fate.
I shall bite you too,
my sweet beloved,
and if you catch me, and squeeze me, ah, I shall faint
at the taste of this fair bosom's sweet poison.

Translation by Walker Boyle with revisions by Campelli