Mentr'io mirava fiso (Claudio Monteverdi)

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  • (Posted 2022-03-15)  CPDL #68427:        (LilyPond)
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2022-03-15).   Score information: Letter, 6 pages, 113 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2014-04-24)  CPDL #31770:       
Editor: Peter Rottländer (submitted 2014-04-24).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 174 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2011-02-26)  CPDL #23202:        (MuP)
Editor: Vincent Carpentier (submitted 2011-02-26).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 74 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: MUP file is zipped.

General Information

Title: Mentre io miravo fiso
Composer: Claudio Monteverdi
Lyricist: Torquato Tasso

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1590 in Il secondo libro de madrigali a cinque voci (Claudio Monteverdi), no. 12

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Mentre’io mirava fiso
de la mia donna gli occhi ardenti e e belli,
due vaghi spiritelli
fiammeggiando n’usciro a l’improvviso
e leggiadretti e snelli
facendo mille scherzi e mille giri,
mille fughe d’intorno
e mille agguati dentro al seno adorno,
mi trassero dal cor mille sospiri:
onde, con dolci ed amorosi lai
«Pietà, pietà», gridai.

English.png English translation

As I gazed intently
in my mistress' passionate and beautiful eyes,
two little pretty spirits
burst out as suddenly as flames
and, graceful and nimble,
with a thousand cheers and flutters,
a thousand turns and
a thousand ambushes in her lovely bosom,
drew a thousand sighs out of my heart:
thence with sweet and loving laments
'Pity! pity!', I cried.

Translation by Campelli
French.png French translation

Lorsque je regardais fixement
les beaux et ardents yeux de mon amante,
deux beaux petits esprits
en flamboyant en sortirent subitement
et, gracieux et agiles,
en faisant mille farces et mille tours,
mille fugues et mille pièges
tendant dans son sein charmant,
tirèrent de mon cœur mille soupirs:
dont, avec doux et amoureux laments,
je criais « Pitié! Pitié! »

Translation by Campelli