O com'è gran martire (Giovanni Gastoldi)

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Editor: Gerhard Weydt (submitted 2020-05-31).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 87 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: O com'è gran martire
Composer: Giovanni Gastoldi
Lyricist: Giovanni Battista Guarini

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1588 in Il primo libro de madrigali a 5 voci
  2nd published: 1590 in Gemmae musicalis Liber Tertius, no. 43

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

O com’è gran martire,
L’esser in foco, e no’l poter scoprire:
Occhi messi d’amore,
Che non scoprite il core?
Parlate voi del foco mio, c’havete
Lingue di foco, e con loquando sguardo,
Mostrate voi com’ardo:
Mostrate com’al fin meglio è morire,
ch’esser nel foco, e no’l poter scoprire.

Cavaliere Guerini = Giovanni Battista Guarini

German.png German translation

O, welch große Marter ist es,
in Flammen zu stehen, und es nicht zeigen zu dürfen:
Augen, erfüllt von Liebe,
warum offenbart ihr nicht das Herz?
Redet von meiner Glut, die ihr
Feuerzungen habt, und zeigt mit beredtem Blick,
wie ich brenne.
Zeigt, wie es am Ende besser ist, zu sterben,
als in Flammen zu stehen, und es nicht zeigen zu dürfen.

Translation by Gerhard Weydt

The text, apart from the first few words, differs entirely from the madrigal published by Guarini in his Rime (1598) and set to music by Monteverdi, Gesualdo ..., but the author “Cavaliere Guerini” in “Rime di diuersi celebri poete dell‘ età nostra”, Bergamo 1587 (Google Books) is in fact Guarini, as many other poems by Guerini in this publication are identical to those in Guarini’s Rime.