O come è gran martire (Claudio Monteverdi)

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  • (Posted 2022-05-17)  CPDL #69276:        (LilyPond)
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2022-05-17).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 76 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2013-08-18)  CPDL #29862:       
Editor: Peter Rottländer (submitted 2013-08-18).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 120 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2013-08-18)  CPDL #29863:       
Editor: Peter Rottländer (submitted 2013-08-18).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 122 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transposed down a fourth according to chiavette (still SSATB)
  • (Posted 2012-12-14)  CPDL #27797:        (MuP)
Editor: Vincent Carpentier (submitted 2012-12-14).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 48 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: O come è gran martire
Composer: Claudio Monteverdi
Lyricist: Giovanni Battista Guarini

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1592 in Il terzo libro de madrigali a cinque voci (Claudio Monteverdi), no. 2

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

O come è gran martíre
a celar suo desire
quando con pura fede
s’ama chi non se’l crede.
O soave mio ardore,
o giusto mio desio,
s’ognun ama il suo core
e voi siete il cor mio,
allor non fia ch’io v’ami
quando sarà che viver più non brami.

English.png English translation

O what great martyrdom it is
to conceal your desire
when, with pure faith,
you love someone who does not believe you.
You, exquisite ardour of mine!
You, rightful desire of mine!
If each doth love his heart’s passion
and you are my heart’s indeed,
then may I only stop loving you
when I no longer long to live.

Translation by Campelli
French.png French translation

Ô, qu’il est grand martyre
devoir cacher son désir
lorsqu’avec pure foi
on aime quelqu’un qui n’y croit pas.
Ô, vous, ma suave passion!
Ô, vous, mon juste désir!
Si chacun aime son cœur
et vous êtes mon cœur,
qu’il n’arrive alors que je vous aime
que lorsque je ne voudrai pas continuer à vivre.

Translation by Campelli
Spanish.png Spanish translation

Oh cuán grande es el sufrimiento
al ocultarse el deseo,
cuando con pura fe
se ama a quien no lo cree.
Oh, suave es el ardor mío,
oh, justo el deseo mío,
si cada uno ama su propio corazón
y vos sois mi corazón,
el momento en el que no os ame
sólo llegará cuando vivir más ya no querrá.

Translation by Ana Lenhardy & Pedro Elías
German.png German translation

Oh, wie groß ist das Leiden,
wenn sich das Verlangen verbirgt,
wenn in reinstem Glauben
wird geliebt, wer diese Liebe nicht glaubt.
Oh, sanft ist mein Glühen,
oh, gerecht ist mein Verlangen,
wenn einjeder liebt sein Herz,
und ihr seid mein Herz.
Die Stunde, in der ich euch nicht mehr liebe,
wird nur kommen, wenn nicht länger ich leben will.

Translation by Bernd Neureuther