Qual fora, donna (Carlo Gesualdo)

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  • (Posted 2009-04-04)  CPDL #19162:      (Sibelius 5)
Editor: Daniel Harmer (submitted 2009-04-04).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 35 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Sibelius file is zipped.

General Information

Title: Qual fora, donna
Composer: Carlo Gesualdo

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1611 in Madrigali a 5 voci, libro quinto, no. 6

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Qual fora, donna, un dolce oimè d'Amore
se quell'oimè che da voi tragge, ahi lasso,
lieve dolor così m'incende il core?
Misero, a ciascun passo
vò desiando, e sò ch'indarno il bramo,
che un dì col cor diciate: “oimè ch'io t'amo”.

English.png English translation

What purpose, lady, does a sweet sigh of love serve
if the sigh which it draws from you, alas,
so inflames my heart with welcome pain?
Wretch that I am, at each step that I take
I am filled with desire, and know it is in vain for me to hope
that one day you will say with all your heart: 'Alas how I love you'.

Translation by Mick Swithinbank