Deh coprite il bel seno (Carlo Gesualdo)

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  • (Posted 2009-06-28)  CPDL #19703:        (Sibelius 5)
Editor: Daniel Harmer (submitted 2009-06-28).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 40 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Gesualdo Madrigal Book 5, No. 16. 1613 Edition.
  • (Posted 2000-08-29)  CPDL #01296:        (Finale 2000)
Editor: Claudio Macchi (submitted 2000-08-29).   Score information: Letter, 7 pages, 96 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:
Error.gif Possible error(s) identified. Error summary: Minor text mistakes

General Information

Title: Deh, coprite il bel seno
Composer: Carlo Gesualdo

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1611 in Madrigali a 5 voci, libro quinto, no. 16

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Deh, coprite il bel seno,
ché per troppo mirar l’alma vien meno!
Ahi! no'l coprite, no, ché l’alma avezza
a viver di dolcezza
spera, mirando, aita
da quel bel sen che le dà morte e vita.

English.png English translation

I beg you, hide your lovely breasts:
it makes me faint to look too much upon them.
Alas, no, do not hide them: let me become accustomed
to enjoy such sweet sensations.
As I look at them, I hope for succour
from within that bosom which means both death and life to me.

Translation by Mick Swithinbank