Dolcissima mia vita (Carlo Gesualdo)

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  • (Posted 2018-03-12)  CPDL #49020:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2018-03-12).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 57 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Reformatting of #19662, with time signature standardised as 4/2 throughout.
  • (Posted 2017-11-18)  CPDL #47459:       
Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2017-11-18).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 86 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: A bar-less version of the piece.
  • (Posted 2010-07-15)  CPDL #21965:     
Editor: Bhaskoro Dwi Widhianto (submitted 2010-07-15).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 51 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2009-06-22)  CPDL #19662:        (Sibelius 5)
Editor: Daniel Harmer (submitted 2009-06-22).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 40 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Gesualdo Madrigal Book 5, No. 4. 1613 Edition.
  • (Posted 2001-07-11)  CPDL #02834:     
Editor: Pothárn Imre (submitted 2001-07-11).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 80 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Dolcissima mia vita
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. 4

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Dolcissima mia vita,
a che tardate la bramata aita?
Credete forse che'l bel foco ond' ardo,
sia per finir perché torcete il guardo?
Ahi, non fia mai, ché brama il mio desire
o d'amarti, o morire.

English.png English translation

My sweet beloved,
why do you withhold the relief which I long for?
Perhaps you think that my burning desire will end,
because you turn away whenever I see you?
Alas, this cannot be,
I must either love you or die.

Translation by Mick Swithinbank
Polish.png Polish translation

O najmilsza!
Czemu zwlekasz i nie biegniesz mi na pomoc?
Mniemasz, że cudny płomień, co mnie spala,
nie podsycony twym spojrzeniem - zgaśnie?
Ach, niestety, nie ziści się marzenie moje:
Kochać lub umrzeć!

Translation by Mbalicki
German.png German translation

Mein allersüßtes Leben,
warum haltet zurück ihr die ersehnte Hilfe?
Glaubt ihr vielleicht, die schöne Flamme,
die mich verzehrt, verlösche, weil ihr den Blick abwendet?
Ach, mein Wunsch ist nichts anderes doch als die Begierde
zu lieben euch oder zu sterben!

Translation by Malimarie