Donna mia casta e bella (Cesare Acelli)

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  • (Posted 2016-04-18)  CPDL #39369:          (Finale 2014)
Editor: Willem Verkaik (submitted 2016-04-18).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 297 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transposed down one note from G-mixolydian.

General Information

Title: Donna mia casta e bella
Composer: Cesare Acelli

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1586 in De floridi virtuosi d'Italia (Giacomo Vincenti), no. 22
    2nd published: 1600 in De floridi virtuosi d'Italia (Pierre Phalèse), no. 29

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Donna mia casta e bella,
Voi che divota andate,
Porgendo prieghi in questa chiesa e'n quella,
Dite l'orar che vale
S'indi poi ne deriva espresso male,
Se voi mentre ch'orate,
Morte con gl'occhi date,
S'in atto humil' e pio,
Voi m'uccidete
Irata che farete.

English.png English translation

My chaste and beautiful lady,
you who go about devoutly
offering up prayers in one church and another,
tell me which entreaty would be the right one:
if I then express it badly,
if, while you pray,
you mete out death with your eyes,
if in your humble and pious rites
you slay me,
you will be angry then.
Translation by Mick Swithinbank
(This is a tentative translation: I am open to suggestions for improvement.)