Alma guidott' amar colei (Girolamo Conversi)

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  • (Posted 2018-11-22)  CPDL #52253:     
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2018-11-22).   Score information: Letter, 7 pages, 141 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2016-01-01)  CPDL #38029:         
Editors: Jonathan Goodliffe and Mick Swithinbank (submitted 2016-01-01).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 79 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: corrected version uploaded 2016-01-01.

General Information

Title: Alma guidott' amar colei
Composer: Girolamo Conversi

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SAATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1572 in Il primo libro de canzoni alla Napolitana a cinque voci, Edition 1, no. 2–3
    2nd published: 1589 in Gemmae musicalis Liber Secundus (ed. Friedrich Lindner), no. 49
Description: A two-part canzone for five voices.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Alma guidott' amar colei ch'ogn' hora lieta ridendo se ne và
con gioia del tuo languir' e noia.
Fiera stella se ne va con gioia
del tuo languir' e noia.
Ne sperar per mercede,
se non rara beltade, e poca fede.

Ma se tempo gia mai verrà
che sciolta vivi, non sia piu mai che te diletta
se non gridar vendett’amor, vendetta!

English.png English translation

Translation by Mick Swithinbank
My heart is moved to love a woman who constantly goes away laughing,
mocking the affliction of my languishing heart.
A haughty star in the firmament, she goes away laughing and mocking me.
Do not hope for any reward
other than her rare beauty, with little commitment.
Yet if ever a time were to come when my heart was no longer in thrall to her,
let not the only thing it takes delight in
be to cry: 'Love shall be avenged!'

English.png English translation

In 1588 there was published by Michael East and edited by Nicholas Yonge a collection of Italian madrigals with lyrics very loosely adapted into English.
The collection included the first part of "Alma guidott' amar colei" and its translation read:

My heart, alas, why dost thou love,
Why dost thou love thine enemy
Thy mortal enemy,
Laughing so merely she goes
With gladness,
To see thy grief and sadness
Cruel disdain.
Lasting pain no remedy,
Save most singular beauty
And little pity.