Se la mia morte brami (Carlo Gesualdo)

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  • (Posted 2018-08-26)  CPDL #51008:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2018-08-26).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 67 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Reformatting of #5001, transposed down an tone.
  • (Posted 2003-05-09)  CPDL #05001:  Network.png
Editor: Vincent Carpentier (submitted 2003-05-09).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 308 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: score revised May 18, 2004.

General Information

Title: Se la mia morte brami
Composer: Carlo Gesualdo
Lyricist: Torquato Tasso

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1611 in Madrigali a 5 voci, libro sesto, no. 1

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Se la mia morte brami, crudel, lieto ne moro.
E dopo morte ancor te solo adoro.
Ma se vuoi che non t'ami, ahi, che a pensarlo solo
il duol m'ancide e l'alma fugge a volo.

English.png English translation

If you long for my death, cruel one, happily shall I die,
and after death I will still adore you only.
But if you want me to stop loving you, alas, if I even think of such a thing,
grief kills me and my soul takes flight.

Translation by Campelli
English.png English translation

If you long for my death, you tyrant,
    I’m glad to die,

and after death I'll still love you alone.

But if you want me not to love you,
    grief does me in,
and my soul escapes in flight.

Translation by Nicholas Jones
German.png German translation

Wenn du meinen Tod herbeiwünschst, Grausame, sterbe ich fröhlich.
und auch nach dem Tode verehre ich nur dich.
Wenn du aber willst, daß ich dich nicht lieben solle, ach, allein daran zu denken
tötet mich der Schmerz und die Seele enteilt im Fluge.