Amor che deggio far (Claudio Monteverdi)

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  • (Posted 2014-10-21)  CPDL #33192:       
Editor: Peter Rottländer (submitted 2014-10-21).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 110 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Instrumental parts:   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 99 kB   
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2009-05-05)  CPDL #19406:       
Editor: Björn Sothmann (submitted 2009-05-05).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 539 kB   Copyright: CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Amor che deggio far
Composer: Claudio Monteverdi
Lyricist: Anonymous

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SSTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: Italian
Instruments: 2 Violins, Basso continuo

First published: 1619 in Concerto: settimo libro de madrigali (Claudio Monteverdi), no. 28

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Amor che deggio far
se non mi giova amar con pura fede?
Servir non vo’ così,
piangendo notte e dì per chi no’l crede!

E non si può veder
l’amoroso pensier da l’occhio umano?
Dunque un fido amator
dovrà nel suo dolor languir invano?

Intesi pur talor
che ne la fronte il cor si porta scritto;
or, come a me non val
scoprir l’interno mal nel volto afflitto?

Ingiustissimo Re,
perché la vera fé nota non fai?
Perché lasci perir
voci, sguardi e sospir, se’l vedi e’l sai?

Oh come saria pur
amor dolce e sicur se’l cor s’aprisse!
Non soffrirebbe già
donna senza pietà ch’altrui morisse.

E dunque sotto il ciel
non v’è d’alma fedel segno verace?
Ahi fato, ahi pena, ahi duol!
Or credami chi vuol, ch’io mi dò pace.

English.png English translation

Love, what am I to do,
if it avails me nothing to love with unsullied constancy?
I do not covet my servitude,
weeping night and day for one who does not believe me.

And since a loving thought
cannot be seen by the human eye,
why must a faithful lover
languish in vain?

I did understand that
the heart can oft be read in the brow;
but then, why does my inner woe
not show on my afflicted face?

Most unjust King
why do you not reveal true constancy?
Why do you allow to perish
words, looks and sighs, that you know to be true?

O how pure, Love, sweet and sure,
could the heart but show itself !
Merciless lady,
could not thereafter suffer another to die.

Is there then under Heaven
no true sign of a constant soul?
Ah fate, ah pain, ah woe!
Believe me or not, I want to give me peace.