O bella man, che mi destringi 'l core (Luca Marenzio)

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  • (Posted 2019-06-01)  CPDL #54431:       
Editor: Marcos Mato (submitted 2019-06-01).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 90 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2013-01-17)  CPDL #27849:       
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2012-12-22).   Score information: Letter, 5 pages, 546 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: O bella man, che mi destringi 'l core
Composer: Luca Marenzio
Lyricist: Francesco Petrarca

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1585 in Madrigali a quattro voci, libro primo, no. 4

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

O bella man, che mi destringi 'l core,
e 'n poco spatio la mia vita chiudi;
man ov'ogni arte et tutti i lor studi
poser Natura e 'l Ciel per farsi honore;

di cinque perle orïental' colore,
et sol ne le mie piaghe acerbi et crudi,
diti schietti soavi, a tempo ignudi
consente or voi, per arricchirme, Amore.

Canzoniere 199 (1st 8 lines)
English.png English translation

O beautiful hand that clutches my heart
shutting my life in so small a space,
hand on which Nature and Heaven lavished
all art, and all care, to do it honour,

with five pearls of orient colour,
and only to wound me bitterly and cruelly,
those long gentle fingers, that Love consents
to show me naked, now, for my enrichment.

Translation by Anthony S. Kline ©