Quel 'no' crudel che la mia speme ancise (Carlo Gesualdo)

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  • (Posted 2018-09-04)  CPDL #51187:        
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2018-09-04).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 75 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Reformatting of #5362, with corrections to the underlay.
  • (Posted 2003-07-28)  CPDL #05362:  Network.png PDF, MIDI, & MUP fiiles.
Editor: Vincent Carpentier (submitted 2003-07-28).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 400 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: revised May 28, 2004.
Error.gif Possible error(s) identified. See the discussion page for full description.

General Information

Title: Quel 'no' crudel che la mia speme ancise
Composer: Carlo Gesualdo

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1611 in Madrigali a 5 voci, libro sesto, no. 16

External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Quel ‘no’ crudel che la mia speme ancise
ecco che pur trafitto
da mille baci di mia bocca ultrice,
qual fiera serpe in mezzo ai fiori essangue,
tra quelle belle labbra a morte langue.
O vittoria felice! In quel vago rossor
gli amanti scritto leggan:
«Di quel bel volto ha vinto Amore.»
Amor vince ogni core.

German.png German translation

Jenes grausame „Nein“, das meine Hoffnung zerstört
Es ist jetzt durchbohrt
von tausend Küssen meines rächenden Mundes,
einer zwischen Blumen verblutenden wilden Schlange
Auf diesen schönen Lippen liegt es sterbend.
Oh glücklicher Sieg! In jener zarten Röte
mögen die Liebenden lesen:
„Von diesem schönen Antlitz wurde Amor besiegt.“
Amor besiegt jedes Herz.

Translation by Malimarie
English.png English translation

That cruel “no” which killed my hope
now lies here pierced
by a thousand kisses from my vengeful mouth,
lies like a wild serpent amid flowers,
languishing to death on those beautiful lips.
O happy victory! In that beautiful scarlet
may lovers read written:
«Love has conquered that fair face.»
Love conquers all hearts.

Translation by Campelli