Sonno diletto e caro (Andrea Gabrieli)

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  • (Posted 2020-07-11)  CPDL #59700:        (LilyPond)
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2020-07-11).   Score information: Letter, 5 pages, 99 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2017-11-22)  CPDL #47655:         
Editor: Andreas Stenberg (submitted 2017-11-22).   Score information: A4, 13 pages, 115 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: From the 1585 P. Phalese print Symphonie Angelice. Score and parts
  • (Posted 1998-12-28)  CPDL #00138:  Icon_pdf_globe.gif
Editor: Jens Peter Jacobsen (submitted 1998-12-28).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 150 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: originally madrigal, sacred text added. File recovered using the WayBackMachine of

General Information

Title: Bonum est et suave / Sonno diletto e caro
Composer: Andrea Gabrieli

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicing: SSATTB
Genres: Secular & SacredMadrigal

Languages: Italian, Latin
Instruments: Basso continuo

First published: 1580 in Il secondo libro de madrigali a 6 voci, no. 1
    2nd published: 1585 in Symphonia angelica, Edition 1, no. 53
    3rd published: 1607 in Musica tolta da I Madrigali di Claudio Monteverde, e d'altri autori … e fatta spiritual (Aquilino Coppini), no. 21

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Bonum est, et suave, amare Dominum
qui nos amavit et nos a nexibus solvit peccati
et lavit sordes nostras sua morte.

Jesu, o Jesu, te sectamur, ad te convertimur
qui solus es amandus et adorandus
in cœlo & in terra cum Sancto Spiritu,
cum Deo Patre.

English.png English translation

It is good and agreeable to love the Lord,
who loved us and delivered us from the bonds of sin,
and washed away our stains with his death.

Jesus, we follow you, we turn to you
who alon are to be loved and adored
in heaven and in earth, with the holy Spirit,
with God the father.

Translation by Campelli
Italian.png Italian text

Sonno diletto e caro,
ch’a la mia donna
in sen mi guidi e scorgi,
perchè si tost’ohimè
lasso ten vai
poi ch’a quest’ occh’è
sì il vegghiar amaro?

Torna, deh! torna,
o dolce sonno,
e mai non mi lasciar,
ch’un tanto ben mi porgi;
tu mi dimostri,
e sia pur falso o vero,
quel che vegghiando
mai veder non spero.

English.png English translation

Slumber, dear and beloved,
which lead and guide me
to my woman's bosom,
why do you wander away
so quickly—woe is me!—,
since wake is bitter
to my eyes?

Come back, come back,
sweet slumber,
and never leave me,
as you bring to me such good;
you show to me,
whether it be false or true,
what I can never hope
to see, while awake.

Translation by Campelli