Quell'ombra esser vorrei (Claudio Monteverdi)

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  • CPDL #31767:     
Editor: Peter Rottländer (submitted 2014-04-24).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 109 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Original key
  • CPDL #31768:     
Editor: Peter Rottländer (submitted 2014-04-24).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 108 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Fourth down, according to chiavette convention. Suitable for STTBarB
  • CPDL #27563:      (MuP)
Editor: Vincent Carpentier (submitted 2012-11-10).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 53 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Quell'ombra esser
Composer: Claudio Monteverdi
Lyricist: Girolamo Casoni

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

Language: Italian
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1590 in Il secondo libro de madrigali a cinque voci (Claudio Monteverdi), no. 10


External websites:

Original text and translations

Italian.png Italian text

Quell’ombra esser vorrei
che’l dì vi segue leggiadretta e bella,
che s’or son servo, i’ sarei vostr’ancella.

E quando parte il sole,
m’asconderei sotto quei bianchi panni:
lasso, ben negli affanni,
ombra ignuda d’uom vivo, Amor, mi fai,
ma non mi giungi a la mia donna mai.

English.png English translation

I would love to be that shadow
that follows you by day, graceful and pretty,
for if I already am enslaved,
 [I would then be your maid too.
And at sunset I would hide
under those white garments:
alas!, amidst much sorrow you turn me,
Love, into the mere shadow of a living man,
but never join me to my mistress.

Translation by Campelli |valign="top" width=33.333333333333%|

French.png French translation

Je voudrais bien être cette ombre
qui vous suit le jour, gracieuse et belle,
car étant déjà votre esclave,
 [je deviendrais aussi votre demoiselle.
Et au coucher du soleil
je me cacherais sous ces draps blancs:
hélas, Amour, plongé dans les tourments
tu me transformes en spectre d’homme vivant,
mais jamais avec mon amour tu me réunis.

Translation by Campelli {{bottom}