Italian Song

  • Duration: 3 minutes
  • Soloist(s): Countertenor
  • Chorus: TTBB
  • Instrumentation: Chamber Orchestra
  • Published: Novello & Co

The text by Guarini was originally set by Monteverdi in his Eighth Book of Madrigals (1638) and reflects Patrick’s love of the Baroque.  Like so many madrigals, this one deals with the pain of unrequited love; the suffering lover compares his plight with that of the nightingale whose love song seems irresistible.  ‘Song is no use to me,’ he complains ‘and I have no wings like you with which to fly…if Nature denied you understanding, she gave you joy to make up for it.’

Vocal & Orchestral parts
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Dolcissimo uscignolo,
Tu chiami la tua cara compagnia,
Cantando: “vieni, vieni, anima mia.”
A me canto non vale;
E non ho come tu da volar ale.
O felice augelletto:
Come nel tuo diletto
Ti ricompensa ben l’alma natura;
Se ti negò saper, ti diè ventura.

Words: Giambattista Guarini (1538 – 1612)

Sweetest nightingale,
You summon your dear companion
Singing: “Come, come, my beloved!”
Song is no use to me,
And I have no wings like you with which to fly.
O happy little bird!
How well, where pleasure is concerned,
Has Mother Nature compensated you:
Denying you understanding, she gave you joy.