THE LAMENT OF THE NYMPH

The Lament of the Nymph

Clara sent this beautiful letter to The Vampire’s Wife. Claudio Monteverdi’s song is so very beautiful. Thank you so much, Clara. With love, Susie. x

I am a great admirer of The Vampire's Wife and follow the magnificent stories on the Stuff Page with interest.

I just wanted to share a beautiful piece by Claudio Monteverdi, "il lamento della ninfa" a Madrigal from 1638. It is delicate and passionate. A young nymph is suffering for her lover while the choir comments with compassion.  Interestingly, in the original notes for the Lamento, Monteverdi writes that the soprano should sing according to her own emotions. To me it is one of the most touching and beautiful songs about love and despair.

Here is Bernarda Fink's version.

The Lament of the Nymph

Phoebus had not yet brought
The day to the world,
When a maiden so angry
Came out of her house.
On her pale face
Her pain could be read,
And every so often
A heavy sigh came from her heart.
Stepping on flowers,
She wandered from here to there,
Bewailing her lost love
With these words.
Love
(She said)
Love
(gazing at the sky, standing still)
Love
Where is the troth
That the traitor vowed?
(Unhappy one)
Make him return to my love
As he once was,
Or else kill me, so I
Can no longer torment myself.
(The poor girl, ah no more, no,
Can she suffer so much ice.)
I no longer want him to breathe,
Unless far from me
So that he can no longer say
The things that torture me
(Ah, the poor girl, no more, no, no)
Because I destroy myself for him,
So full of pride as he is;
But if I flee from him,
Again he entreats me.
(The poor girl, ah no more, no,

Can she suffer so much ice)
A more serene eyebrow
Has she than mine,
But love has not planted

In his breast so fair a faith.
(The poor girl, ah no more, no, can
she suffers so much ice)
Not ever such sweet kisses
Will he have from that mouth,
Not softer, ah quiet, quiet,

He knows it only too well.
(The poor girl)

 


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