Lamento d’Arianna for wind quintet



This is a transcription, with added dynamics and speed changes to
reflect the words and emotions of the original madrigal by Monteverdi.
It is a dramatic monologue in which Ariadne expresses her love and
despair on being abandoned on the island of Naxos by Theseus.
The pdf contains score and parts.
The sound sample is an electronic preview

The words of the original madrigal are as follows
(English translation below)
Lasciatemi morire!
E che volete voi che mi conforte
in così dura sorte,
in così gran martire?
Lasciatemi morire!
O Teseo, o Teseo mio,
sì che mio ti vo’ dir,
ché mio pur sei,
benché t’involi, ahi crudo!
agli occhi miei.
Volgiti, Teseo mio,
volgiti, Teseo, o Dio!
Volgiti indietro a rimirar colei
che lasciat’ha per te
la patria e il regno,
e ’n queste arene ancora,
cibo di fere dispietate e crude,
lascerà l’ossa ignude.
O Teseo, o Teseo mio,
se tu sapessi, o Dio!
Se tu sapessi, ohimè!, come s’affanna
la povera Arianna,
forse, forse pentito
rivolgeresti ancor la prora al lito.
Ma con l’aure serene
tu te ne vai felice,
et io qui piango.
A te prepara Atene
liete pompe superbe,
et io rimango
cibo di fere in solitarie arene.
Tu l’uno e l’altro tuo vecchio parente
stringerai lieto,
ed io più non vedrovvi,
o madre, o padre mio!
Dove, dov’è la fede,
che tanto mi giuravi?
Così ne l’alta sede
tu mi ripon degli avi?
Son queste le corone
onde m’adorni il crine?
Questi gli scettri sono,
queste le gemme e gl’ori?
Lasciarmi in abbondono
a fera che mi stracci e mi divori?
O Teseo, o Teseo mio,
lascerai tu morire,
invan piangendo,
invan gridando aita,
la misera Arianna
ch’a te fidossi e ti die’ gloria e vita?
Ahi, che non pur risponde!
Ahi, che più d’aspe è sordo a’ miei lamenti!
O nembi, o turbi, o venti,
sommergetelo voi dentr’a quell’onde!
Correte, orche e balene,
e delle membra immonde
empiete le voragini profonde!
Che parlo, ahi! Che vaneggio?
Misera, ohimè! Che chieggio?
O Teseo, o Teseo mio,
non son, non son quell’io,
non son quell’io che i feri detti sciolse:
Parlò l’affanno mio, parlò il dolore;
Parlò la lingua sì, ma non già ‘l core.
[English translation by Francesco Campelli]
1. Let me die!
And what do you think can comfort me
in such harsh fate,
in such great suffering?
Let me die!
2. Oh Theseus, oh my Theseus,
for I want to call you mine,
for mine you still are,
cruel one, even though
you flee from my eyes.
Turn back, my Theseus,
turn back, Theseus, oh God!
Turn back to gaze on her
who abandoned
her country and kingdom just for you,
and who will leave her bare bones
on these sands as food
for merciless wild beasts.
Oh Theseus, oh my Theseus,
if you only knew, oh god!
Alas, if you only knew how terribly
scared poor Ariadne is,
perhaps you would relent
and point your prow back to the shore.
But you sail merrily
on gentle breezes,
while I cry here.
Athens prepares for you
joyful proud ceremonies,
and I remain
food for beasts on these lonely sands.
Both your aged parents
you shall joyfully embrace,
but I shall never see you again,
oh mother, oh father.
3. Where?, Where is the faithfulness
that you swore to me so often?
Is this how you set me on the high throne
of your ancestors?
Are these the crowns
with which you adorn my locks?
Are these the sceptres,
these the jewels and the gold?
To leave me, abandoned
for the wild beast to tear and devour?
Oh Theseus, oh my Theseus
will you leave to die,
weeping and calling in vain for help,
wretched Ariadne,
who put her faith in you
and gave you glory and her life?
4. Alas, he doesn’t even answer!
Alas, he is deafer than a snake to my cries!
Oh clouds, storms, winds!
bury him beneath those waves!
Hurry, you whales and sea monsters,
and fill your deep whirlpools
with his filthy limbs!
What am I saying? Why do I rage so?
Alas, wretched, what am I asking for?
Oh, my Theseus,
it is not I, no, it is not I
who uttered those terrible words:
my breathless fear and pain spoke;
my tongue did speak, but not my heart.