Text by Alberto Donaudy, music by his brother Stefano. Recorded with Enrico Caruso 15 September 1920.
Caruso recorded this in Sept 1920.He had a head cold when he made these recordings which would prove to be his last. But he brought out that glorious voice even when a bad head cold and death were stalking him. He would be dead less then 11 months after this recording was made. It much a statement to his technic and artistry that his recordings from Sept of 1920 came to be as great as they were. He was the greatest of that age, and would give a run for their money any others of any other age. (comment from the youtube video)
Vaghissima sembianza d'antica donna amata,
chi, dunque, v'ha ritratta contanta simiglianza
ch'io guardo, e parlo, e credo d'avervi a me
davanti come ai bei dì d'amor?
La cara rimembranza che in cor mi s'è destata
si ardente v'ha già fatta rinascer la speranza,
che un bacio, un voto, un grido d'amore
più non chiedo che a lei che muta è ognor.
Very Vague Semblance
Very vague semblance
Of my formerly loved woman,
Who, then, has portrayed you
With such a likeness
That I gaze, and speak,
And believe to have you
Before me as in the beautiful days of love?
The cherished memory
Which in my heart has been
Awakened so ardently
Has already revived hope there,
So that a kiss, a vow, a cry of love
I no longer ask except of her
Who is forever silent.
I do not ask, I do not ask except of her.Stefano Donaudy
O bei nidi d'amore
O bei nidi d'amore,
occhi a me sì cari,
che di vostro favore non mi foste avari,
or che privo son io
di quel vostro sorriso,
di quel mio Paradiso,
senza più alcun desio
vedo i giorni miei fuggire,
e in sì cruda mia sorte
ogni giorno ho più morte
e non posso ancor...non posso morir!
Non ha raggi più il sole,
stelle il firmamento,
non ha il prato viole,
nè sospiri ha il vento, or che,
a crescer l'ambascia del perduto mio bene,
che sì affranto mi tiene,
persin quella mi lascia,
onde almen nutrivo il core,
pietosa speranza che anche al misero avanza
perchè gli sia men crudo il dolor!
Oh beautiful nests of love
Oh beautiful nests of love,
Eyes so dear to me,
That were not miserly to me with your good-will,
Now that I am deprived
Of that smile of yours,
Of that paradise of mine,
Without any more desire
I see my days fly by,
And in my fate so cruel
Every day I have more death
And yet I cannot... I cannot die!
No longer has the sun rays,
The firmament stars,
The field does not have violets,
Nor has the wind sighs, now that,
to increase the pain of my lost blessing,
Which keeps me so crushed,
Even that leaves me,
With which at least I fed my heart,
The merciful hope which comes even to the wretched,
So that his sorrow will be less cruel to him!
Beniamino Gigli (March 20, 1890 - November 30, 1957)
was an Italian opera singer.
The most famous tenor of his generation,
he was renowned internationally for the great beauty
of his voice and the soundness of his vocal technique.
Music critics sometimes took him to task,
however, for what was perceived to be the
over-emotionalism of his interpretations.
Nevertheless, such was Gigli's talent,
he is considered to be one of the very finest tenors
in the recorded history of music.
O del mio amato ben
O del mio amato ben perduto incanto!
Lungi è dagli occhi miei
chi m'era gloria e vanto!
Or per le mute stanze
sempre lo cerco e chiamo
con pieno il cor di speranze?
Ma cerco invan, chiamo invan!
E il pianger m'è sì caro,
che di pianto sol nutro il cor.
Mi sembra, senza lui, triste ogni loco.
Notte mi sembra il giorno;
mi sembra gelo il foco.
Se pur talvolta spero
di darmi ad altra cura,
sol mi tormenta un pensiero:
Ma, senza lui, che farò?
Mi par così la vita vana cosa
senza il mio ben.
Oh, lost enchantment of my dearly beloved
Oh, lost enchantment of my dearly beloved!
Far from my eyes is he
who was, to me, glory and pride!
Now through the empty rooms
I always seek him and call him
with a heart full of hopes?
But I seek in vain, I call in vain!
And the weeping is so dear to me,
that with weeping alone I nourish my heart.
It seems to me, without him, sad everywhere.
The day seems like night to me;
the fire seems cold to me.
If, however, I sometimes hope
to give myself to another cure,
one thought alone torments me:
But without him, what shall I do?
To me, life seems a vain thing
without my beloved.
Rosa Ponselle (January 22, 1897 – May 25, 1981),
was an American operatic soprano with a large, opulent voice.
She sang mainly at the New York Metropolitan Opera
and is generally considered by music critics
to have been one of the greatest sopranos of the past 100 years.
Ponselle was a force of nature.
So many beautiful colors in the voice.
She stands alone. She is also accompanied by a genius,
Igor Chichagov. I studied with him.
He is a great maestro in every sense of the word.
He gets into the soul of the music.
Two legends joining forces. (comment from youtube)