Ah, Dolente Partita – Claudio Monteverdi

This piece has a duration of around 3,5 minutes and is generally slow paced. It is written for a mixed choir.

At the beginning the highest voice starts, and all the others join in one after another. The mood of the piece can best be described as plaintive and sad. Often frictions between voices can be heard, due to dissonant intervals, which are mostly dissolved shortly after. It was difficult for me to make out a clear structure, due to the piece being polyphonic.

Towards the middle of the piece the volume increases. The structure seems to be a bit clearer. Often the female voices sing one part of a phrase and the males echo it.

Shortly before the end the one and only major chord appears for the first time.

The Italian text can be translated to the following:

Ah, painful parting!
Ah, end of my life!
From thee I leave and I don’t die?
But I feel
The pain of death
And I feel on leaving
A lively dying,
Which gives life to pain
To let my heart immortally die. (1)

I personally found the piece quite monotonous. It seemed to be still very promising at the very beginning,  but there weren’t many noticeable changes throughout. Therefore I got rather bored by it shortly before the half already, which may have been caused by the length, the pieces from this area I’ve listened to were mostly around 2 minutes.

(1) Wikipedia(2019) Ah! dolente partita (Claudio Monteverdi) [online] Available at: http://www0.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Ah!_dolente_partita_(Claudio_Monteverdi) (Accessed at: 02 Mai. 2019)