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Chiamo il mio ben cosi

Opera details:

Opera title:

Orfeo ed Euridice


Christof von Gluck




Orfeo ed Euridice Synopsis


Orfeo ed Euridice Libretto


English Deutsch

Aria details:






Tenor or Mezzo-Soprano



Previous scene: Addio o miei sospiri
Next scene: Amours viens rendre a mon ame

Gluck: Chiamo il mio ben così--Erik Kurmangaliev

Singer: Erik Kurmangaliev


They are a miscellaneous collection of Orfeana from here and there which I have assembled to accompany the music (as well as a photo of the singer that concludes the video.) Image credits are as follows:

1) Antonio Canova, sculptor (photographer unknown)
2) Pascal Adolphe Jean Dagnan-Bouveret
3) Jonathan Alibone
4) Thomas Crawford, sculptor (photographer unknown)
5) Richard Putz
6) Unknown Attic potter (photographer unknown)
7) Alexandre Séon
8) Roger Corbeau(?)
9) George Frederick Watts
10) Jean Delville
11) Shoshanna Vaynman
12) Enzie Shahmiri
13) Jean Bourgoin(?)
14) Photographer unknown


Starting as a largely self-taught teenager in the mid-1970s, and battling a Moscow musical culture that neither valued nor really understood countertenors at the time, Kazakh-born Erik Kurmangaliev persevered and blossomed into a remarkable musician. He was not widely known in the west, and he left us only a meager discography by which to remember him; but what we have shows a performer of wit and intelligence, with a flair for subtlety and thoughtful phrasing. The voice was not perfect: a certain shrillness tended to creep in when he sang high and loud; but his pianissimi were as finely crafted as any countertenor's, his access to the modal register enabled him to hit low notes with ease that would vex a pure falsettist, and he sang with an unguarded honesty which sets his performances apart from the somewhat drier, more academicized work of his contemporaries. He was best known for his performances of the Russian repertory, but he could and did sing other things, such as this rendition of Chiamo il mio ben così, perhaps the most tuneful aria in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, and a deceptively treacherous piece. Many singers have made it sound like pretty music, but only a few have managed to breathe real dramatic life into it. Kurmangaliev's rendition is one of the finest I have ever heard by a male performer. The recording was issued in 1991 on the Olympia label.

TEXT (by Ranieri de Calzabigi)

Chiamo il mio ben così
quando si mostra il dì,
quando s'asconde.
Ma, oh vano mio dolor!
l'idolo del mio cor
non mi risponde.

Euridice! Euridice!
Ombra cara, ove sei? Piange il tuo sposo,
ti domanda agli dèi,
a' mortali ti chiede e sparse a' venti
son le lagrime sue, i suoi lamenti.

Cerco il mio ben così
in queste, ove morì,
funeste sponde.
Ma sola al mio dolor,
perché conobbe amor,
l'eco risponde.

Euridice! Euridice! Ah, questo nome
san le spiagge, e le selve
l'appresero da me. Per ogni valle
Euridice risuona; in ogni tronco
scrisse il misero Orfeo, Orfeo infelice:
«Euridice, idol mio, cara Euridice».

Piango il mio ben così,
se il sole indora il dì,
se va nell'onde.
Pietoso al pianto mio
va mormorando il rio
e mi risponde.

Numi! barbari numi!
D'Acheronte e d'Averno
pallidi abitator, la di cui mano
avida delle morti
mai disarmò, mai trattener non seppe
beltà né gioventù, voi mi rapiste
la mia bella Euridice
(oh memoria crudel!) sul fior degli anni:
la rivoglio da voi, numi tiranni.
Ho core anch'io per ricercar sull'orme
dei più intrepidi eroi, nel vostro orrore,
la mia sposa, il mio ben...

Watch videos with other singers performing Chiamo il mio ben cosi:


Le danze funebri cessano. Tutti si allontanano


Chiamo il mio ben così
Quando si mostra il dì,
Quando s'asconde.
Ma, oh vano mio dolor!
L'idolo del mio cor
Non mi risponde.

Euridice! Euridice!
Ombra cara, ove sei? sempre affannato
Il tuo sposo fedel invan ti chiama,
Agli Dei ti domanda e sparge ai venti
Con le lagrime sue Invano i suoi lamenti!

Cerco il mio ben così
In queste, ove morì,
Funeste sponde.
Ma sola al mio dolor,
Perché conobbe amor,
L'eco risponde.

Euridice! Euridice!
Ah, questo nome
San le spiaggie, e le selve
L'appresero da me! Per ogni valle
Euridice risuona: in ogni tronco
Io quel nome incidea con man tremante!
Euridice moriva! ed io respiro ancor!
Dei! se non torna in vita, me pur spegnete allor!

Piango il mio ben così,
Se il sole indora il dì,
Se va nell'onde.
Pietoso al pianto mio
Va mormorando il rio
E mi risponde.
Numi! barbari Numi!
D'Acheronte e d'Averno
Reggitori implacati! la cui mano
Il fiero Pluto vuol de' cenni suoi
Crudel ministra, voi giammai commuove
Beltà né gioventude! a me rapiste
La dolce mia consorte!
Oh! memoria crudel! Ahimè! non valse
La grazia sua dal barbaro destino
Quella cara a salvar! Implacati tiranni!
A voi la vo' rapir!
Penetrare vogl'io ne l'atro Averno,
Il mio pianto dovrà
L'ira vostra placar!
Ricercare saprò nel vostro orrore
La mia sposa, il mio bene!

English Libretto or Translation:

At the end of the dance which follows, the Chorus leaves.


Thus do I call my love
when day shows itself
and when it disappears.
But ah! vain is my grief!
The idol of my heart
does not reply.


Eurydice, Eurydice,
beloved shade, where are you?
Your husband weeps,
begs the gods for you
and asks for you among mortals,
yet scattered to the wind
are his tears
and his laments!


Thus do I seek my love
on these sad shores
where she died.
But to my grief
echo alone replies,
since it knew our love.


Eurydice, Eurydice! Ah, that name
the seashore knows, and the woods
learnt from me!
In every valley
Eurydice resounds: on every tree
the wretched Orpheus has written:
Unhappy Orpheus,
Eurydice, my love,
dear Eurydice!


Thus do I mourn my love,
whether the sun gilds the day
or sinks into the waves.
The brook, taking pity on my plaints,
goes murmuring by
and answers me.


Oh gods, cruel gods!
You, the pale inhabitant of Acheron and Avernus,
whose greedy hand was never stayed
by beauty or youth,
nor could keep it from death,
you stole from me my lovely Eurydice ?
oh cruel memory! ?
in the flower of her life.
I want her back from you, tyrannous gods!
I too have the courage, in the footsteps
of the most intrepid heroes,
to search for my wife,
my loved one, in your horror!

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