Sung by Enrico Caruso
With piano accompaniment
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"Celeste Aida" ("Heavenly Aida") is a romanza from the first act of the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi. It is preceded by the recitative "Se quel guerrier io fossi!". The aria is sung by Radamès, a young Egyptian warrior who wishes to be chosen as a commander of the Egyptian army. He dreams of gaining victory on the battlefield and also of the Ethiopian slave girl, Aida, with whom he is secretly in love.
The term romance has a centuries-long history. Applied to narrative ballads in Spain, it came to be used by the 18th century for simple lyrical pieces not only for voice, but also for instruments alone. The Oxford Dictionary of Music states that "generally it implies a specially personal or tender quality".
Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Set in the Old Kingdom of Egypt, it was commissioned by Cairo's Khedivial Opera House and had its première there on 24 December 1871, in a performance conducted by Giovanni Bottesini. Today the work holds a central place in the operatic canon, receiving performances every year around the world; at New York's Metropolitan Opera alone, Aida has been sung more than 1,100 times since 1886. Ghislanzoni's scheme follows a scenario often attributed to the French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette, but Verdi biographer Mary Jane Phillips-Matz argues that the source is actually Temistocle Solera.
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian opera composer. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history.
This scene takes place in the hall of the king's palace.
Se quel guerrier io fossi!
Se il mio sogno si avverasse!
Un esercito di prodi da me guidato
E la vittoria e il plauso di Menfi tutta!
E a te, mia dolce Aida,
Tornar di lauri cinto
Dirti: per te ho pugnato,
Per te ho vinto!
Celeste Aida, forma divina,
Mistico serto di luce e fior,
Del mio pensiero tu sei regina,
Tu di mia vita sei lo splendor.
Il tuo bel cielo vorrei ridarti,
Le dolci brezze del patrio suol
Un regal serto sul crin posarti,
Ergerti un trono vicino al sol.
If only I were that warrior!
If only my dream might come true!
An army of brave men with me as their leader
And victory and the applause of all Memphis!
And to you, my sweet Aida,
To return crowned with laurels,
To tell you: for you I have fought,
For you I have won!
Heavenly Aida, divine form,
Mystical garland of light and flowers,
You are queen of my thoughts,
You are the splendour of my life.
I want to give you back your beautiful sky,
The sweet breezes of your native land,
To place a royal garland on your hair,
To raise you a throne next to the sun.
A vocal score or piano-vocal score is a music score of an opera, or a vocal or choral composition written for orchestral accompaniment, such as an oratorio or cantata. In a piano-vocal score, the vocal parts are written out in full, but the accompaniment is reduced and adapted for keyboard. The music is usually reduced to two staves; however, more staves, a second keyboardist (piano-four-hands), or a second keyboard part can be added, as needed.
The William and Gayle Cook Music Library, recognized as one of the largest academic music libraries in the world, serves the Jacobs School of Music and the Bloomington Campus of Indiana University. It occupies a four-floor, 55,000 square-foot facility in a wing of the Simon Music Center. The collection comprises over 700,000 cataloged items, in addition to thousands more items that have yet to be cataloged.
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