Amarilli, mia bella

Giulio Caccini

Amarilli, mia bella

About this work

This delicate arioso is not as melodic as many contemporary works, but rather shows off the phrasing ability of the singer and the interplay between the voice and the accompaniment. The accompaniment is generally a basso, but lute, harpsichord, and piano are some alternate instrumentations we find. The phrases are short, and generally quite discrete, each one for the most part building and subsiding to its own climax.

The very last lines, with their repetition of "Amarilli, " are more closely linked than the preceding phrases, giving an increasing sense of urgency than the previous phrases. The work has become a favorite with young singers, as the range is tiny (only a ninth from the highest note to the lowest) but still provides a chance to show off control and phrasing.

The text is somewhat exaggerated, "Amaryllis, my beauty, don't you believe, my heart's sweet desire, that you are my love? Believe it, and if doubt should strike you, take my arrow, open my chest, and see written on my heart, 'Amaryllis, my love, '" but the simplicity of the music rather "neutralizes" its silliness.

Done