Gesualdo and his wife

Carlo Gesualdo, Duke and Prince of Venosa, married his first wife Maria d’Avalos in 1566.

His second wife (not mentioned here) survived him.


He loved her truly and indeed
but far too much,
so when he was deceived
by the most beautiful Maria d’Avalos,
a princess and twice widow,
25 years and a cousin,
and surprised her in his own bed with her lover,
he lost all control and massacred the couple
most atrociously, revealing greater passion than Othello
and a jealousy more horrifying being justified.
The law could never get at him, since many helpers were involved,
and people thought in general that he was right,
that the adulterous couple had themselves to blame
for openly inviting Satan to their own black wedding.
But his life was ruined, and he never could forgive himself
but led an isolated life like in a prison of self torture,
caught in the horrific trap of his own tragedy,
which led him to compose the most extraneous music
of that century, transforming his despair, depression, grief and tears
into the most expressive madrigals
that still today appear as bold and modern
in their heart-rending characteristic constant pain,
a lasting cry of love from hell.


© aurelio 2023
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