E Lucevan le Stelle (And The Stars Were Shining) [Tosca]

From Puccini’s (1858-1924) opera Tosca (1900), this tragic but sublime aria, is sung by the male protagonist just before his execution. Here we are at the absolute pinnacle of Romanticism – does music get any more intense (or beautiful) than this ??!!

The aria has been transposed down a major third from its original key of B minor into G minor. This allows us to play it twice, the second time one octave higher than the first, as though it were sung first by a baritone voice and then by a soprano. In the “Easier Version” however, both repetitions are in the lower octave. The piano part is the same for all versions. A video performance of this arrangement can be found here.

In this arrangement, the very free “ad libitum” rhythms of bars 1-2, 7-8, 15-16 etc. have been renotated more precisely in order to fit predictably with the prerecorded accompaniment. This should not however be allowed to eliminate the improvisatory feeling of these bars.

  Edited Performance Version     Clean Performance Version   Easier Version     Piano Score