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.