Esta Tarde, mi Bien  (This Evening, My Love)

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SATBB a cappella
Secular text in Spanish by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, trans. Muriel Kittel
Difficulty rating (1-5): 4

This piece was developed at the Oxford Summer Institute in 2001 with the Princeton Singers directed by Steven Sametz.

It won the Cambridge (MA) Madrigal Singers composition contest and was premiered by them in a performance at the MacDowell Colony in May 2004.

Complete perusal score available upon request.



Esta tarde, mi bien, cuando te hablaba
como en tu rostro y tus acciones vía
que con palábras no te persuadía,
que el corazón me vises deseaba;
y Amor, que mis intentos ayudaba,
venció lo que imposible parecía:
pues entre el llanto que el dolor vertía,
el corazón deshecho destilaba.
Baste ya de rigors, mi bien, baste;
no te atormenten más cellos tiranos,
ni el vil recelo tu quietud contraste
con sombras necias, con indicios vanos,
pues ya en líquido humor viste y tocaste  
mi corazón deshecho entre tus manos.


This evening when I spoke to you, my dear,
When in your face and gestures I perceived
That I could not persuade you with my words,
Then I desired that you should see my heart.
And love, that came to help my purposes,
Accomplished that which seemed impossible,
For there among the tears that sorrow spilled
Was drop by drop my wasting heart distilled.
Enough of harshness now, my dear, enough;
Nor let cruel jealousy torment you more,
Nor base suspicion attack your virtue now
With foolish shadows, empty evidence,
Since here in watery medium you have seen
And felt within your hands my wasted heart.



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