"Casa Guidi" is the first song in Dominick Argento's song cycle Casa Guidi, which sets excerpts of letters by Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Florence to her sister Henrietta in England between 1846 and 1859.
Excerpted from a letter of Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Florence to her sister Henrietta in England (between 1846 and 1859)
We more and more like our new apartment.
When I am tired of the sofa we go out on our terrace,
Where there is just room for two to walk --
Walk back and forward till the moon rises!
And the moon rises beautif'ly, and drops
Down the grey walls of San Felice.
We are getting on slowly in the furnishing department.
Robert wants a ducal bed for my room -- all gilding and carving.
I persuaded him to get a piano instead.
We have had an illumination throughout the city --
And you in England can't guess how beautiful
A Florentine illumination is!
The Pitti Palace opposite us was drawn out in fire!
You would have thought that all the stars
Out of Heaven had fallen into the piazza.
Sometimes he says to me: "Now, Ba, wouldn't it have been wrong
If we two had not married?"
I do love this house -- there's the truth --
"Like a room in a novel," this room has been called.