On October 16, 1590, Italian prince and madrigal composer Don Carlo Gesualdo murdered his wife and her lover in cold blood. He went on to remarry, and was unfaithful and abusive to his second wife. Gesualdo also created devilishly beautiful compositions, introducing new and dazzling chromatic harmony, the like of which would not be heard again until Wagner, two and a half centuries later.
They call me the Prince of Darkness; it's true that I've been bold. There's blood on my hands, and a hardness has tempered the will of my soul. He didn't see me coming, but that's no fault of mine. And that her dying eyes burned with hatred was a final and beautiful sign.
Music has yielded to the charms of my embrace. And music won't be tempted by the smile on a younger man's face.
So fetter my legend with scandal; I've been unafraid of sin. If it's pureness of flesh that heaven requires, I won't make it in. The skin of the young one implores me; the lust of her mother accedes. I've been born to the flesh of a mortal, and as flesh I will bear my own needs.
Music has yielded to the thrust of my desire. Music won't gray and wrinkle with the passage of time.
Still a sorrow lays me low, with poisoned tip, and flex'd bow. Take aim, take aim; you know your mark.
I imagined the voices of angels, as I stretched them out taut on the rack. And I summoned a new way of hearing, which I bent until I heard it crack.
Music has yielded to the greatness of my mind. And music will never forget me; I was cruel when I could have been kind. And I could have been kind, but I gave myself to music; gave my life to music.