Composer: Handel
Category: Classical

"Ombra mai fu" (more popularly known as Handel's Largo) is the first aria in Handel's 1738 opera Xerxes ("Serse"). While the opera itself is not very well-known, this aria has become quite recognizable. If you are a fan of the movie Dangerous Liaisons or Pride and Prejudice, you will recognize this song as part of the movie soundtrack.

Vocally, it was originally written for a soprano castrato. In those days, women were not permitted to perform on the stage, so female roles were sung by men who were, ahem, enabled to sing in female ranges. But nowadays it is sung by tenors or mezzo-sopranos. Of course it is also readily performed strictly as an instrumental, so again it's a very adaptable piece for whatever wedding musician(s) you may be using.

Free sheet music (string quartet & flute)

Sheet music (piano solo)
Sheet music (piano & C instrument, can be flute or violin)
Sheet music (string quartet)



Frondi tenere e belle
del mio platano amato
per voi risplenda il fato.
Tuoni, lampi, e procelle
non v'oltraggino mai la cara pace,
nè giunga a profanarvi austro rapace.

Ombra mai fu
di vegetabile,
cara ed amabile,
soave più.


Tender and beautiful fronds
of my beloved plane tree,
let Fate smile upon you.
May thunder, lightning, and storms
never bother your dear peace,
nor may you by blowing winds be profaned.

A shade there never was,
of any plant,
dearer and more lovely,
or more sweet.

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