The madrigals of Monteverdi , Italian composer work of the seventeenth century , Claudio Monteverdi , occupy a prominent place in the history of music , mainly of choral music , and represent the culmination of the madrigal genre .
They are grouped into nine books, eight of which were published during the author's lifetime, between 1587 and 1638 , and the ninth book, posthumously, in 1651 . Throughout these books it is possible to appreciate the evolution of Monteverdi's music, from the polyphonic style of Renaissance music to the use of the accompanied monody characteristic of the Baroque .
In 1605, Monteverdi had already composed five books of madrigals , where an evolution can be appreciated from soft textures in the first two books (1587 and 1590) with influences from Luca Marenzio , to a more dissonant and irregular approach that enhances the meaning of each word in the third and fourth books (1592 and 1603) with influences from Giaches de Wert , who died in 1596, whom he met when he worked as a singer and gambista, for the Duke of Mantua Vicente I Gonzaga de Mantua in 1592. Monteverdi began to be interested in the experimental musical dramas of Jacopo Peri , musical director at the court of the Medici family, and by similar works by other composers of the time. Until the age of forty, Monteverdi worked mainly on his madrigals, of which he published nine books. In his sixth, seventh, and eighth books of madrigals (1614-1638) he moved further away from the polyphonic Renaissance ideal of balanced voices and adopted newer styles that emphasize melody, bass line, harmonic support, and personal or dramatic declamation. .
The first four books of madrigals fall within the Prima pratica , the traditional polyphonic style , although Monteverdi uses increasingly innovative harmonic language, with bolder dissonances as the series progresses. They are composed for five a cappella voices .
The fifth book constitutes the turning point towards the seconda pratica , where music is subordinated to the emotional expression of the poetic text, in keeping with the nascent opera and the principles of Florentine humanism. Since then, in later books, the madrigal has evolved into dramatic forms and a representative style , with more varied combinations of voices and solo parts, and with the instrumental accompaniment of the basso continuo .
A resource that Monteverdi uses in his last works is the so-called concitato (agitated) style, which consists of the use of violent musical figurations , rapidly repeated notes, vigorous tremolos , fast scales and arpeggios , all of them used to express violent emotions such as anger. , or describe situations such as the unbridled gallop of horses, the blow of swords and the heat of battle.
The Primo Libro dei Madrigali a cinque voci was published in 1587, when the composer was just 19 years old. The madrigals in this book are composed for 2 sopranos, 2 tenors, and a bass, in the polyphonic style characteristic of Renaissance music .
|1||You love my life||10||If in starting from you|
|2||If to have you, man||11||Among a thousand flames|
|3||To what is my love||12||Usciam, nymphs, omai|
|4||Love, for your mercy||13||This hatched the lace||Strozzi|
|5||Sweet and dear kisses||GBGuarini||14||The vaga pastorella|
|6||If you don't allow me||15||if your hurt|
|7||Filli dear and loved||16||Woman if I look at you|
|8||Because of my pain||17||Ardo, yes, but not so much||GBGuarini|
|9||Fumia the shepherdess||Allegretti|
The Secondo Libro dei Madrigali a cinque voci was published in 1590, when the composer was only 22 years old. Dedicated to Giacomo Ricardi, an influential figure in the city of Milan, in gratitude for his recommendation as a violist at the court of the Gonzaga family of Mantua.
One device used by Monteverdi to gain the appreciation of that prestigious court was to use in his second book a significant number of poems by Torcuato Tasso, a favorite poet of the court and generally highly appreciated by the aristocracy.
In this new work Monteverdi moves away from the more traditional forms of the first book, and begins to search for his own musical language. The poetry and the chosen images emphasize the two favorite themes of the time: love and nature. Through various musical resources, visions of rivers, dawns, birds, flowers, skies are offered, to which the poems allude, and a serene and benign scene is drawn before the listener, which the protagonists occasionally contemplate in rapture.
|1a||The new dawn had not yet risen||T. Rate||11||While I was aiming intently||T. Rate|
|1b||And he said one o'clock sighing then||T. Rate||12||Here the waves murmur||T. Rate|
|2||Bevea Fillide mia||G. Casoni||13||My Clori slept sweetly||T. Rate|
|3||Sweetest ties||T. Rate||14||If you leave me, perfidious, your damage||T. Rate|
|4||Not hyacinths or daffodils||G. Casoni||15||The mouth waves the harsh words||E. Bentivoglio|
|5||Around two vermilion and vague lips||16||Cruel, why are you running away from me?||GB Guarini|
|6||I'm not on these shores||T. Rate||17||This mirror I give you||G. Casoni|
|7||All beautiful mouths||F. Alberti||18||I am not worried about dying||B. Gottifredi|
|8||Woman, on my return||T. Rate||19||Your wings spontaneously, Amor, my woman||F. Alberti|
|9||I would like that shadow to be||G. Casoni||20||I sang once and if the song was sweet||P. Bembo|
|10||Amor went hunting||T. Rate|
The Third Book of Madrigali a cinque voci was published in Mantua in 1592, had five reprints before 1611, and was its first success. He dedicated it to Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga of Mantua , aware that it would be of great interest in the cultural climate of his time.
With texts based mostly on poems by Torcuato Tasso and Gian Battista Guarini (who was visiting Mantua at that time), it is an innovative work where the new declaimed style and the concitato style that he will develop in later compositions, as well as the use of bolder dissonances.
|1||The young girl plants||9||The spring||GBGuarini|
|2||Or how great a martyr he is||GB Guarini||10||Most wicked face||GB Guarini|
|3||Over tender herbs||11||I do not love you with my heart||GBGuarini|
|4||O my sweet soul||GBGuarini||12||Eyes once my life||GBGuarini|
|5||But tear my core||GBGuarini||13||I will live in my torments and my cares||T. Rate|
|6||The rossignuol||P. Bembo||14||My dear lights||GBGuarini|
|7||If out of extreme ardor||GBGuarini||15||Rimanti in pace||L. Celiano|
|8||Go away while cruel||T. Rate|
The success of the madrigals of the Third Book had not corresponded for Monteverdi with an improvement of his position in the court of Mantua. Faced with this disappointing situation, it is possible that the composer sought a new and more ambitious outing in the city of Ferrara. For this reason, he sent some of his works to Alfonso II of Este , Duke of Ferrara , and wrote others for his circle of musicians.
The death of Alfonso II (1597) frustrated the composer's plans and redirected the focus of his interests towards Mantua, where in 1601 he finally achieved the desired position of chapel master. The dedication of the Fourth Book of Madrigals ("To my illustrious lords and highly revered scholars intrepid from Ferrara") represented on the one hand a gesture of gratitude towards an environment that had welcomed the creation of some of its most recent madrigals, and on the other it was an indirect homage to the Duke of Mantua.
|1||Ah, sore game||GB Guarini||11||To a twist sun||GB Guarini|
|2||My heart, while I look at you||GB Guarini||12||Alas, if you love so much||GB Guarini|
|3||My heart, don't you die?||13||I am a young girl||G. Boccaccio|
|4||He vented with the stars||O. Rinuccini||14||That Augellin who sings||GB Guarini|
|5||My soul turned gently||GB Guarini||15||No more war, pity||GB Guarini|
|6||My soul, forgive||GB Guarini||16||Yes, I would like to die|
|7||That if you are my heart||GB Guarini||17||Painful soul|
|8||Serene and clear lights||18||Soul of my heart|
|9||I have the sore in my heart||19||Far be it from you, my heart|
|10||You leave me too||GB Guarini||20||Wounds and sighs|
It represents a turning point in Monteverdi's work, where the composer advances more radically with the innovations of the fourth book. This caused the famous controversy with his antagonist, GM Artusi, a canon of Bologna.
The first madrigal, Cruda Amarilli , provoked the reply of Artusi, who in 1600 published a work under the title L´Artusi overo delle imperfezioni della modern musica . Artusi accuses Monteverdi of exaggerated application of chromaticism, of abusing inappropriate dissonances and of all kinds of irregularities, alien to the classical style of Palestrina.
Monteverdi responded to his critic with Seconda prattica overo delle perfezione della modern musica , where he argued that, while the old style, which he called prima prattica , was suitable for the composition of religious music, the seconda prattica , where "the words are masters of harmony, not slaves ", was more appropriate for madrigals, a composition in which it was vital to be able to express the emotional lines of the text.
On the other hand, the traditional madrigal for five voices is transformed in this book into a concertato madrigale, introducing the instrumental accompaniment of the continuous bass in the last 6 madrigals.
The texts are based on poems by Gian Battista Guarini, and other anonymous poems.
|1||Cruda Amarilli||GBGuarini||8||Ouch, as in a vague polite sun|
|2||O Blueberry, Blueberry my soul||GBGuarini||9||This tyrant Love can too well!||GB Guarini|
|3||It was my soul||GBGuarini||10||Love, if you are right|
|4||Here, Silvio, she||GBGuarini||11||I love you, my life!||GBGuarini|
|5||I love you||GBGuarini||12||And so, little by little (7 voices)||GBGuarini|
|6||What more can I give you?||13||These vague focuses (9 voices)|
|7||It hurts me more to be sorry for Amarilli||GBGuarini|
The sixth book from madrigali a cinque voci, with one Dialogo a Sette, was published in 1614.
It is divided into two parts, each one headed by a broad lament - the Lamento d'Arianna and the Sestina - divided into more sections. Close the publication Presso un fiume tranquillo, exceptionally conceived as a "dialogue to seven". The theatrical experience accumulated in L'Orfeo and L'Arianna and the resurgence of the monody linked to them begin to make a dent in the madrigalistic fabric. In many ways, the Sixth is a transitional book. Although the chosen template continues to be the usual five voices, Monteverde seeks new balances that break the traditional polyphonic homogeneity of the genre. The set of voices is at times a sum of individualities, a quarry from which the composer can extract multiple and diverse combinations. The monody begins to exert a centripetal force that gives the voices an increasingly autonomous profile.
|1a||Ariadne's Lament Let me die||O. Rinuccini||5c||The night will give the sun light to the earth||Agnelli|
|1b||O Theseus, my Theseus||O. Rinuccini||5d||But he picks you up, o nymph||Agnelli|
|1c||Where, where is the faith||O. Rinuccini||5e||O chiome d'or||Agnelli|
|1d||Ouch who doesn't answer||O. Rinuccini||5f||So, love relics||Agnelli|
|2||Zefiro comes back and the good weather remains||F. Petrarca||6||Alas the beautiful face||F. Petrarca|
|3||One woman among others||7||Qui rise Tirsi||Marino|
|4||Goodbye beautiful Florida||Marino||8||Miserable Alceo, from the dear fore hotel|
|5a||Sestina (Lover's Tears) Incinerate remains||Agnelli||9||Beat, Ergasto wept here||Marino|
|5b||Say it rivers||Agnelli||10||By a quiet river||Marino|
Monteverdi chooses "Concert" as the title.
The term "concert" has an ambivalent face. On the one hand, its etymology suggests an idea of opposition (the Latin verb concertare means to fight, to fight, to compete). On the other, the same word has a subtle connection with the participle consertum (interlaced, knotted), which establishes a principle of union. Translated into the realm of a traditionally polyphonic genre like the madrigal, the two impulses confront each other, interpenetrate and somehow balance each other. As a consequence, the voices become individualized, they conflict with each other. Each now expresses its own point of view, separate from the others. But at the same time their movements are unified by a common base: the harmonic platform offered by the continuous bass.
The new publication renounces the classic five-voice template (which had monopolized the first six books) in favor of a very wide formal variety: madrigals for one, two, three, four and six voices coexist alongside «other genres of songs », As specified by the composer on the frontispiece.
The structure of the book is also novel: it opens with an instrumental Symphony followed by a monodic intervention (Tempro la Cetra) as a prologue, and closes with a dance (Tirsi e Clori). On the other hand, the instruments have a prominent role and are not limited to the performance of the basso continuo.
|1||Symphonia - Tempro la Zetra||16||With what gentleness||GB Guarini|
|2||Alas, where is my well||T. Rate||17||Am I speaking, miser, or am I silent?||GB Guarini|
|3||Ah, that is not convenient||18||Why flee between salts||G. Marino|
|4||He wanders on a hidden thorn||Chiabrera||19||Augellin|
|5||If my languid looks||20||Or how kind you are||GB Guarini|
|6||Golden hair||21||Even if it is destined|
|7||Broken hopes||GB Guarini||22||Love that I must do|
|8||You slept?||23||I'll never see the stars|
|9||Here are close, O beautiful Tiger||24||I am also charming|
|10||It is not of a gentle heart||Acts||25||By the light of the stars||T. Rate|
|11||Here I am ready for kisses||G. Marino||26||Come back, or dear kisses||G. Marino|
|12||Sweet freedom||Chiabrera||27||O living flame|
|13||I would like to kiss you||G. Marino||28||Says my beautiful Licori||GB Guarini|
|14||If your heart||GB Guarini||29||Tirsi e Clori. Ballo|
|15||A quest’olmo||G. Marino|
The eighth book of madrigals was published in 1638, under the name Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi con alcuni opuscoli in genere rappresentativo, che saranno per brief episodi fra i canti senza gesture. ("Madrigals warriors and love, with some small representative genre works, which will be performed between songs without theatrical action").
Nineteen years separate the Seventh Book from the Eighth, published in Venice in 1619.
The crisis in the Venetian publishing industry and the economic depression induced by the plague epidemics may partly explain this silence. But another factor is the fact that the madrigal was experiencing an irresistible decline at that time, supplanted by simpler and lighter genres such as the canzonetta. The Eighth Book of Madrigales –the most extensive and ambitious Monteverdi collection in the secular sphere– is therefore a publishing project of a magnitude that is justified only taking into account the enormous prestige that Monteverdi enjoyed inside and outside of Italy.
In order to give a certain external unity to the collection, the composer leads his book of madrigals with the programmatic title Madrigals warriors and lovers. In reality, the polarity established by Monteverdi is somewhat misleading, since these madrigals speak a lot about love and very little about war. The disputes to which the texts refer are sentimental dances, metaphorical love confrontations that fall within the courtesan conventions. The war theme itself makes its appearance in the Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, but here too the conflict abandons its arms to delve into the interiority of the protagonists.
The heterogeneity of this collection indicates that for Monteverdi the madrigal has gone from being a genre endowed with univocal features to encompassing a multitude of forms, whose objective nevertheless remains that of representing human passions by means of the link between oratione (the text poetic) and harmony (music).
To this book belongs Lamento de la Ninfa , one of his most famous works.
The dedication is addressed for the first time to a foreign monarch, Emperor Ferdinand III of Habsburg .
In the preface to this book, Monteverdi alludes to rhetorical knowledge going back to Plato, who distinguishes three styles of prayer - high, medium and low - that correspond to the agitated, the moderate and the soft in music. According to Monteverdi, up to that time music has had only the moderate and soft styles, lacking the high or choppy, which he tries to rediscover. Following Plato, he says that the tall gender would be characterized by expressions of anger. But to move listeners more deeply, it makes use of intense contrasts between expressions of anger and love, hence the title of the Madrigals warriors and loving collection.
Madrigals included in this book:
|1||Sinfonia||13||Vague little bird that singing you go||F. Petrarca|
|2||More songs of love||14||While Angioletta wanders|
|3||Hor that 'the sky and the earth||F. Petrarca||15||Burn and discover, ouch, lasso|
|4||Turn the insidious enemy||16||Sweet sweetheart|
|5||If so beautiful victories||17||Who wants to have happy and happy the core|
|6||Every lover is a warrior||18||Or the sea is calm|
|7||Fight of Tancred and Clorinda||T. Rate||19||Lament of the nymph||O. Rinuccini|
|8||I burn, I burn, I yearn||20||Nymph who bare the foot|
|9||Armed the cor||21||Because you run away, O Fillide|
|10||Introduction to the Ball: Turning the sky||22||Do not leave reluctantly|
|11||Dance: Move to my beautiful sound||23||Come, come, come, charming little shepherds|
|12||More chants of Mars||Marino||24||The dance of the ingrates|
The ninth book of madrigals was published posthumously by Alessandro Vincenti in 1651, with the title Nono Libro dei Madrigali, Madrigali e canzonette a due e tre voci (Madrigals and light songs for two and three voices).
It is a compilation of music for two and three voices in various styles and corresponding to different periods.
|1||Pastor's bell||O. Rinuccini||7||How sweet is the auretta today|
|2||Zefiro returns||O. Rinuccini||8||To the dances, to the joys|
|3||Some do not advise me||9||Because if you hated me|
|4||To always make Amor rejoice||10||Yes, yes, I love you|
|5||When inside your breast||11||Come on, charming little shepherds|
|6||I don't want to love||12||Or my good, or my life|
- Portal: Classical music . Classical Music related content .
- Annex: Compositions by Claudio Monteverdi
- Annex: Operas by Claudio Monteverdi
- Lost operas by Claudio Monteverdi
- History of opera
- The Cambridge Companion to Monteverdi - John Whenham, Richard Wistreich – (Cambridge University Press , 2007) ISBN 978-0-521-87525-7 pp. 195-198.
- Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance - Gary Tomlinson - (University of California Press, 1990) ISBN 0-520-06980-3 pp. 213-214.
- Baroque music: music in Western Europe, 1580-1750 - John Walter Hill - Ediciones Akal, 2008) ISBN 978-84-460-2415-3 pp. 60-63.
- Texts by Stefano Russomanno for the Monteverdi madrigals record edition , by the La Venexiana group .