• Major Music: Renaissance Music & Music of Claudio Monteverdi Supplement and Listening Guide


    EARLY RENAISSANCE: 1420 – 1500


    ·         Composers of this period are referred to as belonging two stylistic orders

          Burgundian School (1420 to 1470): named after a region of France; established the third as a principal melodic interval.  This eventually leads to the evolution of triadic harmonies common in music; three part singing is standardized.  ¾ meter is commonplace.  Genres – hymns, chansons

          Flemish School (1460 to 1500) name refers to a region of Belgium and Netherlands: four part singing; vocal ranges extended and lowered, bass part added; vocal blend (full sonority) preferred to earlier contrasting timbres; a cappella singing is preferred to instrumental accompaniment.  Genres – masses, motets

    ·         Vocal music still dominates:

          Chanson: song with several voice parts

          Motet: vocal works of greater length and complexity than chansons; usually exhibits polyphonic and homophonic textures.

    ·         One voice still carries the melody; the rest provide harmony

    ·         Secular songs became more popular and relied largely on poetry for the text

    ·         Melodies became more song-like



    ·         Josquin Des Prez Burgundy (1450-1521): Masses, motets, chansons.  Many other composers studied his work because of his consistent use of form.

    ·         Guillaume Dufay Burgundy (1400-1474): Masses and chansons.  Put melody in the soprano part

    ·         John Dunstable England (1380-1453): Masses and motets.  Let rhythm of the words dictate the musical rhythm

    ·         Jacob Obrecht Netherlands (1450-1505): Masses.  Gave more importance to lower voices, instead of total emphasis on the top voice.

    ·         Johannes Ockeghem Belgium (1425-1495): wrote relatively little music, but used composing techniques that foreshadowed the High Renaissance.



    1.      Fumeux fume – Rondeau                                                                                                   Solage

    About Solage, we have no direct information (not even his first name), though he worked at some point for the Duke of Berry, that leader of all imaginative patrons of art and music; his Fumeux fume will always stand as one of the most bizarrely chromatic pieces in all early music.[1] Most of Solage’s works are in a rather “late Machaut” style and he may well have been a student of Machaut's. His melodic style and idiosyncratic use of chromaticism are unique and very cool.

    The smoky one smokes, through smoke,
    In smoky speculation.

    Thus he steeps his thoughts in smoke, [and]
    The smoky one smokes through smoke.
    For he delights in smoking
    Until he gets his way.

    The smoky one smokes, through smoke,
    In smoky speculation


    2.      Helas Avril                                                                                                      Matteo da Perugia

    Similarly odd is the music of Matteo da Perugia, a singer at Milan Cathedral who wrote many pieces with French texts; his work shows a fascination for rhythmic variety and complexity that was hardly paralleled until the present (20th) century.[2]  Matteo was the first `magister capellae' and the only cantor at the as yet unfinished Milan Cathedral from 1402-1407 and from 1414-1416. His sacred works may have been written for the antipapal court of Bologna.

    Helas avril (virelai*)
    Pour Dieu vous pri (rondeau*)
    Andray soulet (canon instrumental*)
    Pour bel acueil (rondeau*)
    Già da rete d'amor (ballata*)
    Plus onque dame (virelai*)
    Dame de honour (rondeau*)
    Puis que je sui (virelai*)
    A qui Fortune (rondeau*)
    Dame playsans (instrumental rondeau**)
    Trover ne puis (rondeau*)


    3.      Ave maris stella                                                                                                 Guillaume Dufay

          Refer to Listen

    4.      Alma redemtoris mater                                                                                    Guillaume Dufay

    Alma Redemptoris Mater, quæ pervia cœli

    Porta manes, et Stella maris, succurre cadenti,

    Surgere qui curat populo: tu quae genuisti

    Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore,

    Sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.

    Gracious mother of the Redeemer, who dost remain the open Gate to heaven and Star of the sea, help those who fall and seek to rise.

    Gavest birth to Him who made thee,

    Virgin before and after his human birth,

    Thou who didst receive the greeting of Gabriel,

    Have mercy on sinners.

    -translation: M. M. Bourke


    5.      Pange lingua Mass: Kyrie                                                                                  Josquin des Prez

    See page 69 in your Listen textbook


    6.      Pange lingua Mass: “Qui tollis” from Gloria                                                    Josquin des Prez

    See page 70 in your Listen textbook


    7.      Tu Pauperum Refugium                                                                                     Josquin Des Prez

    Tu pauperum refugium, tu languoris remedium spes exulum, fortitude laborantium, via errantium, veritas et vita.  Et nunc redemptor Domine, ad te solum confugio, te verum Deum adoro, in te spero, in te confido, salus mea, Jesu Christe, adjuva me, ne unquam obdormiat amina mea.

    Thou refuge of the poor, helper of the sorrowful, comforter, thou that strengthens the laborer, the way for erring people, the truth and the life.  And now, Redeemer God, I will take refuge in thee.  I adore thee, true God; in thee I hope, in thee I confide.  My salvation, Jesus Christ, aid me, so that my soul shall not sleep (in death.)



    HIGH RENAISSANCE: 1500 – 1550


    ·         Four voices are most popular, but five is also used often

    ·         Each voice is of equal importance (instead of one carrying the melody).  This led to imitative counterpoint (multiple voice parts with similar character, entering at different times in the song, with each part carrying the melody some of the time)

    ·         Rhythm is becoming more standardized

    ·         The chorale evolved from the breakaway of the Lutheran church.  The chorale text is in the native tongue and is sung by the congregation.

    ·         Other musical forms include the anthem (religious song with English text) and program music (music that tells a story; musical sound effects also help set atmosphere)

    ·         Instruments used to accompany vocal works; some music for instruments alone is composed.  Main instruments include: lute, harpsichord, organ, viols, recorder, trumpets, trombones

    ·         Music printing made spread of music easier and knowledge more permanent



    ·         Josquin Des Prez

    ·         Clément Janequin France (1475-1560): Chansons.  One of the first composers of program music.  Some songs had singers imitate bird calls, battle sounds.

    ·         Giovanni Pierluigi di Palestrina Italy (1525-1594): Masses.  One of the greatest and most influential church music composers.

    ·         Thomas Tallis England (1505-1585): Motets, anthems, other sacred music.

    ·         Adrian Willaert Netherlands (1490-1562): Masses, motets, chansons, instrumental works.


    8.      Italia mia                                                                                                                                                Philippe Verdelot

    Some time around 1400 we find composers moving around Europe far more freely than before, taking positions in church choirs in various different countries, sometimes for only a few months at a time.  Philippe Verdelot (born between 1470-1480; died before 1552), the man who did nore than any other to develop the Italian madrigal, grew up in France.[3]


    9.      Missa Papae Marcelli – Kyrie                                                   Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

    See page 69 in your Listen textbook for lyrics


    10.  Missa Papae Marcelli – “Qui tollis” from Gloria                    Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

    See page 72 in your Listen textbook


    11.  Sicut cervus                                                                               Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

    Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum: ita

    desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus.

    As the hart yearns for the water springs: so longs my soul for thee, O God!

    PsaIm 42:1


    12.  If ye love me                                                                                                          Thomas Tallis

    If ye love me, keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may bide with you forever, e’en the Spirit of Truth.

    - John 14:15-17


    13.  Spem in alium                                                                                                         Thomas Tallis

    Spem in alium nunquam habui praeter in te, Deus Israel, qui irasceris et propitious eris, et omnia peccata hominum in tribulatione dimittis.  Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae resoice humilitatem nostram.

    I have never founded my hope on any other than thee, O God of Israel, who shalt be angry, and yet be gracious and who absolvest all the sins of mankind in tribulation.  Lord God, creator of heaven and earth, be mindful of our lowliness.


    LATE RENAISSANCE: 1550 – 1600


    ·         Rules for composing are being created by various theorists in order to standardize musical formats.

    ·         Women’s voices are used for the first time (in secular music).

    ·         Languages other than Latin are used extensively now.

    ·         The madrigal developed.  It is a vocal work with the music composed to reflect the poetry of the words.  The voices may move in chordal and/or counterpoint fashion.  There are usually 3 to 6 voice parts.

    ·         Another form of music is the service.  It is the Anglican (Church of England) equivalent to the Mass

    ·         Songs for solo voices, often accompanied by instruments are becoming popular.



    ·         John Bull England (1562-1628): Organ & harpsichord music

    ·         William Byrd England (1543-1623): Masses, motets, anthems, services, madrigals, keyboard music.

    ·         John Dowland England (1562-1626): keyboard & lute music

    ·         Andrea Gabrieli Italy (1520-1586): Sacred choral music, organ music & instrumental works

    ·         Giovanni Gabrieli Italy (1557-1612): Motets, organ music & instrumental works.  The first composer to write dynamic contrast instructions in his music.

    ·         Don Carlo Gesualdo Italy (1560-1613): Madrigals.  Used unusual composing techniques that weren’t used again until the late 1800s.

    ·         Orlando Gibbons England (1583-1625): Madrigals

    ·         Orlando di Lasso Italy (1532-1594): Masses, motets, madrigals, chansons

    ·         Thomas Morley England (1557-1602): Madrigals, instrumental works, sacred choral music

    ·         Giovanni Pierluigi di Palestrina

    ·         Thomas Tallis

    ·         Tomás Luis de Victoria Spain (1548-1611): Masses, motets, other sacred music


    14.  Ave Verum Corpus                                                                                                  William Byrd

    Ave verum Corpus, natum de Maria Virgine:

    Vere passum, immolatum in cruce pro homine:



    Cujus latus perforatum unda fluxit sanguine:

    Esto nobis prægustatum in mortis examine.



    O (Jesu) dulcis, O (Jesu) pie,

    O Jesu Fili Mariæ Miserere mei. Amen.

    Hail, true Body, born of the Virgin Mary, who has truly suffered, was sacrificed on the cross for mortals,


    Whose side was pierced, whence flowed water and blood: Be for us a foretaste (of heaven) during our final examining.


    O Jesu sweet, O Jesu pure,

    O Jesu, Son of Mary, have mercy upon me. Amen.


    15.  O vos omnes                                                                                                        Carlo Gesualdo

    Pope Marcellus II demanded of his composers that they orient themselves more strongly towards the sense of the words, and that they place textual clarity before beauty of sound and compositional refinement.  Carlo Gesualdo was little concerned with the musical directives of the pope.  As scion of one of the richest families in Naples and a ruling prince, he was financially, at least, completely independent.  But he also had an entirely different objective, as may be observed in his Tenebrae Responsories.  Tenebrae is the term for a series of services on the last three days of Holy Week.  One of its components, the responsory, is a sung dialogue, originally between cantor and congregation, but later, as it became musically more refined, between soloists and choir.  What Gesualdo achieves here is a thrilling combination of archaic essence and uncompromisingly eccentric expressivity, which many of his contemporaries found disturbing.[4]


    16.  O quam gloriosum                                                                                   Tomás Luis de Victoria

    O quam gloriosum est regnum, in quo cum

    Christo gaudent omnes sancti!

    Amicti stolis albis sequuntur

    Agnum quocumque ierit.

    O how glorious is the kingdom,

    in which all the saints rejoice with Christ!

    Clad in white robes they follow the

    Lamb wherever he goes.


    17.  As Vesta was from Latmos Hill descending                                                     Thomas Weelkes

          See page 74 in your Listen textbook


    18.  Farewell, disdainful                                                                                             Thomas Morley

    Farewell, disdainful, since love no love avails me.

    O sharp and bitter anguish!

    What discord grief assails me!

    Needs must I part, yet parting makes me languish.

    But yet it pleaseth thee,

    Therefore, unkind, adieu, there is no remedy.

    O come again, return thee.

    No, no, false love, thy flames no more shall burn me.

    Be still, content thee.

    When I am gone, perhaps thou wilt repent thee.


    19.  Galliard: Lord Salisbury                                                                                     Orlando Gibbons

    A galliard is a dance.  This example is performed on a solo harpsichord.


    20.  Fantasia (MB XIV)                                                                                              Orlando Gibbons

    There is not a strict definition for the fantasia genre.  Most commonly, it is performed on a keyboard or stringed instrument


    21.  Forlorn Hope Fancy                                                                                                John Dowland

    This lute solo begins with a straightforward, slow theme.  In subsequent repetitions, variations and ornamentations are added, gradually building to an intense conclusion.


    22.  O magnum mysterium                                                                                     Giovanni Gabrieli

          See page 82 in your Listen textbook


    23.  Sonate pian’ e forte                                                                                         Giovanni Gabrieli

    The Sonate pian’ e forte holds a significant spot in music history, for it is the earliest of Gabrieli’s works that explicitly delineates dynamic contrasts and is one of the first ensemble pieces to specify exact instrumentation.[5]


    24.  Daphne                                                                                                                       anonymous

          See page 76 in your Listen textbook


    25.  Kemp’s Jig                                                                                                                  anonymous

          See page 77 in your Listen textbook


    26.  Argeers                                                                                                                       anonymous

    27.  Gathering peascods                                                                                                   anonymous

    These instrumental ensemble works are typical of the folk music common to the era.


    Music of Claudio Monteverdi: Italy (1567-1643)

    He moved from the RENAISSANCE to the BAROQUE

    ·         Master of Renaissance counterpoint; wrote madrigals and Masses in this style

    ·         Gradually changed compositional style from Renaissance polyphony to Baroque monody (1 voice part supported by chords)

    ·         Wrote the first great opera, Orfeo (1607).  The music enhanced the drama of the words.

    ·         Composed church music - Masses, motets, Magnificats (setting of Virgin Mary’s hymn of praise from Book of Luke) - in the new monody style.

    ·         Also composed secular music and stage works

    28.  L’Orfeo – excerpt from Act IV (1607)

    First known opera

        [Chorus of Spirits]





    Pietade oggi e Amore

    Trionfan nel’ inferno.

    Ecco il gentil cantore

    Che sua sposa conduce al ciel superno.

    Pity, today, and Love

    Triumph in Hades.

    Behold the gentle singer

    Who leads his wife to the heavenly sky.


    [Orpheus enters playing his lyre; Eurydice follows him]



    Qual onor di te sia degno,

    Mia cetra onnipotente,

    S’hai nel tartareo regno

    Piegar potuto ogni indurata mente?


    Luogo avrai fra le piu belle

        Imagini celesti,

        Ond’al tuo suon le stelle

    Danzeranno in gir’, hor tard’, hor presti.

    Io per te felice a pieno

        Vedro l’amato volto

        E nel candido seno

    De la mia donna oggi saro raccolto.


    What honor shall you deserve,

    My lyre omnipotent,

    Since in Hades’ realm

    You have been able to sway every hardened spirit?

    You shall have a place in the fairest

        Images of heaven,

        Where, to your sound, stars

    Will dance in a ring, now slowly, now fast.

    I, thanks to you all-happy,

        Shall see that beloved visage,

        And in her white breast

    My lady will today enfold me.
















    Ma mentre io canto, ohime! chi m’assicura

    Ch’ella mi segua? ohime! chi me


    De l’amate pupille il dolce lume?

        Forse d’invidia punte

        le deita d’averno

    Per ch’io non sia quaggiu felice appieno

    Mi toglono il mirarvi,

    Luci beati e lieti,

    Che sol col squardo altrui bear potete!

    Ma che temi, mio core?

    Cio che vieta Pluton, commanda Amore!

    But while I sing, ah me! Who can assure me

    That she is following me? Ah me! who is it denies me

    The sweet light of those beloved eyes? Perhaps, stung by envy,

        The deities of Hades-

    Lest I become all-happy in this world-

        Are taking from me the vision of you,

        Your bright eyes, blessed with light,

    Which could bless others merely with a glance! But what do you fear, my heart?

    Pluto forbids, but Love commands!

        [He turns and looks at Eurydice]




        Voice of a Spirit:


        Eurydice (dying):

    O dolcissimi lumi, io pur vi veggio;

    Io pur. ..ma qual eclissi, ohime!


    Rotto hai la legge, e se’ di

        grazia indegno!

    Ahi, vista troppo dolce e troppo amara:

    Cosi per troppo amor, dunque

        mi perdi?

    Ed io, misera, perdo

    Il poter piu godere

    E di luce e di vita, e perdo


    Te, d’ogni ben piu caro, o mio consorte.

    O sweetest of eyes, now I see you;

    Now...but what new eclipse, alas! is

        hiding you?

    You have broken the compact; you are unworthy of mercy.

    Ah, sight too sweet and too bitter:

    Is this how you have lost me-by loving me too much?

    And I, wretched, am losing

    The power to enjoy henceforth

    Both light and life; and at the same time I lose

    You, dearest of all, my husband.

    29.  Il Ballo delle Ingrate (1608)

    The ballet II Ballo delle Ingrate, based on a libretto by Ottavio Rinuccini, followed to some extent the pattern of the French opèra-ballet, examples of which Monteverdi may well have seen and heard on his visit to Flanders in 1599. This mixture of two art forms served the purpose of both composer and librettist, for their main idea was to provide a spectacular entertainment with opportunities for four solo voices, a small choir, a corps de ballet, and a chamber orchestra.

    The slender plot probably had local overtones within easy earshot of all who attended the performance during the festivities that followed the wedding of Francesco Gonzaga and Marguerite of Savoy at the court of Mantua in May 1608: Venus begs Pluto to allow several ingrate – Iadies noted for being uncooperative in matters of love – to leave the underworld and return to earth, as a warning to others of frigid tastes. At the point when the ingrate first appear through the smoking, flame-filled mouth of hell, their ashen garments painted with large and symbolic teardrops, the orchestra strikes up a solemn and pathetic strain, to which they begin to dance. To this strain succeeds a livelier one; and a further change of mood marks the climax of the ballet. Returning to the opening music, Monteverdi makes a subtle and effective change in the meter.

    30.  Gloria (1631)

    It is difficult to believe that a dread scourge such as the plague could be responsible for anything that was not evil. But it was responsible for much beautiful music. From the 15th century onward, composers began to set to music of supplication or thanksgiving the prayer “Stella caeli exstirpavit,” which beseeches the protection of the Virgin against the plague. It was for a service of thanksgiving that Monteverdi composed the Gloria, as part of a special Mass at St. Mark’s on November 28, 1631.

    The plague had been raging in the city for over a year, and tens of thousands had died in solitary agony. St. Mark’s lost several of her musicians, but Monteverdi and his son Francesco were spared. A priest who was present at the Thanksgiving Mass wrote that “the music was composed by Signor Claudio Monteverdi, maestro di cappella and the glory of our century, in which during the Gloria and Credo the singing was joined by loud trumpets, with exquisite and marvelous harmony.”

    The Gloria is scored for seven-part choir, organ, trombones, trumpets and strings. It opens with a tenor, followed by first one, then two, sopranos, soon joined by strings, other singers and then brass on repetitions of “Gloria in excelsis Deo.” Every time the word “gloria” is heard -and later, even in other forms such as “gloriam” or “gloria Dei Patris”-the trailing clouds of melodic exultation appear, immeasurably jubilant.

    A sudden contrast comes with the words “Et in terra pax,” with every voice and instrument in a medium to low register as the mood changes from exultant to mystical.

    Monteverdi’s love of duets of all kinds is revealed in the next section, where twin groups of violins and voices alternate in flights of ornamental fancy inspired by the words of praise, “laudamus te. Benedicimus te. Adoramus te.” The fourth phrase, “Glorificamus te,” brings with it a change to a rocking, lilting movement and a return to “laudamus te,” as if to confirm and strengthen what has already been heard.

    A solemn, full-toned “Gratias agimus tibi” establishes the original tempo and mood, and the repeated “Domine Deus... Domine Fili” is artfully divided between duetting sopranos and the full chorus.

    Strings then introduce a new ritornello, so called because it returns from time to time, and two sopranos with a solo bass begin “Qui tollis peccata mundi” in a quiet atmosphere of supplication and prayer that ranks as one of the most moving passages in the entire work. Duets for tenors, basses, and sopranos follow, and the exchanges become more rapid and intense at “Tu solus Sanctus.” The word “altissimus” gives the cue for Monteverdi’s choice of high range for the “Tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe.” The final section, “In gloria Dei Patris. Amen,” calls us back to the mood of the opening measures. It is a magnificent oration.


    Gloria in excelsis Deo.

    Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.

    Laudamus te.

    Benedicimus te.

    Adoramus te.

    Glorificamus te.

    Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.

    Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.

    Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe.

    Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris.

    Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere


    Qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram.

    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,

            miserere nobis.

    Quoniam tu solus Sanctus.

    Tu solus Dominus.

    Tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu, in gloria Dei Patris.


    Glory be to God on high,

    and on earth peace to men of good will.

    We praise Thee;

    we bless Thee;

    we adore Thee;

    we glorify Thee.

    We give Thee thanks for Thy great glory,

    O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.

    O Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son;

    O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,

    who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us:

    Thou who takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.

    Thou who sit test at the right hand of the Father,

            have mercy on us.

    For Thou alone art holy;

    Thou alone art the Lord:

    Thou alone, O Jesus Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father.


    31.  Hor che’l ciel (1638)

    From Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi (Warlike and Amorous Madrigals)

    Six voices (two sopranos, alto, two tenors, bass) are joined by two violins, cello and harpsichord to form a rounded texture full of possibilities and resource. In the opening measures, the harpsichord is silent: only voices and strings are heard, setting the scene of a peaceful, tranquil night. Suddenly the mood changes, and the words “veglio, penso, ardo” introduce a fretful movement as the lover tells of his waking, thinking, burning with desire, and weeping. Two tenors detach themselves from the group, singing in sorrowfully sinking phrases of the loved one whose image is ever present.

    When the others join in, there is a typically Monteverdian dissonance at the words “dolce pena” (“sweet distress”), A solo bass voice then bursts in with the warrior motive, characterized by a marching rhythm for “Guerra e’l mio stato” and a succession of militantly rising phrases, in which the entire ensemble soon shares.

    The second part of the poem (“Così sol”) is introduced by a solo tenor, whose ever-ascending line of melody perfectly mirrors the bittersweet imagery of the verse. The six voices sing as one when they come to the phrase “Una man sola” (“one hand alone”). The pt1ee quickens slightly for a gently contrasted musical idea featuring a falling theme for “mille volté il dl moro,” and an ascending motive for “nasco.” Monteverdi subtly underlines the word “moro” by adding appropriate harmonic tension.

    A remarkable solo passage from the second tenor extracts the maximum amount of significance from the idea of the lover’s salvation being so far away: a wide vocal leap is followed by a gradual descent, step by step, for nearly two octaves, all to the word “lunge” (“far”). Finally the entire group repeats the phrase in such a way that starting from a close-formation chord, each of the outside voices eventually reaches the very limit of its range.


    Hor che’l ciel a la terra e’l vento tace

    E le fere e gli augelli il son no affrena,

    Notte il carro stellato in giro mena,

    E ne! suo !et to ii mar senz’onda giace;

    Veglio, penso, ardo, piango: e chi mi


    Sempre m’e innanzi per mia dolce pena:

    Guerra è’l mio stato, d’ira a duol piena;

    E sol di lei pensando ho qualche pace.


    Cosi sol d’una chiara fonte viva

    Move’l dolce e I’amaro ond’io mi pascq;

    Una man sola mi risana e purge.

    E perche’l mio martir non giunga a riva.

    Mille volte il di moro e mille


    Tanto dalla salute mia son lunge.

    Now that heaven, earth, and the wind are silent

    And beasts and birds are bridled by sleep,

    Night leads its starry chariot around,

    And in its bed the sea lies calm;

    I keep watch, think, burn, weep; and she who is my undoing

    is ever before me to my sweet distress;

    War is my state, full of wrath and grief;

    And only by thinking of her do I find some peace.


    So from one clear and lively source

    Flows the sweet and the bitter on which I feed;

    One hand alone both heals and wounds me.

    And so that my suffering may not reach the shore,

    A thousand times each day I die, a thousand I am born;

    So far am I from my salvation.

    32.  Cruda Amarilli (1605)

    From Monteverdi’s Fifth Book of madrigals

    Cruda Amarilli, che col nome ancora, d’amarcahi lasso, amaramente insegni! Amarilli, del candido ligustro piu candida e piu bella, ma de I’aspido sordo e piu sorda e piu fera e piu fugace, poi che col dir t’offendo, i’ mi morro tacendo...

    Cruel Amaryllis, whose very name alerts us, alas, to the bitterness of love! Amaryllis, paler and more beautiful than the pale privet-flower, but more deaf, more wild and more evasive than the deaf adder,

    since by speaking I offend thee, I shall die in silence.

    33.  Mentre vaga Angioletta (1638)

    From Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi (Warlike and Amorous Madrigals)

    Mentre vaga Angioletta

    Ogni anima gentil cantando alletta,

    Corre il mio core, e pende

    Tutto dal suon del suo soave canto;

    E non so come intanto

    Musico spirto prende

    Fauci canore, e seco forma e finge

    Per non usata via

    Garrula, e maestrevole armonia.

    Tempra, d’arguto suon pieghevol voce,

    E la volve, e la spinge

    Con rot ti accenti, e con ritorti giri

    Qui tarda, e là veloce;

    E tall’hor mormorando

    In basso, e mobil suono, ed alternando

    Fughe, e riposi, e placidi respiri,

    Hor la sospende, e libra,

    Hor la preme, hor la rompe, hor la raffrena;

    Hor la saetta, e vibra,

    Hor in giro la mena,

    Quando con modi tremuii, e vaganti,

    Quando fermi, e sonanti.

    Cost cantando e ricantando, ii core,

    O miracoi d’amore,

    E’ fat to un usignoio,

    E spiega già per non star mesto il voio.

    As lovely Angioletta charms

    each gentle heart with her singing,

    my heart beats faster, and hangs

    on every note of her sweet song;

    meanwhile I ponder on the mystery

    of how the Spirit of Music takes over

    the singer’s throat, transforming it

    in a strange and secret way

    into a fount of exquisite harmony.

    Tempering suppleness with precision,

    it turns it, thrusts it,

    breaks the words and twists the melody

    here at a slow tempo, there at a fast one;

    now soft and low

    in the bass, now with versatility alternating

    runs and rests and quiet breathing-spaces,

    now suspended, now free,

    now heavy, now cut short, now held back;

    now darting, now in undulating runs,

    now led here and there,

    sometimes tremulous and wandering,

    at others firm and resonant.

    Thus as the song is sung and sung again,

    the heart, a miracle of love,

    is transformed into a nightingale

    and, spurning sorrow, spreads its wings and flies.

    34.  Lamento della Ninfa (1638)

    From Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi (Warlike and Amorous Madrigals)



































          Non havea Febo ancora recato at mondo it di, Ch’una donze la fuora del proprio albergo usci.

          Sul pallidetto volto scorgeasi it suo dolor; spesso gti venia sciolto un gran sospir dat cor.

          Si calpestando fiori errava hor qua, hor la, i suoi perduti amori cosi piangendo va:


          “Amor,” dicea, it ciel

          Mirando, it pie fermo,

    “Amor dov’è la fè, che’l traditor giurò?

          “Fa che ritorni it mio amor com’ei pur fu, o tu m’ancidi ch’io non mi tormenti piu.”

          Miserella, ah, piu, no, no- tanto gel soffrir no puo. Non vo’ piu ch’ei sospiri.

          “Se non lontan da me, No, no che i martiri Piu non dirammi, affè.


          Miserella, etc.

          “Perche di tui mi struggo, tutt’orgo-glioso sta, Che si, che sì se’l fuggo ancor mi pregherà?”

    Miserella, etc.

          “Se ciglio ha più sereno colei che’l mia non è, cia non rinchiude in seno amor si bella fè.

          Miserella, etc.

          “Nemai si dolci baci da quella bocca havrà, ne piu soave-ah taci, taci che troppo it sa.

          Miserella, etc.

          Si tra sdegnosi pianti spargea le voci at ciel, cosi ne’ cori amanti mesce Amor fiamme e giel.

          The sun had not yet brought day to the world, when a maiden stepped forth from her lodging.

          On her pale face was inscribed her sorrow, and often from her grief

    Issued a great sigh.

          Aimlessly over the flowers she wandered here and there, her lost love

    lamenting, in these words:

          “God of love,” she said,

    Stopping and gazing up at the sky,

    “Love, where is that faith that the traitor swore to me? Make my love return to me as he was, or else kill me, so that I no longer torment myself.”

          Unhappy girl, no more: she cannot suffer such scorn.

          “I do not want him to sigh, unless he is far from me, no, nor to tell me of his sorrows-no indeed!

          Unhappy girl, etc.

          “Since I long for him, he haughtily ignores me; but if I were to leave him,

    Would he beg me again to stay?”

    Unhappy girl, etc.

          “If my rival has a fairer face than mine,

    She does not have in her heart so true a devotion.

          Unhappy girl, etc.

          “Nor shall he ever from her lips taste such sweet kisses, nor such exquisite-but enough: He knows this only too well.

          Unhappy girl, etc.

          Thus with indignant complaints her voice rose to the heavens;thus in the hearts of lovers the God of love mixes fire and ice.

    35.  The Coronation of Poppea – “Tornerai?” (1642)

          See page 89 in your Listen textbook

    36.  The Coronation of Poppea – “Speranza tu mi vai” (1642)

          See page 90 in your Listen textbook

    [1] Fallows, David. National Public Radio: Milestones of the Millenium – The Renaissance in Music. Sony Music Entertainment, 1999.


    [2] Ibid.


    [3] Ibid.


    [4] Kahlcke, Thomas. The Best of the Renaissance. Philips Classics, 1999.


    [5] Kazdin, Andrew. The Antiphonal Music of Gabrieli. Sony Music Entertainment, 1996.