EARLY MUSIC SINGERS
Gerald R. Hoekstra, director
ITALIAN MUSIC FROM LANDINI TO MONTEVERDI
7:30 p.m. Friday, November 14, 2003 Urness Recital Hall
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NB: Texts and translations omitted from web version.
I. Ars Perfecta - Sacred Music of Palestrina
Missa Salvum me fac --- Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina 1524/25-1594
In composing the Missa Salvum me fac Palestrina used the parody technique -- i.e., he took as his starting point a pre-existent piece, borrowing its themes, harmonies, and points of imitation, and then reworking the material into a new composition. For this mass Palestrina used as his model the five-part motet Salvum me fac by Jacquet de Mantua (1483-1559), a French composer who spent most of his life in Italy.
Quam pulchri sunt --- Palestrina
Although Palestrina published the collection in which this piece appears as his Fourth Book of Motets (1587), the pieces in the volume are stylistically more like madrigals than church music. They exhibit more varied rhythms, a freer treatment of dissonance, and a more expressive approach to text-setting than the motets. In his dedication of the volume to Pope Gregory XIII, the composer explains that while he formerly set secular love poems (i.e., as madrigals), this time he has "chosen the Song of Solomon" and that he has used "a livelier style than in [his] other sacred compositions."
Ego sum panis vivus --- Palestrina
II. Music of the Trecento
There is little evidence of polyphonic music from Italy before 1330 or so. But suddenly in the mid-fourteenth century we find evidence of a flourishing school of musicians active in Northern Italy composing two and three-part settings of poems in their native language. Jacopo da Bologna was one of the earlier figures, but the Florentine organist Francesco Landini was the most renowned. Filippo Villani wrote in his Liber de civitatis Florentiae famosis civibus: "A good many Florentines have excelled in music . . . . None of these, however -- nor, for that matter, any composers of fabled antiquity can measure up to Francesco, about whom one cannot write without seeming to exaggerate."
S i' ti son stato --- harp, lute --- Francesco Landini 1325-1399
Fenice fù --- David Braasch, tenor, & David Scalese, baritone --- Jacopo da Bologna 1340-?1386
Non avrà ma' pieta --- Rachel VanScoy, soprano, lute, harp --- Francesco Landini
III. Madrigals, Canzonas, and Dance Music for Instruments
Italian instrumentalists, professional and amateur alike, selected their music from the extensive repertory of vocal music of the time, sacred as well as secular. Especially appropriate were the lighter madrigals, such as those by Marenzio and Palestrina in this set, or canzonette, like those of Agostini and Ferretti. But North Italian composers also began to develop new instrumental genres, such as the ricercar, derived from the motet, and the canzona, derived from the French chanson. And, of course, Italian instrumentalists, like instrumentalists of all times and places, also played dance music.
Al suon de la dolcissime parole --- cornetts, sackbuts, curtal --- Luca Marenzio 1553-1599
All' arm', all' arm' --- shawm, sackbuts, curtal --- Ludovico Agostini 1534-1590
Tre cosi son' in terra --- viols --- Ludovico Agostini
Italia mia --- viols --- Philippe Verdelot c. 1480-?1532
Although the title suggests this might be a patriotic or nostalgic song, it is a lament. Since it dates from shortly after the sack of Rome by the troops of Emperor Charles V, it is thought to refer to that event. The text is not sung in this performance, but its mood permeates the madrigal. It reads in part: "My Italy, though words are no remedy for the many mortal wounds that I see in your beautiful body, I would like at least my sighs to be such as the Tiber and Arno hope for, and the Po, where sorrowful and sad I now sit."
Canzona La Nuvolina --- recorders --- Florio Canali fl. 1579-1603
Vestiva i colli --- viols --- G. P. da Palestrina
Although Palestrina is not especially known for his madrigals, he did write over 140 of them. Vesti i colli was not only one of Palestrina's most popular madrigals, it was one of the most popular of all madrigals both in Italy and throughout Europe. Written in the light pastoral style, it was accessible to talented amateur singers and suitable for instrumental playing as well. The Venetian organist Adriano Banchieri borrowed its themes for his canzona L'Alcenagina.
Canzona L'Alcenagina --- recorders --- Adriano Banchieri 1567-1634
Dolci colli fioriti --- cornets, sackbuts, curtal --- Giacomo Ferretti c. 1540-1609
Ricercar in the 8th Mode --- recorders --- G. P. da Palestrina
Three dances from Il primo libro de balli (Venice, 1578) --- Giorgio Mainerio (c. 1535-1582)
Ballo francese --- viols
La Lavandara Gagliarda --- recorders
Caro Ortolano & Saltarello --- winds
Luca Marenzio was one of the finest madrigalists of the late sixteenth century. Although his most impressive works are the deeply expressive and dramatic madrigals of his late years, the most popular ones were the lighter pieces of his earlier books, such as those sung here. His music was popular not only in his own country, but in the Netherlands, Germany, and England as well. While these madrigals were well within the range of talented amateur musicians o the time, the Luzzaschi madrigal was expressly written for professional singers. The final piece, Donato's Chi la gagliarda is not a madrigal proper, but a canzona napolitane.
Basciami mille volte --- with harp --- Luca Marenzio 1553-1599
Che fa oggi il mio sol --- Luca Marenzio
Liquide perle Amor --- Luca Marenzio
Cor mio, deh non languire --- Luzzasco Luzzaschi 1545?-1607
Breanna Peterson, Becca Trombly, sopranos, & harp
Luzzaschi spent his entire professional career at the court of Alfonso II, Duke of Ferrara, first as an organist and then as head of the duke's private chamber music. In that role he provided music for the court's famed concerto di donne, an ensemble of three women whose virtuosic and expressive singing became renowned throughout Italy. Although they were originally ladies-in-waiting at the court, these "singing ladies of Ferrara" soon became so highly prized by the duke that he gave them appointments as court singers. The duke jealously guarded the repertory of his private concerts, though, and Luzzaschi was not able to publish his Madrigali per cantare et sonare a 1. 2. & 3 soprani until 1601, several years after the duke's death. Cor mio, de non languire, one of the two-part madrigals in this collection, has as its text one of the most popular poems of the Ferrarese court poet Battista Guarini.
Chi la gagliarda --- Baldassare Donato 1529?-1603
V. Venetian Church Music
Hodie Christus natus est --- cornets, sackbuts, & organ --- Giovani Bassano 1560/61-1617
Laudate Dominum --- Claudio Monteverdi 1567-1643
Breanna Peterson, Becca Trombly, sopranos, Jared Irwin, David Braasch, tenors, Chris Schifani, bass
choir, violins, cornets, sackbuts, & organ
O magnum mysterium --- voices, winds, & organ --- Giovanni Gabrieli 1557-1612
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Reception following the concert.
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St. Olaf Early Music Singers
Guhn Yeon Kim
St. Olaf Collegium Musicum
Christine Wilkinson, treble viol
Matthew Peterson, tenor viol
Mary Beth Bolin, tenor viol
Gregory Nelson, bass viol
Gerald Hoekstra, bass viol, cornett
Kaicy McLeod, cornett
Laurie Bardenwerper, cornett
Charlie Ruud, tenor sackbut
Edward Pompeian, tenor sackbut
Allan Bateman, bass sackbut
Stephanie Anderson, bass curtal
Katie Montei, recorders, soprano shawm
Joanna Newell, recorders
Leah Abbe, recorders
James Haas, recorders
Heather Wood, harp
Dominic Hartjes, lute
Additional musicians on the Gabrieli & Monteverdi motets:
Elizabeth Virkler. tenor sackbut
Lindsey Thoreson. tenor sackbut