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Madrigals of Northern Italy

Madrigals of Northern Italy

October 28, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

The Italian “madrigal” was the most popular form of secular polyphony in the second half of the
16th century, serving as a model for madrigal-like compositions in languages other than Italian
throughout Europe. The term madrigale was a generic term, and musical settings of sonnets, ballatas,
canzoni, lyric ottava stanzas, pastoral verse, and popular and dialect poems were all known as
“madrigals.” Text was master of this music, and the Italian madrigal without continuo enjoyed
several decades of splendid bloom. Regarded as the most important genre of the late Renaissance,
the madrigal set the pace for stylistic developments that culminated in the Baroque period,
particularly those involving the expressive relationship between text and music.
From the early 17th century continuo parts were added to ensemble madrigals, through which the
new Baroque style achieved its widest diffusion in Italy. By the 1630s various developments in
composition had eroded the very concept of the madrigal as an independent genre. The concertato
ensemble madrigal gave place to its heirs, the dialogue and cantata, and the solo madrigal to the cantata
and aria.

The concerted madrigal is the common thread for this project, and three protagonists from the
Venetian School of northern Italy in the early 17 th century provide the music:

  • Biagio Marini (early print facsimile retrieved by Garrick Comeaux from biblioteca
    nazionale centrale – Firenze)
  • Martino Pesenti (early print facsimile retrieved by Garrick Comeaux from museo
    internazionale e biblioteca musicale – Bologna)
  • Alessandro Grandi (early print facsimile retrieved by Garrick Comeauz from museo
    internazionale e biblioteca musicale – Bologna)

Artistic director, Garrick Comeaux, discovered these “lost” facsimiles in the libraries of Northern
Italy, literally excavated them, and has transcribed them for modern day eyes and ears. If funded,
this music would make its modern day premiere in St. Paul, MN in October 2023.


October 28, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Landmark Center, Ramsey Court Room, 317
75 5th St. W.
St Paul, MN 55102 United States
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