Saturday, December 6, 2008

Today is the birthday (or at least the baptism day) of Orazio Vecchi (1550-1605). He is best known as a writer of madrigal comedies. The piece you can download here is from his Selva di varia ricreatione (1590) where it is an 'Aria a 4' with a lute tablature reduction of the parts. The live recording of us is from the Bottegari Lute Song Book where it's for one voice and lute (there's a few little differences in the lute part). Cosimo Bottegari worked for Grand Dukes Cosimo and Ferdinando dei Medici of Tuscany. His manuscript lute song book has only one song by Giulio Caccini in it, though he was working for Ferdinand at the same time. To read music history books you'd have the impression that Caccini and his co-proto-baroquist Jacopo Peri quite cleared the ground of madrigals etc. with their New Music, but the workaday songbook of Bottegari seems to give the lie to that. Maybe the avant-gardists were only brought out to impress the visitors. Anyway, it's Caccini's birthday in a few days, so more about him then.

Vecchi's Selva has a 10 voice dialogue between Happiness and Melancholy that would be nice to do some time; maybe contrasting with the Duke of Melancholy, Don Gesualdo. If you like So ben, send large bills to the address on the MIO site to support that project.

You can follow along with the words on the page from Vecchi's book pictured.

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