SEON - RCA Red Seal
2 LPs - RL 30354 - (p) 1979
1 CD - SBK 60706 - (c) 1998


Cipriano de RORE (1516-1565) Anchor che col partire - flute, 2 descant viola, tenor violin, bass viola da gamba

1' 51" A1
Anonym Anchor ch'io possa dire (Instrumental) - flute, descant viola, alt sackbut, tenor violin, tenor sackbut, 2 bass viols

1' 59" A2
Cipriano de RORE Anchor che col partire (Tabulatur: Andrea Gabrieli) - harpsichord

2' 43" A3
Antonio GARDANO (1538-1569) Anchor che col partir (Venedig 1577, instrumental) - descant viol, 2 tenor violins, bass viola da gamba

1' 52" A4
Thomas MANCINUS (1550-1611/12) Anchor che col partire (1597) - vocal

1' 53" A5
Giovanni Battista SPADI Anchor che col partire (1609) - recorder, harpsichord +
3' 02" A6
Vicentio GALILEI (1520-1591) Anchor che col partire (1568) - lute ++
2' 39" A7
Balduin HOYOUL (1557/58-1594) Missa "Anchor che col partire" (1565) - flute, 2 descant viols, tenor sackbut, bas viola da gamba, organ

8' 53" A8
Jacob ARCADELT (c.1514-c.1557) O felici occhi miei - flute, 2 descant viols, tenor violin, bass viola da gamba

1' 36" B1
Vincenzo RUFFO (c.1510-1587) O felici occhi miei (1564) - descant viol, 2 violas da gamba

2' 01" B2
Diego ORTIZ (c.1510-c.1570) Recercada segunda sobre "O felici occhi miei" (1553) - descant viola, harpsichord
1' 42" B3

Recercada prima sobre "O felici occhi miei" (1553) - bass viol, harpsichord +
1' 46" B4
Jacob ARCADELT Il bianco e dolce cigno - 2 recorders, descant viola, viola da gamba

1' 40" B5
Horatio VECCHI (1550-1602) Il bianco e dolce cigno - vocal

2' 34" B6
Stefano BERNARDI (c.1576-c.1635) Missa "Il bianco e dolce cigno" (1629) - recorder, descant viol, tenor sackbut, bass viola da gamba. organ

3' 56" B7
Philippe VERDELOT (c.1505-c.1565) Amor quanto lieto - 2 tenor violins, bass viola da gamba

2' 32" C1

Se l'ardor foss' equale - vocal

2' 33" C2

Trist'Amarilli mia dunqu'è pur vero - vocal

2' 48" C3

Quella che sospirand' ogn' hor desio - 3 tenor violins, bass viola da gamba
2' 48" C4

La bella donna - harpsichord

1' 26" C5

Madonna, per voi ardo - 2 descant viols, tenor sackbut, bass viola da gamba, harpsichord

1' 33" C6

O dolce notte (Text: Machiavella: "La Mandragola") - vocal ¤
2' 07" C7

Madonna, non so dir tante parole - descant viola, alto sackbut, tenor violin, tenor sackbut, bass viola da gamba ¤
1' 58" C8

Donna, se fera stella - 2 descant viols, tenor sackbut, 2 violas da gamba ¤
2' 00" C9
Jacob ARCADELT Voi ve n'andat' al ciel (1539) - flute, 2 descant viols, tenor sackbut, bass viola da gamba, harpsichord

2' 05" D1

Voi mi ponest' in foco - descant viol, bass viola da gamba

1' 22" D2

Ver' infern' è 'l mio petto - vocal

2' 20" D3

Il ciel che rado virtù tanta mostra - descant viol, 2 violas da gamba

1' 49" D4

Ahimè, ahimè, dov'è 'l bel viso - alto sackbut, tenor sackbut, violin, bass viola da gamba

2' 01" D5
Cipriano de RORE Datemi pace - descant viol, 2 tenor violins, bass viola da gamba

2' 39" D6

Non è lasso martire - flute, descant viol, tenor violin, tenor sackbut, bass viola da gamba

2' 47" D7

Come la notte ogni fiammella è viva - 2 fluten

2' 23" D8

Hor che l'aria - harpsichord

3' 15" D9

Capella Antiqua München | Konrad Ruhland, Conductor
- Flutes, Recorders: Johannes Geiger, Veronika Obermeyer
- Descant viols: Elisabeth Ruhland, Barbara Regul, Veronika Obermayer
- Tenor violins: Elisabeth Ruhland, Veronika & Ernst Obermayer
- Bass viols: Gerhard Lutz, Peter Adler, Konrad Ruhland
- Tenor sackbut: H. Berger
- Alt sackbut: Hans Bichler
- Harpsichord: Elisabeth Ruhland
- Organ: Elfried Metten

Frans Brüggen, Recorder (Frederick Morgan, 1975, after the design bz Silvestre Ganassi, Venedig, 1535) (+)
Wieland Kuijken, Descant viola (Pieter Rombouts, amsterdam, 1708 from the collection of the Conservatorz in Brussels) (+)
Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord (Giovanni Natale Boccolari, Napoli, 1699) (+)
Michael Schäffer, Lute (++)

Luogo e data di registrazione
Church in Eching, Bavaria (Germany) - Aprile 1976
Lutherse Kerk, Haarlem (Holland) - Gennaio 1977 (+/++)

Registrazione: live / studio

Producer / Recording Supervisor
Wolf Erichson

Recording Engineer

Dieter Thomsen

Prima Edizione LP
Seon (RCA Red Seal) | RL 30354 | 2 LPs - durata 40' 07" - 40' 16" | (p) 1979 | ANA

Edizione CD
Sony | SBK 60706 | 1 CD - durata 74' 00" | (c) 1998 | ADD

Original Cover

Unbekannter Meister, anonym, 16. Jh., Music making gathering.

Rispetto all'edizione originale in 2 LP il riversamento nel Cd Sony SBK 60706 è parziale: mancano i brani indicati con (¤).
Gustav Leonhardt appare solamente nelle musiche indicate con (+).

The secular madrigal played a decisive role in the history of Western music for well over a century, from around 1530 to 1630. First established in Renaissance Italy by Flemish-Walleon composers, the madrigal was a vocal composition for a small number of voices, unaccompanied, or, occasionally, with instruments supporteg the vocal lines (Thre are numerous contemporary paintings which show a group of people seaned round a table, engaged in communal music-making in this way). A delicate, intimate fern, it soon developed into a sophisticated social art. By the middle of the sixteenth century, this "musica riservata", "music for connoisseurs", was increasingly acquiring motet-like characteristics and was eventually completely taken over by the Italian composers. The somewhat sentimental love-poems posed the problem of skilful word-setting and word-painting. Chromaticism and an emphasis on subtle sonorities determined the style of the late madrigal, which culminated in the works of Marenzio, Monteverdi and Gesualdo.
The present recording aims at introducing the listener to the early history of the madrigal. It is documentary in nature and for the most part ventures into new territory in so far as hardly amy of the pieces have been available for reproduction before. The scores of over half the works have been prepared especially for the recording from the original sources, 16th century manuscript or printed copies, as no modern editions exist. The central figures in this collection of 31 works are the Walloon-Flemish musicians living and working in Italy in the 16th century Jacob Arcadelt (c.1500-1568), Philippe Verdelot (c.1505-before 1532) and Cipriano de Rore (1516-1565). In the works of these composers we find Netherlandish and Italian stylistic elements blended together is perfect synthesis. They sook as their basis, around 1520, the traditional Italian canzones-frottola with its simple four-parts, predominantly homophonic, full-sounding style and remarkably distinctive tonal harmony. To this the Northemers added a more carefully worked our distribution of intense among the parts and, tentatively at first but ever growing in conviction, free motet-like features with imitative passages and a sectional structure. In the early stages there were very few Italians - Costanzo Festa and Alfonso della Viola perhaps - who could seriously compete with the Flemish-Walloon madrigalists. Two generations later, however, the Italians took over the lead. Right from the start the madrigalists preferred to use elevated forms of poetry such as the soenet or canzone, or erotic lietrature with so fixed number of versus or lines. In the mid-sixteenth century Petrach became the idol of the madrigalists. Their favourite subject, in a hundred different varieties, was the pain and suffering of the forsaken lover.
Side 1 of the recording introduces us to de Rore's highly successful madrigal Anchor che col partire (Nos. 1 and 4), from his First Book of Madrigals of 1547, and gives us some idea of the amazing impact the work must have made by presenting six different arrangements of the work, written during the following three generations. The text deals with the sweet joy of parsing which necessarily prefaces the blins of reunion. De Rore's light polyphonic style with its fondness for imitations and emphasis on beauty of sound exactly caught the prevailling, slightly sentimental, mood of the day. The key phrases ("mille volt' il giorno" and "i rimorsi miei") are given added weight by the use of homophony. The piece by A. Striggio (?) is based on motives from de Rore's madrigal. Scored for six voices it contains closely wowen imitative work (no. 2). A. Gabrieli transcribed the madrigal for keyboard use adding various embellishments to the individual parts, particularly is the first section (No. 3). T. Mancinus, in 1597, arranged the composition for two voices. Flowing along at a lively pace the piece retains, for the most part, the upper melody line of the original, but sets it against a freely constructed tenor part (No. 5). No. 6 is a virtuoso arrangement for the flute by G. B. Spadi (1609) and No. 7 a skilfully done transcription for the lute by V. Galilei, which manages to preserve the original pretty closely. Finally, after 1515, B. Hoyoal wrote a "parody mass" based on material taken from this famous madrigal ("parody" is not used here with its modern implications of ridiculing). The Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei show the varying degreves of "parody", ranging from note-for-note exact imitation to shifted voice entries and finally free variation.
Side 2 presents two model examples of the genre by J. arcadelt. Likewise quoted and arranged numerous times the two compositions are from arcadelt's First Book of Madrigals (1539), probably the most successful collection of madrigals of the contrary. By 1654 the book had been reprinted no fewer than 36 times. O felici occhi miei starts by singing about "happy eues", but then the woeful lover finds he is chasing shadows, which soen devour him. It is a four-part madrigal, mainly homophonic in style, laden with expression though sparse in "madrigalism", i. e. illustrative figures on certain words, apart from a rushing fidure so depict "chasing shadows" and a decess in the melodic line in the treble spanning an octave to depict "devour" (No. 1). In 1564 V. Ruffo arranged the piece for three voices, keeping closely to the opening motive and faithfully reproducing the bass, but composing a new inner voice and adding a number of embellishments. D. Ortiz, in 1553, prodiced two instrumental works based on this popular madrigal: a Ricercar, in which he left the alto and tenor more or less as in the original but imaginatively decorated the descant (No. 3), and a composition for bass viol and harpsichord (No. 4). The words of the second madrigal by arcadelt, Il bianco e dolce cigno, are about dying a blessed death, since death brings release from the anguish of love. A favouring subject, the composer expresses is here with great beuaty of sound, careful word-setting and in almost frottola-like manner with the air alway in the uppermost part (No. 5). In 1589 H. Vecchi produced a five parts "parody" version. Much more dramatic in style (the opera era was approaching) the work in polyphonic and contrasts the slow middle section with a lively close (No. 6). As late as 1629, i.e. well into the Baroque era, the piece was employed by St. Bernardi as a basis for a mass, from which the Kyrie and Agnus Dei are recorded here.
Side 3 comprises nine compositions by Verdelot, who was,  togheter with Arcadelt, the leading madrigalist of the early period. Verdelot published his First Book of Madrigals in 1537, two years before Arcadelt. Like Arcadelt he began in the frottola style wich regularly, homophonically moving parts, which allowed little opportunity for detailed illustration of the text (Nos. 2, 5, 6 and 7). At times he even repeated whole sections so new words (No. 4, in which the first 16 bars are repeated), that is, working on the principle that the music is more important than the words. In the composer's middle period we find purely homophonic passages alternating with imitative passages with increasing frequency until the "true" madrigal style emerges, for example in Amor quanto più lieto (No. 1), in which the composer emphasizes the extese of the lady's "cruelty" by suddenly changing the best (3/2 time) and underlines the lover's ardour with a closing melisma in the two upper voices. In La bella donna (No. 5) a parely homophonic close depicts the sighing and lamenting. Verdelot's mature period is charachterized by a more motet-like conception of the madrigal, now, incidentally usually for five voices. His setting of Madonna, non so dir (No. 8), a ples to the beloved to say "yes" or "no", has a strong poly-melodic movement, with imitation much so the fore. In Donna, se fera stella (No. 9) the pining love accesses his beloved of being as distant as some remote star, and wishes to die. The motet-like contrapuntal freedom, the frequent imitation and ever-changing voice groupings makes for a close relationship between text and music and allows, for instance, a more expressive interpretation of the reference to "dying".
Side 4 begins with five compositions by Arcadelt. Some of these pieces achieve their effects with the simplest of means. The melody always in the top part, they are unpretentious and harmonious. Even the introduction of an ordinary second inversios becomes a moment of expressive importance (Nos. 2 and 3). The passionate text of Ver' infern'è 'l mio petto (No. 3) with its talk of torment and hell sounds relatively mild in its musical setting, almost as if the composer were quine indifferent. The texts of Voi ve n'andat' al cielo (No. 1) and Ahimè (No. 5) are set in a freer style with more imitative work. In the latter piece the calls for happiness and death in the middle receive some lively accentuation but nevertheless retain their homophony. To conclude the recording we have four madrigals by de Rore. Written about twenty years later than the Arcadelt ones they endeavour so follow the text much more closely. The setting of Datemi pace (No. 6), in which the unhappy lover begs to be granted peace, interprets the text line for line: "War all around me" receives special harmonic colouring, for "the sun withdreaws her escort" the rhythmic interest is intensified, and with the "faded memories" a sentimental calm is restored wich leads into melancholy chromaticism to express the final words of the defeated spirit. Similarly Nos. 7 and 9 emphasize particularly significant parts of the text by repeating the same phrase up so four times over. The five-part composition Come la notte (No. 8) occupies a rather special place in that in has a strict canon in the two upper voices, occasionally appearing in the other voices, too. By following the constructional practices of the Netherlandish technical means, the feelings of the timid, opposed lover whone "sun" has wishdraws from him: the fixed maton of the canons, from whose mechanical progress one cannot escape, suggents the redentlessly tuning wheels of fate.
Lothar Hoffmann-Erbrecht
English translation by Avril Watts