Madrigale Concertato: The New Poetic Forms in the Music of the Early Baroque Era Composers in the North Italia


In this article the evolution of the Italian concerted madrigal in the first half of the 17th century is traced from the point of view of the relation of poetry and music; the influence of the concertato esthetics on the text- musical form is considered. It is shown that during the period under consideration the collections of polyphonic music entitled as “Madrigals” included, besides the compositions on the poetry of high tradition (whose stable structural component was endecasillabo), also the compositions on the verses in the canzonet genre marked by the strophe structure and the short, rhythmic and regular verse. In the first case the polyphonic complexity of musical texture and the splendor of the concertato style corresponded to the lofty style and the gravity of tone of the poetic source; in the second dancing rhythms and couplet structure with instrumental ritornelli were the personification of short verses and the playful character of the canzonet poetry. The coexistence of “high” and “low” poetry against the background of the concertato esthetics led to the convergence and the interpenetration of genre features of the madrigal and the canzonet. The dance rhythms of the canzonet got into compositions on “high” poetry increasingly often and, on the contrary, the large-scale works began to be composed on the canzonet verses displaying a rich palette of the concertato technics. In the article the special role of the esthetics of representativeness is emphasized, which has shown in the concerted madrigal through the strengthening of the dramatic potential of music, in the canzonet — through the mixture of “high” and “low” styles of poetry which became to one of the sources of the new cantata genre.

The author thanks the Archive of Seventeenth-Century Italian Madrigals and Arias (ASCIMA) and personally Professor John Whenham for the permission to reproduce the material, published in the archive (www.


1. Джиллио П. Дж. О связи стихотворного размера и музыкального ритма в итальянской мелодике: от XVI к XIX веку / пер. А. Е. Кучиной // Научный вестник Московской консерватории. 2013. № 1. C. 6–29.

2. Катунян М. “Beatus vir” Клаудио Монтеверди: рефренный мотет в истории концертной формы // SATOR TENET OPERA ROTAS. Ю. Н. Холопов и его научная школа. М., 2003. С. 124–135.

3. Bianconi L. Music in the Seventeenth Century / transl. by D. Bryant. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987. 346 p.

4. Chiabrera G. Maniere, scherzo e canzonette morali / a cura di Giulia Raboni. Fondazione Pietro Bembo–Ugo Guanda, Milano–Parma, 1998. 191 p.

5. Comelli M. La questione della “gravitas” // M. Comelli. Poetica e allegoria nel “Rinaldo” di Torquato Tasso: risorsa elettronica. URL:‑la-questione-della-gravitas/ (дата обращения: 28.11.2014).

6. DeFord R. The Influence of the Madrigal on Canzonetta Texts of the Late Sixteenth Century // Acta Musicologica. Vol. 59. Fasc. 2 (May — Aug., 1987). P. 127–215.

7. Einstein A. The Italian Madrigal: in 3 vols. // transl. by Alexander H. Krappe, Roger H. Sessions, Oliver Strunk. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949. 1121 p.

8. Giacobbi G. Ai cortesi lettori // Prima Parte de i Salmi Concertati a due, e più chori <...> Commodi da Concertare in diuerse maniere. In Venetia <…> 1609. URL: (дата обращения 05.01.15).

9. Holzer R. R. Music and Poetry in Seventeenth Century Rome: Settings of the Canzonetta and Cantata Texts of Francesco Balducci, Domenico Benigni, Francesco Melosio, and Antonio Abati. Ph. D. Ann Arbor: Pennsylvania University, 1990. 1010 p.

10. Mabbett M. A. The Italian Madrigal in 1620–1650. Ph.D. L.: University of London, 1989. 296 p.

11. Ossi M. Claudio Monteverdi’s “Ordine novo, bello et gustevole”: The Canzonetta as Dramatic Module and Formal Archetype // Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 45, No. 2 (Summer, 1992), P. 261–304.

12. Ossi M. Madrigals for two and more voices / The concerted madrigal / Madrigal // The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2nd edition: in 29 vols. Vol. 15 / ed. by S. Sadie. L.: MacMillan, 2001. P. 561–563.

13. Piperno F. Marini Biagio // Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani — Vol. 70, 2008. URL: (дата об-
ращения: 20.12.14).

14. Ricciardi E. Torquato Tasso and Lighter Musical Genres: Canzonetta Settings of the Rime // The Journal of Musicology. Vol. 29 (2012). No. 4. P. 385–421.

15. Rose G. Polyphonic Italian Madrigals of the Seventeenth Century // Music & Letters. Vol. 47. No. 2 (Apr., 1966). P. 153–159.

16. Schmitz E. Zur Geschichte des italienischen Continuo-Madrigals im 17. Jahrhundert // Sammelbände der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft. Jg. 11 (1910). S. 509–528.

17. Tomlinson G. Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987. 280 p.