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Notes 63.2 (2006) 427-431

Reviewed by
Ruth I. DeFord
Hunter College and Graduate Center, City University of New York
Luzzasco Luzzaschi. Complete Unaccompanied Madrigals. Edited by Anthony Newcomb. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, Inc., c2003–4. (Recent Researches in the Music of the Renaissance, 136, 139.) [Pt. 1, Quinto libro de' madrigali a cinque voci (Ferrara, 1595); Sesto libro de' madrigali a cinque voci (Ferrara, 1596); Settimo libro de madrigali a cinque voci (Venice, 1604): Abbrevs. and sigla, p. viii; acknowledgments, p. ix; introd., p. xi–xxii; texts, trans., and commentary, p. xxiii–lviii; 7 plates; score (including transcriptions and trans. of dedications), 136 p.; crit. report, p. 137–45; appendix, p. 147–84. ISBN 0-89579-535-3. $93. Pt. 2, Il quarto libro de' [End Page 427] madrigali a cinque voci (Ferrara, 1594) and Madrigals Published Only in Anthologies, 1583–1604: Abbrevs. and sigla, p. vii; acknowledgments, p. viii; introd., p. ix–xviii; texts, trans., and commentary, p. xix–xli; 4 plates; score (including transcription and trans. of dedication), 116 p.; crit. report, p. 117–23; appendix, p. 125–63. ISBN 0-89579-558-2. $76.] Appendix to pt. 1 includes settings of Ecco, ò dolce, ò gradita (by Alessandro Striggio, Pomponio Nenna); Se parti io moro (by Giuseppe Palazzotto e Tagliavia); Può ben fortuna (by Paolo Bellasio); O sei geloso Amante (by Antonio Il Verso); Sorge la vagh'aurora (by Scipione Lacorcia); Cor mio, benchè lontana (by Ruggiero Giovannelli); and Questa vostra pietate (by Giovanni de Macque, Giovanni Del Turco). Appendix to pt. 2 includes settings of Tra le dolcezze (by Scipione Lacorcia); Mentre la notte (by Paolo Virchi, Filippo di Monte); Io v'amo [t'amo], anima mia (by Bernardino Bertolotti, Scipione Lacorcia); and Dolorosi martir (by Alessandro Striggio, Giovanni Maria Nanino, Francesco Soriano).

In the half century since the publication of Alfred Einstein's The Italian Madrigal (3 vols., trans. by Alexander H. Krappe, Roger H. Sessions, and Oliver Strunk [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949; reprint 1971]), the complete works of most of the principal madrigal composers of the late sixteenth century have become available in modern editions. Luzzasco Luzzaschi (1544/5–1607) has until now been a glaring exception. When finished, Anthony Newcomb's edition of Luzzaschi's complete unaccompanied madrigals for the series Recent Researches in the Music of the Renaissance will fill a major lacuna in the field and make available for the first time a body of works that played a crucial role in the musical culture of their time. Luzzaschi is best known today for his Madrigali ... per cantare et sonare a uno, e doi, e tre soprani (Rome: Simone Verovio, 1601), which has been available in modern edition since 1965 (ed. Adriano Cavicchi, Monumenti di musica italiana, ser. 2: Polifonia, vol. 2 [Brescia: L'Organo]), but the bulk of his surviving output consists of unaccompanied madrigals: seven books for five voices (1571–1604) and an additional six pieces for four to six voices that appeared only in anthologies. Part 1 of this edition, published in 2003, contains books 5–7, and part 2 includes book 4 and the pieces from the anthologies. A-R Editions has not yet published volumes 3 and 4 devoted to books 1–3.

Luzzaschi was a figure of central importance in the late-sixteenth-century madrigal. A student of Cipriano de Rore (1515/ 6–1565), mentor of Carlo Gesualdo (ca. 1561–1613, who was said to have feared competition from no one else), celebrated organist, and teacher of Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583–1643), he served as director of music under the music-loving Duke Alfonso II at the court of Ferrara, one of the most prestigious musical centers of the time. He was widely admired by his contemporaries; Claudio Monteverdi (as related by his brother Giulio Cesare Monteverdi in his 1607 edition of Claudio's Scherzi musicali a tre voci) included him among such luminaries as Rore, Marc'Antonio Ingegneri (1535/6–1592), Giaches de Wert (1535– 1596), and Luca Marenzio (1553/4–1599) as a pioneer of the seconda prattica ("Explanation of the Letter...


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