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A Gift of Madrigals and Motets, Volume 2


Near the end of the third decade of the sixteenth century, a five-volume set of madrigal and motet partbooks was assembled in Florence and sent as a gift—or "musical embassy"—to the English court of Henry VIII. The manuscript set—minus the missing altus part—has been owned since 1935 by the Newberry Library in Chicago; but until H. Colin Slim’s exhaustive efforts, no thorough study of the history or contents of the partbooks had been undertaken.

At first encounter, these partbooks yield no clues concerning their provenance, their composers’ names, or the reasons for their dispatch to England. In his search for this information, Professor Slim used the musicologists’ customary tools, namely, biobibliography, concordances, and textual and musical analysis. But he also used bibliographers’ tools not always employed by musicologists: watermarks, bindings, script, orthography, and illuminations.

As a result of his efforts, the author was able to identify nearly all the works’ composers and the manuscripts’ expert illuminator. He also presents a detailed description of the binding process and the probably background of the scribe, places the political and social references in the works, and determines the route the volumes may have taken after they left Henry’s library.

By placing the date of the partbooks’ arrival in England around 1528, Professor Slim suggests that the musical culture of the early Tudor court was less French than has hitherto been thought. Indeed, the presence of the partbooks in Henry’s library makes them the earliest evidence of the Italian madrigal in England. The author also provides new and significant data on the artistic and historical position of Philippe Verdelot, the partbooks’ most extensively represented composer.
In Volume II, Professor Slim has transcribed the music of the thirty motets and thirty madrigals for modern performance. The parts are cantus, tenor, bassus, and quintus et VI; the altus partbook is missing. Concordant sources provide the altus parts for all but four of the motets and six of the madrigals. These ten have been composed by Professor Slim. Notes at the end of each selection provide variant readings for both music and text. The Latin texts of the motets, the Italian of the madrigals, and an English translation of each appear at the end of the volume.

460 pages | 30 musical compositions | 0.00 x 0.00 | © 1972

Music: Music Editions

Table of Contents

Series I. Motets for Four Voices
1. Quousque non reverteris pax
2. O clemens O pia virgo
3. Aspice, Domine, de sede sancta tua
4. Pater noster, qui est in celis
5. Qui confidunt in Domino
6. Ascendens Christus
7. Gaudeamus omnes in Domino
8. Congratulamini mihi omnes
9. Victime pascali laudes
10. Ad Dominum cum tribularer
11. Hesterna dic
12. Ecce tu pulcra es
13. O Domine Jesu Criste
14. Joseph sancte
Series II. Motets For Five and Six Voices
1. Si bona suscepimus
2. In te, Domine, speravi; non confundar
3. O dulcissime Domine Jesu Criste
4. Ave gratia plena
5. Ave Regina celorum
6. Quare fremuerunt gentes
7. Ecce Dominus veniet
8. Recordare, Domine
9. Salve, Rex, pater misericordie
10. Ego sum qui sum
11. Eripe me, Domine
12. Da pacem, Domine
13. Sancta Maria, virgo virginum
14. Congregati sunt
15. Deus, in nomine tuo
16. Nil maius superi vident
Series III. Madrigals For Four, Five, and Six Voices
1. Con l’angelico riso
2. Deh, quant’è dolc’ amor
3. Donna leggiadr’ et bella
4. Amor, io sento l’alma
5. I vostri acuti dardi
6. O dolce nocte
7. Quanta dolceça, amore
8. Se ben’ li occhi
9. Quanto sia lieto il giorno
10. Chi non fa prova, amore
11. Sì suave è l’inghanno
12. Con lacrim’ et sospir’
13. Madonna, per voi ardo
14. Piove da li occhi
15. Ognun si duol’ d’amore
16. La bella donna
17. Afflicti spirti mei
18. Donna che sete
19. Lasso, che se creduto
20. Dentr’al mio cor’
21. Liet’è madonna
22. Madonna, qual certeça
23. Cortese alma gentile
24. Madonna, io v’amo et taccio
25. Altro non è el mio amor’ ch’el propio inferno
26. Italia mia, bench’el parlar’
27. Donna, se fera stella
28. Pur troppo, donna
29. Quando nascesti, Amore?
30. Ultimi mei sospiri
Texts and Translations

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