Guarini's 'Il pastor fido' and the Madrigal : Voicing the Pastoral in Late Renaissance Italy book cover
1st Edition

Guarini's 'Il pastor fido' and the Madrigal
Voicing the Pastoral in Late Renaissance Italy

ISBN 9781032423852
Published January 19, 2023 by Routledge
458 Pages 98 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Battista Guarini’s pastoral tragicomedy Il pastor fido (1589) began its life as a play, but soon was transformed through numerous musical settings by prominent composers of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Through the many lives of this work, this book explores what happens when a lover’s lament is transplanted from the theatrical stage to the courtly chamber, from speech to song, and from a single speaking character to an ensemble of singers, shedding new light on early modern literary and musical culture.

From the play’s beginnings in manuscripts, private readings, and aborted stage productions in the 1580s and 1590s, through the gradual decline of Pastor fido madrigals in the 1640s, this book examines how this widely read yet controversial text became the center of a lasting and prolific music tradition. Using a new integrative system of musical-textual analysis based on sixteenth-century theory, Seth Coluzzi demonstrates how composers responded not only to the sentiments, imagery, and form of the play’s speeches, but also to subtler details of Guarini’s verse. Viewing the musical history of Guarini’s work as an integral part of the play’s roles in the domains of theater, literature, and criticism, this book brings a new perspective to the late Italian madrigal, the play, and early modern patronage and readership across a diverse geographical and temporal frame.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Voice, Genre, and Perspective in the Italian Madrigal

Pastoral Personas in a Tragicomic Plot


1. Reading the Madrigal: Mode, Structure, and the Analysis of Late-Renaissance Music

On Mode

Modal Unity within Diversity: Commixtio Tonorum

Analytical Approaches to Late-Renaissance Polyphony


2. The Play and Its Early Audiences

Guarini’s Readings of the Early 1580s

Signs of Stagings in the Mid-1580s

Mantuan Efforts of the Early 1590s

The First (Confirmed) Productions

The Mantuan Productions of 1598 and the Madrigals of Gastoldi

Stagings in the Early Seventeenth Century


3. From Poetic Monster to Raccolta di madrigali: The Pastor fido Debate, 1586–1602

The First Wave of Debate: Denores and the two "Verrati," 1586–93

The Second Wave of Debate, 1600–01


4. Marenzio, Guarini, and the Origins of the Pastor fido Madrigal

Marenzio’s "O fido, o caro Aminta" (1595): An Introduction to Some Textual Conflicts

Marenzio and His Patrons in Rome

Guarini and the Lyric Madrigal

Marenzio’s Guarini Settings, 1580–99

Guarini’s Drafts and Salviati’s Lost Manuscript

Salviati’s Annotazioni and the Texts of Marenzio’s Madrigals

Scipione Gonzaga and Marenzio’s Pastor fido Settings


5. Beyond the Theater in Rome and Mantua: The Settings of Marenzio and Wert

Marenzio’s "O fido, o caro Aminta": The Integration of Text and Music

Marenzio’s and Wert’s Readings of "Cruda Amarilli" (1595)

Three Settings from Act 3


6. "Ahi, lasso!": Monteverdi, Il pastor fido, and a New, Mantuan Controversy

Monteverdi’s Early and Variant Readings, 1592–1603

The Monteverdi–Artusi Debate: Musical and Extramusical Provocations


7. Madrigalian Discourses in (and Beyond) Monteverdi’s Fifth Book

Modal Structure and the Temporal Worlds of Mirtillo and Amarilli

Interpersonal and Intertextual Dialogue in "Ecco, Silvio, colei che ’n odio hai tanto"

Inter-Madrigal Motives (and their Interpretative Consequences)

Monteverdi and the Madrigal as Discourse


8. The Settings of Pallavicino, Gastoldi, and Rossi, and the Afterglow of a Mantuan Pastoral Passion

Dilating Dissonances, Dynamic Structures, and Marenzian Ties in Pallavicino’s Sixth Book (1600)

Beyond Balli: Concision, Contrast, and Characterization in Gastoldi’s "Pastor fido" Settings

Salamone Rossi: Marenzian Cues on a New, Mantuan Stage

The Expectations of a "Pastor fido" Madrigal Reading and the Example of Artusi’s Failure

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Seth J. Coluzzi is an Assistant Professor of Music at Colgate University and a scholar of the music, poetry, and culture of late-Renaissance Italy. His work focuses on issues of analysis, mode, interpretation, and text-music relations in the Italian madrigal and has appeared in Journal of Musicology, Music and Letters, Music Theory Spectrum, Early Music, Studi musicali, and other journals and collections.