1st Edition

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

By Seth Coluzzi Copyright 2023
    458 Pages 98 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    458 Pages 98 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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.