Monteverdi more than any other composer was responsible for taking the more popular genre of the madrigal and raising it to an art form far greater than anyone could imagine. This madrigal, Si Ch'io vorrei morire, from his Fourth book of Madrigals, is filled with the sorts of "chimeras" and "imperfections" that Artusi objected to.
Things to Note
Si chio vorrei morire takes the renaissance notion of representation, of which word painting is but one example, to a high level; many parts of the text are alluded to musically. Note the subtle, or none too subtle word paintings thoughout. See how many you can come up with. On a textural level try to determine the differences between polyphonic sections (when each musical line is equal in importance) and more homophonic sections (when one melody predominates). Usually at this point in musical history homophony occurs in homorhythmic writing. Learn more about homophony in the Sonic Glossary.
The source of the poetry is unknown.
Claudio Monteverdi: Si chio vorrei morire (1603)
All text © Todd Tarantino 2002-2012.
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