Madrigal - A secular work for an unaccompanied group of solo voices.
Setting of a text by the poet Guarini.
Published in Venice in 1603.
Though unaccompanied, this piece shows that Monteverdi, was writing in a new style (stile rappresentativo - representative style), as opposed to the older Renaissance style.
The word was regarded as being the "master of the music".
Because of the complexity of the writing, this piece was intended for professional singers, rather than amatures.
Notice the lack of performance directions.
Rhythm and Metre
Attempted to reproduce the inflections of Italian speech.
There is, therefore, considerable variety in rhythmic patterns.
Pattern for "ohime" is recurring.
Melody and Word-Setting
Word-setting is mainly syllabic for the sake of clarity (R+M, tried to recreate speech patterns).
The new style (B - representative style) is evident in the use of tritones and 7ths.
Monteverdi also uses chromaticisms and sequence.
Repetitive, sigh-like falling 3rd for "ohime" phrase.
(Fill in Bar numbers)
Unprepared dissonances: B__, B__.
False relation: B__.
Tierce de Picarde: B__.
Tonic and Dominant pedals: B__ (tonic), B__ (dominant).
IIIb-I final cadence: B__ - B__.
Tonality and Structure
Tonality based on G minor (notice the "modal" key signature with only one flat), with sections in D minor and Bb major.
Structure is through-composed, with each section of the text being treated separately.
The falling (M+W-S: Ohime falling 3rd) 3rd provides a unifying element to the sections.
Resources and Texture
Written for five unaccompanied voices, the canto and quinto parts acting as two soprano parts.
Various textures are used to convey the sense of the poem:
- Paired A + T in dialogue with paired C + Q parts over sustained B.
- Homophony for three voices in various groupings.
- Homophony for five voices.
- Some limited imitation.
- Free counterpoint.
(C: Canto, Q: Quinto, A: Alto, T: Tenor, B: Bass)