Tag Archives: Renaissance

Michele Pesenti: Complete works

 

In 2019 A-R Editions published Michele Pesenti: Complete works, a critical edition produced by an editorial team including a musicologist, a linguist, and a musicologist-performer.

While earlier musicologists assumed continuities between frottola and madrigal, more recent scholarship has refuted this idea: they were two different genres, cultivated in different centers of patronage, by different composers, and for different audiences.

Pesenti, however, composed in both genres thanks to changing professional circumstances. He composed frottole while working in Ferrara, and later, when he secured an appointment at the court of Pope Leo X, he (or someone acting for him) refashioned several of his frottole as madrigals: Textless lower instrumental lines are provided with text, converting a composition for a vocalist with instrumental accompaniment into one for an ensemble of four vocalists.

This pioneering edition of Pesenti’s complete works offers parallel editions of compositions existing in both these forms, as well as compositions for solo voice and instrumental consort that were later arranged for voice and lute. It further seeks to clarify the procedures used in expanding the abbreviated presentation of the frottola’s texts and music into readily performable forms.

Above, a page from an early edition of Pesenti’s Dal lecto me levava; below, a recording of the work.

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Seventeenth-century Italian motets with trombones

motets w trombones

The specification of instruments in vocal-instrumental compositions began in the final decades of the 16th century in Italy and gained momentum in the early decades of the 17th, including in church music. Trombones, in particular, were increasingly specified and often used interchangeably with voices.

Seventeenth-century Italian motets with trombones, edited by D. Linda Pearse, (Middleton: A-R Editions, 2014) is a new edition of concerted motets composed between 1600 and 1640 with explicitly labelled parts for trombones; the works are small scale, containing fewer than eight parts (excluding basso continuo). Unlike other editions of similar repertoire, the works selected here provide a representative sample of a significant repertoire and present music of high quality by lesser-known composers whose output is largely unavailable.

Below, Carlo Fillago’s Confitemini Domino, one of the motets included in this edition, performed by ¡Sacabuche!

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