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Tuesday, 3 February 2009

JUST BEFORE DAWN

Image of a the hospital entrance, just before dawn in Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, Italy. © Sepiru Chris, 2009. Non si levav'ancor l'alba novella

(Public domain music sourced from the Wikimedia Commons)

Claudio Monteverdi (baptised1567-1643) wrote this madrigal when he was the Maestre di Capella at Mantua, about twenty years before he became the Maestre di Capella at the Basilica di San Marco a Venezia. It predates the baroque period by about a decade.

"About ere yet the dawn had come" is from Monteverdi's second book of madrigals, a historical examination of musical styles. 

"About ere yet the dawn had come", "Non si levav'ancor l'alba novella" in Italian, is a madrigal in two parts for five voices, SV 40, with lyrics by the Italian poet Torquato Tasso (1544-1595).

The piece hearkens back to, and is a tribute to, renowned late Renaissance madrigal composer Luca Marenzio's (1533?-1599) "Non vidi mai dopo notturna pioggia" which used the fifth stanza of Francesco Petraca's (1304-1374) Canzoniere "In quelle parte dove Amor mi sprona". (For clarity, yes. Petrarca is called Petrarch in English.)