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Modal SubjectivitiesSelf-Fashioning in the Italian Madrigal$
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Susan McClary

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520234932

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520234932.001.0001

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Radical Inwardness: Willaert's Musica nova

Radical Inwardness: Willaert's Musica nova

Chapter:
(p.78) Four Radical Inwardness: Willaert's Musica nova
Source:
Modal Subjectivities
Author(s):

Susan McClary

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520234932.003.0004

Scholars have long acknowledged Adrian Willaert's Musica nova—a collection of motets and madrigals—as one of the great monuments of Western art. Recent research by Martha Feldman reveals that the collection seems to have been commissioned by and for a cluster of Florentine exiles living in Venice, Italy, and that the madrigal genre—especially Willaert's Petrarch-oriented compositions—served to cement cultural memory and to guarantee the continuation of their version of Florentine ideals. If the recording industry has developed a small but avid audience for the transgressive expressivity of the Mannerist repertory, it does not seem ready to nurture in this same audience a taste for the dense web of Willaert's rule-abiding polyphony. This chapter deals with Willaert's settings of three very different Petrarch sonnets. Each sonnet-based madrigal comprises two parts: the first presents the two quatrains, the second the two terzets. Both halves operate within the same mode.

Keywords:   Adrian Willaert, Musica nova, motets, madrigals, Italy, Petrarch, sonnets, mode, polyphony

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