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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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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

The Luxury of Solipsism: Gesualdo

The Luxury of Solipsism: Gesualdo

(p.146) Seven The Luxury of Solipsism: Gesualdo
Modal Subjectivities

Susan McClary

University of California Press

In 1995, German cinematic auteur Werner Herzog released Gesualdo: Death in Five Voices, a documentary of sorts on the composer's life and music. Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, ought never to have put himself in the subject position of composer. He answered to no one but wrote increasingly for himself, thus justifying to some extent those who would view him as anticipating a Romantic vision of “self-expression.” Gesualdo published his first four books of madrigals in Ferrara, and set lyrics of Ferrarese poets, as did the other musicians at court. This chapter treats the Gesualdo of the first four books as a Ferrarese composer;one who shared with Luzzasco Luzzaschi an enthusiasm for their predecessor Nicola Vicentino's arcicembalo and theories of chromatic and enharmonic genres, along with a penchant for lyrics that mined a rich vein of feelings located at the intersection of pleasure and pain.

Keywords:   Werner Herzog, music, Carlo Gesualdo, self-expression, madrigals, Ferrara, lyrics, poets, pleasure, pain

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