Cipriano de Rore / Amor ben mi credevo - Analysis

- Modern edition from cpdl [link]
- 1569 partbooks edition [link
- 1575 partbooks edition [link]
- 1577 score edition [link]

durum and molle


1 [01:26] The first edition is from 1550. Reproductions of the 1569 [link] and 1575 [link] editions are available online.

2 [01:46] Cipriano de Rore, Tutti i madrigali a quattro voci (1577) [link]. The next time a score of madrigals will be published will be only years later, in Gesualdo’s publication of all his madrigals in 1613 [link] (it includes all his published madrigals - six books!)

3 [04:57] The ranges of the parts in Amor, ben mi credevo: Canto e’-e’’; Alto g-a’ (one low e); Tenor e-e’ (plus one time notes on each extreme); Basso A-a.

4 [05:56] More about modes see in Anne Smith, The Performance of 16th-Century Music, pp.187-191.

5 [11:23] In several theoretical sources, step-wise movement between two consequent major thirds are not allowed, as it creates a tritone contour. Rore did not use two such major thirds but the consequent harmony is similar, therefore considered harsh.

6 [14:25] The source shown in the video is Adam Gumpelzhaimers’s Compendium Musicum, 1591.

7 [15:00] See the four part madrigals by Rore Io credea che'l morir and Se'l mio sempre. The example shown in the video is from the latter (the score edition from 1577).

8 [15:56] "when sesquialtera or hemiolia appears in one or more but not in all the voices of a composition, the equal tactus of the remaining voices in binary measure prevails. In case the notes of the proportion fall in the same manner, two on the downstroke and one on the upstroke of the tactus. Under no circumstances do sesquialtera and hemiolia under equal tactus imply triplets." Collins, Michael B. “The Performance of Sesquialtera and Hemiolia in the 16th Century.” Journal of the American Musicological Society, vol. 17, no. 1, 1964, pp. 5–28 [link]

9 [18:25] See our episode about Durum and Molle [link]. Another example of the uniqueness and harshness of an authentic cadence to e is found in Salomone Rossi’s setting of “by the rivers of Babylon” [org.: "Al Naharot Bavel", HaShirim Asher liShlomo, 1623]: when setting the text "how can we sing the song of Sion on a foreign land", on the words "foreign land" he did an authentic cadence to E. Indeed, in Renaissance terms, making an authentic cadence to E is foreign to the musical style. Another proof that it is a very special moment is that he did not use a standard sharp on the F (the tenorizans), instead he used a special sign (three notes before the end): [see modern edition here]

Created by Elam Rotem.
Madrigal performance by Profeti della Quinta (will appear on their next CD release, 2019)
Recitation by Giovanna Baviera.
Special thanks to Anne Smith.