Lamenti Barocchi, Vol. 3

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LamentiBarocchi Vol. III (Baroque Laments Vol. 3)


Soloists of the Cappella Musicale di S. Petronio

Sergio Vartolo


Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567- 1643)

[l] Lamento d' Arianna

Pietro Antonio GIRAMO(fl.1619 - after 1630)

[2] Lamento della Pazza

Barbara STROZZI (1619 - 1664)

[3] Lamento del MarcheseCinq-Mars

Giacomo CARISSIMI (1605 - 1674)

[4] Lamento della Regina Maria Stuarda

Antonio CESTI (1623 - 1669)

[5] Lamento della MadreEbrea

Luigi ROSSI (1598 - 1653)

[6] Lamento della Regina di Svezia


Soloists of the Cappella Musicale di SanPetronio

[1] Anna Caterina Antonacci, soprano

[2] Anna Caterina Antonacci, soprano

[3] Anna Caterina Antonacci, soprano ;Alessandro Cannignani, tenor

[4] Marinella Pennicchi, soprano ;Alessandro Cannignani, tenor

[5] Anna Caterina Antonacci, soprano ;Testo: Alessandro Cannignani, tenor

[6] Marinella Pennicchi, soprano; Fortuna:Patrizia Vaccari, soprano; Messaggero: Alessandro Cannignani, tenor; Testo:Furio Zanasi, baritone


Violins:Enrico Casazza, Isabella Longo

Violada gamba : Bet tina Hoffmann

Chitarrone, theorbo: Andrea Damiani

Chitarrone, cittem, colascione, chitarrino: FedericoMarincola

Clavicembalo and direction: Sergio Vartolo



TheBaroque lament has its origins in the culture of ancient Greece and its Romanimitators. Aristotle's theory of catharsis, the purification of the emotionsthrough the excitement of pity and fear by events worthy of such feelings, andPlato's views on the subject, as expressed in The Republic, found theirreflection in the aesthetic theories of the sixteenth century. The lamentshould arouse feelings of pity, while at the same time suggesting thefashionable humour of melancholy, one of the four psychological states ofancient and later medical theory. Greek tragedy offers its own examples of thelament and nearer to hand were the popular and accessible Heroides ofOvid, plaintive letters from abused heroines of legend, Dido deserted byAeneas, Penelope left alone for so long by Odysseus, Medea betrayed by Jason.

The lament became a current and important feature of Italian Baroque monody,with its rhetorical and therefore dramatic connotations, generally set over afour-note descending bass-line. The best known of all these laments, althoughnot the earliest, must be Monteverdi's Lamento d'Arianna, a laterversion of which, with a sacred Latin text, was included in the composer's Selvamorale e spirituale published in Venice in 1641 (Naxos 8.553318: LamentiBarocchi Vol. 1). In 1607 Monteverdi had provided music for a favola inmusica staged at the court of Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga in Mantua, where thecomposer was maestro di cappella. Orfeo, with a libretto by Alessandrostriggio, has one literary source in the Metamorphoses of Ovid. Thesuccess of Orfeo led, in 1608, to the devising of a new dramatic work, atragedia in musica, a conscious attempt, as the pastoral Orfeo wasnot, to provide a work that should to some extent revive the ancient Greek artof tragedy. With a libretto by Ottavio Rinuccini, a Florentine courtier who,under the sobriquet II Sonnacchioso (The Sleepy One), had since 1586been a member of the Florence Accademia degliAlterati, the tragedy in music Arianna treats the story of theCretan princess Ariadne. Having helped the Athenian Theseus to escape from herfather, King Minos, the labyrinth and the bull-monster, the Minotaur, she wasabandoned by her lover on the seemingly deserted island of Naxos. Herdistress, expressed in the famous Lamento d'Arianna, is given inpoignant and moving music that found immediate popularity, copied elsewhere,issued by Monteverdi as a five- voice madrigal in 1614 and in 1623 as a monody.

There is a happy ending to the opera through the intervention of Venus and Amorand the appearance of a deus ex machina in the person of Bacchus, whoseunion with Ariadne had been depicted so memorably in 1523 by Titian. WhileRinuccini's libretto of Arianna survives, the music does not, except forthe lament itself. The tragedy was performed at the wedding festivities in Mantua for themarriage of Prince Francesco, son of the reigning Duke, and Margherita ofSavoy, together with a number of other works, including Monteverdi andRinuccini's II ballo delle ingrate (Naxos 8.553322).

The lament, according to an account of the proceedings by Federico Follino, wasacted with so much feeling and in so piteous a manner that no-one who heard itwas left unmoved, there was not a single lady who did not cry a little at herbeautiful plaint.


Pietro Antonio Giramo is a relativelyminor figure in Italian music of the early Baroque. While Monteverdi achieved areputation uncomfortably enough at the court of Mantua, followed by some thirtyyears as master of the music of the basilica of San Marco in Venice, Giramo,whose date of birth is unknown, seems to have spent his life in Naples. A volume ofArie was published in 1630, apparently in Naples, as was the collectionunder the title II pazzo con la pazza, ristampata, et Uno hospedale pergl'infermi d'amore (The Madman with the Madwoman, reprinted, and A Hospitalfor the Love-sick). The date 1630 provides, at least, a terminus ante quem, sincehis death occurred, presumably, after that date. The Lamento della pazza (Madwoman'sLament) is of considerable interest in its treatment of the subject, a womandriven mad by unrequited love, a patient to be cured by the music Giramooffers.


The Lamento del MarcheseCinq-Mars byBarbara strozzi turns to the kind of subject that provided material for lamentsby the middle of the seventeenth century, based on modern or earlier historicalevents. Barbara Strozzi herself was the adopted daughter of the poet andplaywright Giulio Strozzi, himself the illegitimate son of the Venetian bankerRoberto Strozzi, a member of the distinguished Florentine family of that name.

She was born in Venice in 1619 and was a pupil of Cavalli, winning areputation both as a singer and as a composer. Her presence was important forthe meetings of the Accademia degli Unisoni at the house of GiulioStrozzi, whose enemies acc
Disc: 1
Lamento della Regina de Svezia
1 Lamento d'Arianna
2 Lamento della Pazza
3 Lamento del Marchese Cinq-Mars
4 Lamento della Regina Maria Stuarda
5 Lamento della Madre Ebrea
6 Lamento della Regina di Svezia
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