Personalities | Luca Marenzio | Renaissance | Classical

(Loo’-ka Ma-rents’yo) c. 1553–99
Italian composer

Marenzio spent most of his adult life in Rome, in the service of various cardinals and other patrons. Although he composed Masses and motets, his fame rests on his madrigals. In the 1580s he developed the canzonetta style of madrigal, borrowing the clear textures and lively rhythms of the canzonetta but applying them to a larger and more sophisticated canvas. In the last decade of his life he explored a variety of new, serious, expressive styles. His final book, published in 1599, is mostly devoted to the poetry of Petrarch. In the opening measures of his famous setting of Petrarch’s ‘Solo e pensoso’, the poet’s ‘slow and heavy tread’ is portrayed in the soprano line, which moves slowly up and then back down a chromatic scale.

Recommended Recording:
Madrigals Book 1, Concerto Italiano (dir) Rinaldo Alessandrini (Opus 111)

Introduction | Renaissance | Classical
Personalities | Philippe de Monte | Renaissance | Classical


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