Regarded by his contemporaries as the leading madrigal composer of his time, Luca Marenzio was an important figure in sixteenth-century Italian music, and also highly esteemed in England, Flanders and Poland. This English translation of Marco Bizzarini's study of the life and work of Marenzio provides valuable insights into the composer's influence and place in history, and features an extensive, up-to-date bibliography and the first published list of archival sources containing references to Marenzio. Women play a decisive role as dedicatees of Marenzio's madrigals and in influencing the way in which they were performed. Bizzarini examines in detail the influence of both female and male patrons and performers on Marenzio's music and career, including his connections with the confraternity of SS Trinit nd other institutions. Dedications were also a political tool, as the book reveals. Many of Marenzio's dedications were made at the request of his employer Cardinal d'Este who wanted to please his French allies. Bizzarini examines these extra-musical dimensions to Marenzio's work and discusses the composer's new musical directions under the more austere administration of Pope Clement VIII.

chapter 1|3 pages

Competition and pre-eminence

chapter 2|3 pages

First fruits of genius on the world stage

chapter 3|4 pages

Cardinal d’Este

chapter 4|9 pages

Maestro di cappella

chapter 5|7 pages

Secular music for a prince of the Church

chapter 6|6 pages

The ‘buon compagno’ pope

chapter 7|14 pages

The Ferrarese interlude

chapter 8|10 pages


chapter 9|7 pages

Roman confraternities

chapter 10|13 pages

Homeland and compatriots

chapter 11|8 pages

‘Musici di Roma’

chapter 12|14 pages

‘Stravaganze d’amore’

chapter 13|8 pages

The new pope

chapter 14|15 pages

A job in Mantua?

chapter 15|17 pages

‘His heart in France’*

chapter 16|26 pages

A ‘new aria’

chapter 17|22 pages

The grand duke’s wedding

chapter 18|9 pages

Orsini and Montalto

chapter 19|13 pages

The peak of his career

chapter 20|21 pages

From Vatican Palace to Polish court

chapter 21|17 pages


chapter 22|15 pages

The ‘Wise Fool’

chapter 23|8 pages

The Platonic spirit

chapter 24|38 pages

A new style

chapter 25|7 pages

Order and significance

chapter 26|9 pages

Seconda prattica and second Renaissance