Below is a list of composers currently represented on this Web site. Clicking on a composer's name will bring up a list of madrigals available to be downloaded. Three downloads are available for each madrigal: Score (in PDF format), MIDI (.mid) and Text/Translation (also in PDF).

All downloads are free of charge; however, you must register with the site in order to download Scores and Texts/Translations.

Note that, in the case of madrigals in multiple sections, the full Text/Translation may be downloaded from the entry for the first section (the prima parte).

NOTE ABOUT MIDI FILES: Mac users are advised that Apple's QuickTime application no longer supports MIDI. However, MIDI files can be played on GarageBand for Mac, as well as on some third-party freeware programs. Alternatively, users can request MP3 files of particular pieces by contacting Martin Morell.

Aleotti, Vittoria
Arcadelt, Jacques (Giaches)
Artusini, Antonio
Bati, Luca, Primo a 5 (1594) (complete)
Bellasio, Paolo
Bertani, Lelio
Boschetti, Giovanni Boschetto
Caletti, Giovanni Battista
Califano, Giovanni Battista
Capilupi, Gemignano
Casentini, Marsilio
Cavaccio, Giovanni
Cifra, Antonio
Costa, Gasparo
Croce, Giovanni
D'India, Sigismondo
Dalla Casa, Girolamo
Del Mel, Rinaldo
Dentice, Fabrizio
Falcone, Achille
Felis, Stefano
Florio, Giorgio
Freddi, Amadio
Gabrieli, Giovanni
Gagliano, Marco da
Gastoldi, Concenti musicali a8 (1604/1610) (complete)
Gastoldi, Giovanni Giacomo
Gastoldi, Primo a 6 (1592) (complete)
Gastoldi, Quarto a 5 (1602) (complete)
Ghizzolo, Giovanni
Giovanelli, Ruggiero
Guami, Francesco
Guerini, Pietro Francesco
Ingegneri, MarcAntonio
Isnardi, Paolo
Leoni, Leone
Mancini, Curzio
Marenzio, Luca
Masnelli, Paolo
Massaino, Primo a 6 (1604) (complete)
Massaino, Quarto a 5 (1594) (complete)
Massaino, Terzo a 5 (1587) (complete)
Mezzogorri, Giovanni Nicolò
Monteverdi, Claudio
Mosto, Giovanni Battista
Nasco, Giovan (Jan)
Nodari, Giovanni Paolo, Madrigali a 5 (complete)
Pallavicino, Benedetto
Rognoni Taeggio, Francesco, Primo a 5 (1613) (complete)
Rognoni Taeggio, Giovanni Domenico, Primo a 5 (1605) (complete)
Rore, Cipriano (De)
Rossetti, Stefano
Rossi, Salamone
Ruffolo, Lucrezio
Sabino, Ippolito
Santini, Marsilio
Stabile, Annibale
Taroni, Antonio
Tomasi, Biagio
Tresti, Flaminio
Tresti, Secondo a 5 (1587) (complete)
Usper (Spongia), Francesco
Valmarana, Girolamo
Various (from Dolci Affetti, 1582)
Various (from Trionfo di Musica, 1579)
Vecchi, Orazio
Venturi del Nibbio, Primo a 5 (1592) (complete)
Venturi del Nibbio, Primo pastorali a 5 (1592) (complete)
Verdonck, Cornelius
Virchi, Paolo, Primo a 5 (1584) (complete)
Virchi, Paolo, Secondo a 5 (1588) (complete)
Wert, Decimo a 5 (1591) (complete)
Wert, Giaches de
Wert, Ottavo a 5 (1586) (complete)
Zanchi, Liberale
Zanotti, Camillo
Zoilo, Annibale

Massaino, Primo a 6 (1604) (complete)

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Title and DescriptionScoreMidiTranslation
Introduction and Commentary
The Introduction can be downloaded from the Translation column.
Ferma il tenero piè, ferma Narciso (prima parte) (SSATTB) *NEW*
The text, by Francesco Bracciolini, takes the form of a traditional Petrarchan sonnet, although the subject-matter is distinctly un-Petrarchan. Perhaps Massaino intended that this lead-off piece would serve to showcase his mastery of cutting-edge musical techniques (e.g., jangly rhythms, chromaticism, tonal excursions as far afield as b-major, echo effects, unconventional endings). The contrapunctal virtuosity of bars 9–15 of the seconda parte is particularly noteworthy.
E morendo gridò (seconda parte) (SSATTB) *NEW*
Dolci mentre il ciel volse (prima parte) (SSATTB) *NEW*
Francesco Beccuti (known as “il Coppetta”) fashioned this Petrarchan sonnet from a well-known passage in Vergil’s Aeneid (beginning with the words “Dulces exuviae, dum fata deusque sinebat”). No doubt Massaino reckoned that a setting of a text by, or based on, Virgil would find a ready welcome in Vincenzo Gonzaga’s Mantua, since Virgil was believed to have been born nearby.
Felice, ohimè, troppo felice (seconda parte) (SSATTB) *NEW*
Qual dolente usignuolo (SSATTB) *NEW*
Giovanni Battista Leoni’s poem bears the subtitle Imitazione dell’usignuolo (imitation of the nightingale), which no doubt prompted Massaino to incorporate birdlike warblings into his setting.
Mentre vaga Angioletta (prima parte) (SSATTB) *NEW*
Guarini’s poem, titled “Gorga di cantatrice” (the [female] singer’s throat), was probably written as a tribute to one of the famous “three singing ladies” at the Ferrarese court of Alfonso II d’Este. The text is better known from Monteverdi’s setting in his Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi (1638). It is one of numerous musical descriptions of the nature of virtuoso singing and its effects upon the listener (see, e.g., Gastoldi’s “Dolce d’amor sirena,” Monteverdi’s “Non sono in queste rive” and Wert’s “Scherza nel canto”). Massaino’s highly expressive tour de force forms the centerpiece of the collection; its technical challenges (which increase progressively from the prima to the terza parte) buttress the assumption that the composer envisaged performance by an ensemble of outstandingly accomplished virtuosi. Some passages seem to anticipate baroque instrumental writing.
Tempra d’arguto suon (seconda parte) (SSATTB) *NEW*
Or la sospende e libra (terza parte) (SSATTB) *NEW*
Filli mentre mi fuggi (SSATTB) *NEW*
A kind of inversion of the well-worn theme of pursuing shepherd and pursued shepherdess. Massaino’s setting employs sprightly rhythms and one of his frequent devices, a “pedal point” in the Basso combined with animated motion in the upper parts.
A queste soavissime parole (SSATTB) *NEW*
A sensuous paean to kisses and to how they trump words.
Se la doglia e ’l martire (SSATTB) *NEW*
Massaino’s version is one of the earliest known settings of this text, which was extremely popular with contemporary composers (some 25 madrigal and solo-song versions are attested). Like “Filli mentre mi fuggi,” Massaino employs lively rhythms and, toward the end of the piece, a “pedal point” in the Basso combined with animated motion in the upper parts.
Movea Lidia correndo (SSATTB) *NEW*
The first of three settings of texts by Ansaldo Cebà (1565–1623). Massaino packs a great deal of animated writing into this very short (16-bar) piece.
Dolce ha madonna il viso (SSATTB) *NEW*
Love as a tug-of-war between the love-object’s (outward) sweetness and (inward) harshness. Massaino’s setting exploits the contrast between “aspro” (harsh, bitter) and “dolce” (sweet).
Gira Lidia ridendo (SSATTB) *NEW*
A kind of companion piece to “Movea Lidia correndo.”
O come sei gentile (SSATTB) *NEW*
The text is better known from Monteverdi’s setting in his Settimo libro de’ madrigali (1619). There are also numerous settings by other contemporary composers. Massaino’s version is notable for the extended melismas on “canti” (sing) and “cantando” (singing).
O chiome erranti (SSATTB) *NEW*
The text was extremely popular with contemporary composers (some 23 madrigal and solo-song settings are attested). In Massaino’s version, the “wayward tresses” of the text provide the inspiration for particularly animated vocal writing.
Larva amorosa e cara (SSATTB) *NEW*
A text of unknown authorship, not known to have been set by any other composer, which at first glance is bafflingly enigmatic. The word “larva” of the first line usually translates as “specter” or “apparition,” but – as was kindly pointed out to me by my colleague Cristina Miatello – it can also be a synonym for “bauta,” the traditional white Venetian carnival mask. This mask covers the forehead, eyes and nose while leaving the mouth visible. Thus interpreted, it would seem that the beauty of the teeth and lips of the (female) wearer of the mask has punctured the costume’s inherent “anonymizing effect,” and has left shattered the heart of the protagonist (who, evidently, is also masked).
O che sguardi soavi (SSATTB) *NEW*
A text in praise of the restorative power of a woman’s sighs and glances, which provides Massaino with ample opportunity for word-painting.
Pastor di che piangete (SSATTB) *NEW*
In Torquato Tasso’s pastoral drama Aminta, these lines are spoken by the character Silvia shortly after a messenger arrives bearing sad tidings: Aminta, the play’s protagonist, believing Silvia to be dead, has taken his own life. Silvia, very much alive and remorseful for having spurned Aminta’s affections, returns to lament over his body. Happily, however, the messenger was mistaken, and Aminta and Silvia can now be wed. Massaino would have been aware that Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga of Mantua (his patron and dedicatee) had intervened to release Tasso from confinement in Ferrara, and had received him with honors at court. By setting this text – as well as the subsequent one – Massaino probably intended to highlight the duke’s kindly and generous treatment of the poet and his wider role as patron of the arts. The piece includes some notable dissonances (e.g., at bar 15 and again at bar 21).
Dolor, che sì mi cruci (prima parte) (SSATTB) *NEW*
These lines, which precede “Pastor di che piangete” in Tasso’s Aminta, are spoken by the inconsolable protagonist upon being shown evidence (which proves to be deceptive) that his beloved Silvia is dead. Massaino’s setting contains passages with remarkable suspensions and deceptive cadences (e.g., bars 14–22 of the seconda parte).
Bello e dolce morir fu certo allora (seconda parte) (SSATTB) *NEW*

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