Volume XIII · Winter 1958 · Number 2
Some Partbooks Printed by Italian Printers of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries much music (vocal and instrumental, sacred and secular) was published in partbooks. A composition for five voices, for example, would be printed in five small books, usually quarto size, allowing each performer to sing from a book containing his own part. This practice, though convenient for the musician, has not been advantageous for the twentieth-century librarian who, because slim partbooks have a way of getting lost through the years, finds himself hard put to it to acquire works that are intact, especially when a number of vocal and instrumental parts are involved. The Sibley Music Library has been fortunate in being able to procure a representative collection of partbooks, many of which are complete sets. This discussion is confined to books printed by Italians, although some of the composers whose music is included were Netherlanders; accounts of partbooks printed by English, French, and German publishers must await a future treatment.
The earliest partbooks of sacred compositions in the library are those of some Masses by Josquin des Prés, who was considered by contemporaries to be the greatest composer of his time. He was born in Burgundy between 1445 and 1450. In 1475 he was a singer at the Milanese court of the Sforzas, later a member of the Papal Choir, and still later a chapel musician in the service of Louis XII of France. After some time spent in Ferrara and Rome, he settled in Burgundy. He died in 1521. He was especially noted for his motets and Masses, in which he developed an expressive style. Much of his music was printed during his lifetime, some of it by Ottaviano dei Petrucci (1466-1539). A printer of great renown in venice, Petrucci issued his first book on May 15, 1501: the earliest known printed collection of polyphonic music, entitled Harmonice musices Odhecaton A, in which Josquin des Prés was represented, along with other Netherlanders. Petrucci's printing, done by the double impression method using metal type, is distinguished by extreme clarity, accuracy, and beauty. The Sibley Music Library possesses the following items:
Liber primus Missarum Josquin. Lōme arme. Super voces musicales. La.sol.fa.re.mi. Gaudeamus. Fortuna desperata. Lōme arme. Sexti toni. Impressum. . . per Octavianum Petrutium. . . Anno Domini. MDXIIII. Die primo martii.
We have the superius and bass partbooks only, acquired in 1929 from Gottschalk. The works included arecantus firmus Masses in which the same basic melody is heard in the various movements of the Mass, and the names of the five compositions appearing in the title are derived from the melodies or canti firmi upon which each is based. There are two settings on L'homme armé (Lōme arme): "Lōme arme super voces musicales" and "Lōme arme sexti toni." This particular cantus firmus (originally a secular tune) was exceedingly popular with Renaissance composers, many of whom wrote Masses on it. The La sol fa re mi Mass is named after the syllables of the main theme (a-g-f-d-e).
Missarum Josquin liber secundus. Ave maris stella. Hercules dux ferrarie. Malheur me bat. Lami baudichon. Un musqz de buscaya. Dũg aultre amer. Impressum . . . per Octavianum Petrutium . . . Anno Domini. MDXV. Die XI Aprilis.
The Sibley Music Library copy, which was acquired in 1929 from Liepmannssohn, consists of the superius and bass partbooks. As in the case of the Liber primus, this set contains the names of the Masses in the title. Note that some of the canti firmi are French.
Missarum Josquin, Liber Tertius. Mater patris. Fay sans regres. Ad fugam. Di dadi. De beata virgine. Missa sine nomine. Impressum... per Octavianum Petrutium. . . Anno Dn. 1516. Die 29 Mai.
Our copy, purchased from Gottschalk in 1929 at the same time as the Liber primus, consists of the superius and bass partbooks.
All three sets of the des Prés partbooks, while not complete, are in excellent condition, with the individual books bound in gray paper. All the books appear to have belonged in a single collection at one time, for the treatment of the binding is the same throughout. Although our copies are not unique, they are extremely valuable as being works of an especially important composer who wrote some of the most beautiful Masses of the early Renaissance, and of an excellent printer who issued some of the finest partbooks of the entire sixteenth century.
From the middle and late sixteenth century we have some partbooks of sacred music which are likewise significant in the history of music printing as well as in the evolution of music literature.
Gardane, Antonio. Primus liber cum quin que vocibus. Motetti del frutto. In Vinetia: A. Gardane, 1538.
Antonio Gardane was a famous Venetian printer, who in 1557 began calling himself Gardano. Since his sons took over the publishing establishment after 1570 under the name of Li figluoli di Antonio Gardano, it is thought that his death occurred in that year. Gardane did some composing himself, though he was better known for his printing than for his music. He published works by French, German, and Netherlands composers as well as those by Italian writers. His books are beautiful examples of work done by the single impression method in which the page is set up by arranging hundreds of small pieces of type bearing both notes and staff and the printing is accomplished in one operation. The Motetti del frutto is the earliest known work to have been printed by him, a fact which makes our complete set of five partbooks valuable, although a half-dozen other copies are extant. The composers represented in this anthology of motets (sacred Latin texts set to music for several voices a cappella) are Dominique Finot (or Phinot), Antonio Gardane, Nicolas Gombert, Jachet de Mantua, and Joannes Lupi. Our copy, which originally belonged in the Wolffheim Library, was obtained in 1930 through Liepmannssohn. The small oblong partbooks are unbound but are fitted into a cardboard case.
Il Giglio Napoletano. Libro primo di motetti a quattro voci, novamente per Antonio Gardano stampato & dato in luce. In Venetia: appresso di Antonio Gardano, 1563.
Although this composer usually called himself Il Giglio Napoletano, it is thought his Christian name was Tomaso, for several other composers have mentioned him as a colleague by that name. The Libro primo is his only printed work. Our copy, which is complete, was procured from Liepmannssohn in 1931, and the four unbound oblong partbooks are in a heavy paper case. Only one other copy, in Bologna, is known.
Giovanelli, Pietro. Novi atque catholici thesauri musici. Liber quartus [and Liber quintus] . . . Labore Petri Joannelli [Giovanelli] de Gandino Bergomensis collectae. . . . Venetijs: apud Antonium Gardanum, 1568.
Giovanelli was born in Gandino some time in the early sixteenth century. He is believed to have lived in Venice around 1569 and may also have lived in Vienna. He is most famous for this collection of 246 motets by various composers, published in five volumes, of which we have the fourth and fifth. The composers whose motets are included are: in Vol. IV-Jacobus Vaet, Jacobus Regnart, Georgius Prenner, Andreas Peuernage, Henri de la Court, Michael des Buissons, Josquin des Prés, Joannes Castiletti, Philippe le Duc, Mathias Zaphellius, Orlando Lasso, Franciscus di Novo Portu, Adamus de Ponte, Michael Deiss, Lambert de Sainne, and Gregorius Trehou; in Vol. V-Joannes Chainu, Joannes de Cleve, Jacobus de Brouch, Jacobus Regnart, Christianus Hollander, Jacobus Vaet, Antonio de la Court, Michael de Buissons, Joannes Castiletti, Georgius Prenner, Henri de la Court, Wilhelmus Formellis, Andreas Gabrieli, and Jacobus Vuert (Wert).
Our set is composed of twelve partbooks bound in six: canto, alto, tenor, bass, quinto, and sexto. The title page of each part contains an ornamental border, and in voice part of Vol. V is a portrait of Emperor Ferdinand II on the verso of the title page. On page 413 of all the books except the fifth and sixth (in which case it is on page 419) is the coat of arms of Emperor Ferdinand; on pages 423 and 427, the coat of arms of Archduke Karl and Ferdinand; and on page 459, the insignia of Peter Joannellis (Giovanelli). Though our copy, bought in 1930 from Liepmannssohn, is not unique, this work is so curious and contains music of so many important writers that it is of great research value. Some of the most significant writers among those noted above are Andrea Gabrieli (a leader of the Venetian School of San Marco), Orlando Lasso (a prolific Flemish composer, considered by many historians to be the best representative of the sixteenth century), and Josquin des Prés.
Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi. Missarum cum quatuor, quinque, ac sex vocibus. . . Liber primus....
Palestrina, the chief representative of the Roman School of the sixteenth century, was born in the town of Palestrina around 1525. He was first a choirboy at the Cathedral of Palestrina (1532-34), then was sent to Rome to study. In the period from 1544 to 1551 he was living in Palestrina and serving as organist and choirmaster. He eventually returned to Rome, where he was maestro di cappella of the Julian Chapel at St. Peter's, St. John Lateran, and Santa Maria Maggiore. His works include about a hundred Masses, three hundred fifty motets, and a hundred secular madrigals.
Our set of partbooks for the first book of Masses for four, five, and six voices, was bought from Liepmannssohn in 1931. It is made up of the canto, alto, tenor, and bass partbooks from the fourth edition (Imprint: Venetijs: apud A. Gardanum, 1598), and the quinto and sexto parts bound into one book from the third edition (Imprint: Romae, apud A. Gardanum. Impensis Tornerii, 1591). The Gardano referred to is Angelo who finally took over his father's business.
Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi. Offertoria totius anni secundum Sanctae Romanaeecclesiae consuetudinem quin que vocibus concinenda auctoer Joani Petro AloysioPraenestino. . . Pars I [and II]. Venetijs: Apud Angelum Gardanum, 1594:1596.
Our ten partbooks, two each for canto, alto, tenor, bass, and quinto, are unbound and are fitted into a cardboard case. They were obtained from Liepmannssohn in 1930, and are the second edition. The first edition had been printed in 1593 by Coattino in Rome.
Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi. Motettorum quaepartim quinis, partim senis, partim octonis vocibus concinentur. Liber secundus. .. . Venetiis: apud Haeredem Hieronymi Scoti, 1577.
This set consists of books for the canto, alto, tenor, bass, quinto, and sextus; the octavo part is contained in the tenor part and the whole is bound together in one volume. This was added to our collection in 1930 and is a second edition printed by the Scoti family. The first printing was in 1572 by Scotus himself.
Phinot, Dominique. Mutetarum quin que vocum. Liber secundus. Dominico Phinot autore. Venetiis: apud Antonium Gardanum, 1555.
Phinot was a French composer of the sixteenth century, about whom biographical details are sadly lacking. It is thought that he was born in Lyon, but other data are not available. This is strange in view of the many works which have appeared in print. Our set of partbooks, consisting of canto, alto, tenor, bass, and quinto, is complete and is an excellent example of the fine printing of Antonio Gardane in his middle period.
Vinci, Pietro. Quattordeci sonetti spirituali della.. . Vittoria Colonna D'Avalos de Aquino, Marchesa di Pescara. Messi in canto da Pietro Vinci Siciliano della Città di Nicosia, Maestro di Capella in S. Maria Maggiore di Bergamo à cinque voci. In Vineggia: Appresso l'herede di Girolamo Scotto. MDLXXX.
Pietro Vinci, one of the best Sicilian composers of the sixteenth century, was born in Nicosia, where he becamemaestro di cappella. He was later maestro di cappella in Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo on the Italian mainland, returning to Nicosia as maestro di cappella in 1581. About this time one of his pupils was Antonio Il Verso, whose first book of madrigals is in our collection. It is thought that Vinci died in I584. He wrote much music, including motets and madrigals.
The Sonetti spirituali is an interesting book. The writer of the text was Vittoria Colonna, Marchesa di Pescara, poetess and friend of Michelangelo. She died in 1547. The lady to whom Vinci dedicated the work is also named Vittoria Colonna and is referred to as his patroness: "à Signora Vittoria Collona [sic]. Illustrissima signora et patrona mia." The dedication is signed in Bergamo on January 10, 1580. Our copy, purchased from Liepmannssohn in 1931, is bound in paper, and is one of three known complete sets, the others being in Florence and Kassel.
Among the Baroque partbooks in the Sibley Music Library is the collection known among musicologists as the Olschki Collection. Over a period of years Leo S. Olschki, an antiquarian bookdealer in Geneva, acquired partbooks of seventeenth-century sacred compositions. After making a careful selection he retained seventeen items of the utmost rarity. With the assistance of the late Dr. Alfred Einstein (music historian, critic, and cousin of the physicist, Dr. Albert Einstein), he compiled and published a descriptive catalogue of this "nouvelle collection de musique du XVII siècle" in La Bibliofilia (Vol. 11, 1933). In 1938, wishing to place the music in a scholarly institution, he opened negotiations with the Sibley Music Library. Olschki died in Geneva on June 19, 1940, and in November of that year his son, Leonard Olschki, completed the transaction by which the collection was permanently transferred to Rochester.
Since Olschki insisted upon extreme rarity, it is not surprising that some of the books are unique copies and others are unknown to bibliographers. This rarity does not, however, preclude practicability. The works represented are of types commonly employed in sacred services in the seventeenth century. Signs of use are to be found on the pages of the music, including marginalia and, in one case, the names of performers written on the verso of the frontispiece. There are even wine and food stains, probably made by the performers. We may presume that the books originally were the property of Italian cappelle, where they had some good use. Representative forms of composition include concertato motets (settings of Latin sacred texts for voices, with "concerted" instruments), Masses, litanies, and Psalms.
Angeleri, Giuseppe Maria. Messe quattro . . . del Padre Giuseppe Maria AngeleriAgostiniano. Opera seconda . . . Milano: F. Vigone, 1691.
This set, dedicated to Giuseppe Maria Mongini, "decano della Catedral, e Provicario Generale della Curia Episcopale di Tortona," consists of six partbooks: violin I, violin II, organ; alto, tenor, and bass. The canto or soprano is lacking. Though trimmed rather closely in the process of binding, the books are in good condition otherwise. This appears to be a unique copy.
Beria, Giovanni Battista. Il primo libro delli motetti concertati a una, due, tre, quattro, e cinque voci, con le Letanie della B. Vergine à quattro voci. . . nuovamente dati in luce, co'l basso continuo per l'organo. Milano: G. Roua, 1638.
Beria is described on the title page of the partbooks as organist of San Pietro di Lodi Vecchio, and this set is his Opus 1. The printer, Giorgio Rolla, was a musician like many other publishers of the seventeenth century. There are books for the canto, alto, bass, quinto, and organ; only the tenor book is lacking, and our copy is unique.
Beria, Giovanni Battista. Motetti à due, trè, e quattro voci co'l Te Deum, le Letanie della B. Vergine concertati, et li Passif della Domenica della Palme, & del Venerdi Santo co'l Tantum ergo Sacramentum, Veni Creator, Ave Maris Stella a 4 da capella et una Messa à cinque concertata. Opera seconda. Milano: C. Camagno.
The title fully describes the contents of the book. Only three parts have been found: alto, quinto, and bass; the canto and tenor are lacking, and, as far as we have been able to ascertain, our three are the only voice parts of Beria's Opus 2 extant. The dedication is to Carlo Federico Rolandi of Mortara. The dedicatory letter, which is signed on February 25, 1647, gives the approximate date of publication, and is followed by two sonnets, two madrigals, and a curious anagram. The composer was at this time still the organist at San Pietro di Lodi Vecchio. The printer, Camagno, was one of the best seventeenth-century Milanese publishers and produced many outstanding books.
Beria, Giovanni Battista. Concerti musicali a due, tre e quattro voci, con una Messa à quattro concertata, et Introiti, Pange Lingua à quattro à capella. Opera terza. Milano: C. Camagno, 1650.
Beria is described on the title page of this work as maestro di cappella at San Pietro di Lodi Vecchio (probably having been promoted to that position between 1647 and 1650) and organist at San Lorenzo in Mortara. Since the music is known to the bibliographer, Robert Eitner, only through the bass partbook found in the British Museum, and others do not mention it at all, it appears that our set is the only complete one in existence. All the books (canto, alto, tenor, bass, and organ) show signs of use, although they are in fairly good condition. On the verso of the frontispiece are some fugitive notes and a list of singers, presumably written by some maestro di cappella. Curiously, too, a single Concerto à due voci, entitled "Fugiant nubila," by a Carlo Steffano Brambilla, is found in this set.
Cima, Andrea. Ilsecondo libro delli concerti a due, trè, & quattro voci. Nuovamente datti in luce. . . .Opera seconda. Milano: Lomazzo, 1627.
Although Cima is known by several compositions, this particular work is unique and complete. Included in the set of books (canto, alto, tenor, and bass voice-parts) is a partitura—an example of music printed in score.
Flores Praestantissimorum vivorurn a Philippe Lornatio bibliopola delibati. Unica, binis, ternis, quaternisque vocibus descantandi. Quibus adduntur Missa, Magn~ficatq; Duo, Cantiones item, ut vocant, alla Francese, duobus, tribus, quattuorq; instrurnentis. Turn partitio pro organo, nuper in lucern editi. . . . Mediolani, typis eiusdem Lomatij, 1626.
The partbooks included are for canto, alto, bass, and organ, while the tenor is lacking. It would, however, be quite a simple matter to reconstruct the tenor part from the organ partbook, which in reality is a score with figured bass instructions for the performer. This is a unique copy of a curious set, a sort of anthology of sacred pieces by a number of writers. In the table of contents the pieces are described as "concerti," whose composers are: Francesco Rognoni, Vincenzo Pelegrini, Ignatio Donati, Lorenzo Frissoni, Federico Coda, Filippo Biumi, Giulio Cesare Ardemanio, Gulielmo Arnone, Giovanni Domenico Rognoni, Giovanni Paolo Cima (brother of Andrea Cima, above), Pietro Maria Giussani, Giovanni Battista Ala, Gasparo Zanetti, and Michel' Angelo Grancini. Although none of the composers are well-known today, they were men of some fame in their generation and their works are accounted for in the standard music bibliographies. Only Pietro Maria Giussani is unknown.
Foggia, Francesco. Missa et sacrae cantiones binis, ternis, quaternis, quinisque vocibus concinendae, auctore Fr. Foggia romano in Sacrosancta Lateranensi Basilica Musicae praefecto.Opus tertium. Romae, typis Mascardi, anno jubilei 1650.
Foggia, a well-known writer in his day, was born in Rome and died there on June 13, 1688, reputedly at the age of 83. After some travel in Austria, he became maestro di cappella at St. John Lateran around 1643, receiving a similar position at San Lorenzo in 1661 and at Santa Maria Maggiore in 1678. Many collections of his music were published during his lifetime, the present work being one of the earliest. Two other copies of the complete partbooks are known: one in the library of the Liceo Musicale in Bologna, where a number of his manuscripts are also found, and the other in Rome at the Julian Chapel.
Gambalo, Franciscus. Novifructus sacrarum laudum, quibus insunt duae missae. Sacrae cantiones. Nonnulli Psalmi integri. Duo cantica B. V.M. unà cum (quod vulgo dicitur) falsi bordoni cum Gloria patri. Quatuor vocibus concinendi. A Francisco Gambalo. Mediolani: P. Lomatium, 1619.
Five partbooks comprise this set, which is complete and unique. No references to Gambalo have been found. All the books except the canto show signs of use, especially the tenor partbook which bears stains of food and wine. Olschki gives the date 1609 for the imprint, although the books bear the year 1619; presumably this was merely a typographical error in the Olschki catalogue.
Grancini, Michel' Angelo. Ottavo libro de Concerti ecclesiastici a due, trè e quatro voci con le Litanie della B. V. M. à quatro, & à trè se piace di Michel' Angelo Grancino. ... Opera decima nona. . . . Milano: G. Francesco & fratelli Camagni.
Grancini, a famous musician in his day, was born in 1600 and died in 1669. He devoted most of his years to music in Milan, where he was organist at San Sepolcro in 1628, organist at the Duomo from 1636 to 1650, andmaestro di cappella at the Duomo beginning in 1652. Many of his works were printed during his lifetime, and his Opus 20 appeared posthumously, late in 1669. The present music, Opus 19, was printed around 1666, for, although no date appears on the title page, that year is given in the dedicatory letter. The alto and bass parts are lacking in our copy, although the extant parts (canto I, canto II, tenor, and organ) are in good condition. With the exception of the alto book in the former Prussian State Library in Berlin, now the Offentliche Wissenschaftliche Bibliothek zu Berlin, no other parts are known.
Grancini, Michel' Angelo. Novellifiori ecciesiastici concertati nel l'organo all'uso moderno da Michel' Angelo Grancini organista nella Metropolitana di Milano, divisi in Messa, Salmi, Motetti, Magnificat, & Letanie della Madonna a quattro voci. Opera nona dedicata al...Sign. Aless. Cattaneo Albignani. In Milano: appresso Giorgio Rolla, 1643.
This set is complete, consisting of canto, alto, tenor, bass, and organ. Two other copies are known: one at the Liceo Musicale in Bologna, the other at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.
Grancini, Michel' Angelo. Musica ecclesiastica da capella a quatro voci divisa in messe, motetti, magnificat et letanie, con il Te Deum laudamus, & Pange lingua gloriosi.Aggiontovi il basso continuo à beneplacito per l'organo. Opera decima di Michel' Angelo Grancini. Milano: G. Rolla, 1645.
Eitner omits this opus in his list of Grancini's works, going from Opus 9 to Opus 11, and, since other bibliographers likewise do not mention this work, we may assume that ours is a unique copy. Only the canto partbook is lacking. The other four books are in good condition, although a few wine stains appear on the bass part. This compilation is dedicated to Cardinal Monti, Archbishop of Milan.
Grancini, Michel' Angelo. Il sesto libro de sacri concenti [sic] à due, trè, e quattro voci di Michel' Angelo Grancini . . . Opera duodecima. Milano: G. Rolla, 1646.
Our copy consists of three voice partbooks: canto, alto, and bass. The tenor, and possibly an organ part, are lacking, though it is a bit difficult to determine whether there was originally an organ accompaniment. The vocal parts seem complete in themselves, but it was customary during this time to add an organ. The British Museum possesses a tenor partbook; otherwise the work is unknown.
Grossi, Giovanni Antonio. Il terzo libro de concerti ecclesiastici à 2, 3, è 4 voci ed'alcuni con sinfonie di D. Gio. Antonio Grossi.. . . Opera VII... . Milano: fratelli Camagni .
Although Grossi is known to have been a priest and the successor to Grancini as maestro di cappella at the Duomo in Milan from 1669 to 1684, we have little information about him. Our copy of the Terzo libro lacks the bass partbook but contains the canto, alto, tenor, and organ. It is obviously of extreme rarity, since Eitner does not mention it. Only a Messe by Grossi is listed in the bibliographies.
Ripalta, Joannes Dominicus. Missa, Psalmi ad vesperas, Magnificat, Motecta, etPsalmorum modulationes qui octonibus vocibus concinuntur. . . . Mediolani: ap. August. Tradatum, 1604.
In spite of the lack of the tenor part in the second chorus, Ripalta's work is interesting as an example of the early Baroque polychoral style, involving two choruses rather than one. This style had earlier been developed at St. Mark's in Venice, and after some years had spread into general usage in other cities. In our set are eight partbooks: Primus chorus, consisting of canto, alto, tenor, bass, and a partidura [sic] for organ; and Secundus chorus, consisting of canto, alto, and bass, with the tenor lacking.
Tresti, Flaminio. Messe a quattro voci. . . . Libro primo, Con il basso continuo perl'organo. . . . Milano: F. Lomazzo, 1613.
Tresti, who was born in Lodi in the mid-sixteenth century, was organist in the church of San Pietro di Bergolio in Alexandria. He is known for a number of volumes of madrigals and miscellaneous sacred songs. Only two copies of the 1613 Messe have been located: an incomplete copy with the tenor lacking in the Liceo Musicale in Bologna, and our complete copy containing five partbooks.
Turati, Antonio Maria. Primi fiori del Giardino musicale del Sigr. Antonio Maria Turati. . . Milano: per gli heredi di G. Rolla & C. Camagno, 1651.
Turati started his musical career as a choirboy, later becoming a priest and an organist. From 1642 until his death in 1650 he was maestro di cappella at the Duomo in Milan, and one of his successors was Grancini, noted above. After his death the pieces in the "First Blossoms of the Musical Garden of Turati" were collected by a pupil, Agostino Guerrieri, who dedicated the work to Marcellino Airoli. The library of the Liceo Musicale in Bologna, a particularly rich collection, possesses a complete copy. Ours lacks the canto.
Vecchi, Orfeo. La Donna vestita di sole, coronata di stelle, calcante la luna, in 21Madrigali. . . Milano: S. Tini, & G. F. Besozzi, 1602.
Vecchi was born in Milan in the middle of the sixteenth century and died in 1604. After 1598 he was the maestro di cappella of Maria della Scala in Milan. He achieved fame as a writer of Masses, motets, sacred songs, and madrigals. This collection of madrigals is not noted by bibliographers, and the only description of it, based upon our copy, is by Alfred Einstein (La Bibliofilia, Vol. 11, 1933). The work is a series of musical settings for the symbol of the Virgin Mulier amicta Sole & in capite ejus Corona stellarum duodecim, et Luna sub pedibus ejus. The madrigals, arranged in the customary Renaissance grouping of twenty-one to the volume, are in three sections as follows: "The Twelve Stars in the Crown," "Two Madrigals of the Virgin," and "Seven Madrigals."
The Olschki Collection is predominantly Milanese, only one set of books having been published in another city, Rome. The two most prominent printers, Giorgio Rolla and Carlo Camagno, were famous for their work, although their art is possibly not as beautiful as that of some of the earlier Venetians. Of particular interest musically are the works of Turati, Grancini, and Grossi, who represent three generations of chapel masters at the Duomo. A study of their music, plus the compositions in the rest of the collection, would be interesting in gaining a cross-section view of the seventeenth-century sacred practices in Milan.
In addition to the Olschki Collection there are three sets of partbooks of some interest.
Cazzati, Maurizio. Salmi per tutti l'anno a otto voci. Brevi, e commodi per cantare con uno, ò due organi, e senza ancora se piace. Opera vigessima prima. Bologna, Giacomo Monti, 1681.
Cazzati was born in Parma. He served as maestro di cappella in churches, academies, and courts in Mantua, Ferrara, Bergamo, and Bologna from 1641 to the time of his death sometime after 1677. The organo primo part which we have at the Sibley Music Library was purchased in 1954 from Reichner. It is bound in paper and is from the second edition of the work.
Malgarini, Federico. Motetti a una, due, tre et quattro voci col basso continuo perl'organo fatti da diversi musicisti servitori de! Signor Duca di Mantoria, e racolti daFederico Malgarini. .. . Venetia: G. Vincenti, 1618.
The composers whose motets appear in this anthology are Alessandro Ghivizani, Malgarini, Francesco Dognazzi, Lorenzo Sansci, Ottavio Bargnani, Giulio Cardi, Giovanni Battista Sacchi, Anselmo Rossi, Simpliciano Mazzuchi (organista in Santa Barbara), Pandolfo Grandi, Oratio Rubini, R.P. Amante Franzoni (maestro di cappella di Santa Barbara). Only one other complete copy is known. Ours was obtained from Liepmannssohn in 1935 and consists of four paper-bound partbooks in a cardboard case.
Metallo, Grammatico. . . . Del Metallo Ricercari a due voci. Per sonare & cantare.Nuovamente ristampati, coreti, et di nova agiunta accresciuti. Venetia: Apresso Alessandro Vincenti, 1665.
No complete copy is extant. Our partbook for canto is from the fourth issue of the work, the original having been printed by Amadino in Venice. This was acquired in 1942 from H. Kraus and, interestingly enough, it is one of the most notable examples of poor printing that we possess in our library! The faulty alignment of type and the uneven inking make for a slovenly and inartistic effect, which is a sad contrast to the fine works of a printer like Gardano; but in Baroque printing, as in anything else, there had to be poor craftsmen as well as artists.
A second type of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century music to be printed in partbooks was the madrigal, a product of the sixteenth-century Renaissance. The madrigal came into popularity in Italy about 1530 and retained its hold upon the public for nearly a century. Literally hundreds of partbooks were printed, and nearly every composer who had anything whatsoever to do with Italian music wrote madrigals.
A madrigal can be simply defined as a setting for several voices of a lyric poem, usually dealing with the subject of courtly love. The text could be in sonnet form or in a more casual form known simply as "madrigal verse," in which the lines (generally from four to sixteen in number) contained seven or eleven syllables each and the rhyme scheme was free. Poets like Petrarch (selections from the sonnets to Laura), Ariosto, Sannazaro, and Tasso were popular with the composers, although nearly every aspiring poet wrote madrigal texts. Many times a composer would find himself obliged to set unworthy lines to music out of sheer courtesy to versifying friends, so that a general characteristic of the volumes of madrigals printed in the Renaissance was the mixture of the most commonplace doggerel and the most beautiful poetic gems set to music with equal care.
No one city was the center of the madrigal tradition, for partbooks were printed everywhere. The songs were popular in academies where lively discussions on matters of poetry and music were spiced with singing. They were also in demand in the princely houses, where good music was a sequel to good dining. Although in the beginning only men performed madrigals, women began to join in the singing toward the end of the century. In fact, some women became so famous as madrigal virtuose that composers had to cater to them by writing coloratura passages into their voice parts.
The Sibley Music Library possesses nine unusual sets of madrigal partbooks from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, some of them unique and most of them complete.
Montella, Giovanni Domenico . . . Settimo libro de madrigali a cinque voci di Gio.Domenico Montella napolitano. Napoli: Gio. Sottile, 1605 [colophon reads: Appresso Gio Battista Sottile. 1604].
Some confusion exists as to the birth and death dates of Montella. He was a lutenist in the Royal Chapel in Naples. Some authorities claim that he was dead by 1601 or 1602, but a dedicatory letter written in 1604 and supposedly signed by him refers to "my madrigals for four voices," which certainly belies that opinion. In any case, writers appear to agree that he did not survive the first decade of the seventeenth century. Among his published works are eight books of madrigals for five voices, of which the present work is the seventh. The British Museum possesses the only complete copy known. Our copy contains the quinto and tenor parts which are unbound, although they must at one time have been bound; holes from stitching are to be seen along the thin spine of both partbooks, which the library acquired from Reichner in 1954.
Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi. Il primo libro di madrigali a quatro voci di Gio. Pierluigi da Pallestrina, cantore nella Capella di N.S. In Rome; Per Valerio & Luisi Dorici, 1555.
Palestrina was primarily a composer of religious music but, like most composers of his time, he also wrote madrigals. Our canto partbook is from the first edition of the four-voiced madrigals, which is not noted by Eitner. It is a curious book, for it contains sixteen madrigals instead of the twenty-eight accounted for in the other editions, and the numbering of the pieces is confused. An attempt has been made by a previous owner to correct the numbering in ink. Our copy was acquired in 1929 through Gottschalk and was a part of the Wolffheim Library.
Quartieri, Pietro Paolo. Madrigali di Pietro Paulo Quartieri Romano à cinque voci. Roma: Ad instanza di Ascanio, & Gierolamo Donangeli, Appresso Francesco Coattini, 1592.
There is very little information concerning Quartieri. Both Eitner and Gerber quote Scipione Cerreto, who names him as one of the leading composers around 1600—a statement which means nothing except that Cerreto knew of him. He is credited with three publications: his present book of madrigals, a book of madrigals by Roy (see below) which he "engineered" in 1591, and a Danish collection entitled Giardino novo (Copenhagen, 1606) in which he is represented by two pieces. He was associated with music in Rome and it is likely that he was born there.
Our copy is complete, with the five partbooks: canto, alto, tenor, bass, and quinto. These are bound together in one quarto volume, with a gilt coat of arms stamped on both leather covers. It is a beautiful book, acquired in 1942 from Ranschburg. Only one other copy, that in Westminster Abbey, is known.
Roy, Bartolomeo. Madrigali a cinque voci di Bartolomeo Roy, da Pietropaulo Quartieri Romano raccolti, & dali in luce. . . .Libro Primo. In Roma: Ad instanza di Ascanio, & Gierolamo Donangeli, Appresso Francesco Coattini, 1591.
Although Roy's works appear quite often in collections of both sacred and secular vocal music, little is known of his life. He was a Roman or a Neapolitan, if not by birth, at least by musical association. In 1582 he was a musician in Rome and in 1585 maestro di cappella of the Viceroy of Naples. The earliest mention of him in print is in 1574, when two of his madrigals were included in Gardano's Quarto libro delle Muse. In 1591 Quartieri undertook to have a book of Roy's madrigals printed; the result was the present set. Roy's madrigals and some sacred pieces appeared in several other collections dated as late as 1614.
The Sibley Music Library copy is complete, with the five partbooks bound together in one volume and, like the Quartieri book, bearing a gilt coat of arms stamped on either cover. The small quarto volume obviously belonged in the same library as the Quartieri. Eitner does not give a complete bibliographical entry for this work, and we assume that ours is the unique copy. It was acquired in 1941 from Quaritch.
Scaramella, Bernardino. Il primo libro de madrigali a cinque voci di BernardinoScaramella di Palena. . . . Venetia: Appresso Giacomo Vincenti, 1591.
Scaramella is unknown except for this set of madrigals, of which we have the only known copy. It originally belonged to the Huth Library in London and bears a small bookplate from that collection. All five partbooks are bound together in a volume of handsome tooled leather by F. Bedford. The library purchased the set from Ranschburg in 1945,
Striggio, Alessandro. Il primo libro de madrigali a cinque voci, novamente per Antonio Gardano con nova gionta ristampato. Venetia: Appresso di Antonio Gardano, 1564.
Striggio was a prominent musician who was born in Mantua in 1535 and died there on September 22, 1587. He was known to have been a fine violist as well as a composer. About 1560 he began his service with Cosimo de Medici in Florence, and in 1574 he was at the court at Mantua. The original publication of the first book of five-voiced madrigals is unknown. The book, containing forty-five madrigals, went
through many reprintings, of which this is one of the earliest. Reprints of 1560 and 1566 are listed in bibliographies, but this one of 1564 does not appear. We may assume that our copy, acquired in 1939 from Haas, is unique. The complete partbooks are bound together in a small oblong paper volume. Although there are small holes in the last pages of the tenor part and some leaves are slightly water-stained, the music itself is completely readable and is an excellent example of the beautiful printing of Gardano.
Striggio, Alessandro. Il secondo libro da madrigali a cinque voci di M. Allessandro Striggio . . . Nuovamente posto in luce. Vineggia: Appresso Girolamo Scotto, 1570.
Our copy is one of two known complete sets of thirty-two madrigals in five parts; the other is at the Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna. Two incomplete sets are extant. Acquired in 1939 from Haas, our five partbooks are bound together in a small quarto volume with flowered paper covers. The printing is beautiful, showing the accurate work of Scotto, another famous Venetian publisher.
Striggio, Alessandro. Il secondo libro de madrigali a sei voci di M. Alessandro Striggio . . . Nuovamente posti in luce. Vinegia: Appresso Girolamo Scotto, 1571.
Two other complete copies of this work, the original printing of the thirty-one six-voiced madrigals, exist: one in Vienna, the other in Bologna. Our copy was purchased from Haas in 1939. It is bound in colored paper.
Il Verso, Antonio. Il primo libro de' madrigali a cinque voci. Nuovamente dato in luce. Palermo. [no publisher] .
Il Verso was a Sicilian, born around 1560. He was a pupil (1581-84) of Pietro Vinci, by whom he was influenced. He was active until 1619, the date of his last book of madrigals. His permanent residence was Palermo in Sicily, although he must also have spent considerable time in Venice, since he signed dedicatory letters in that city. Some fifteen volumes of madrigals by him are known.
Our madrigal set is the only complete one known. The tenor part alone is found in Wolfenbüttel. The five partbooks at the Sibley Music Library are bound in a small quarto of tooled leather by F. Bedford and were the property of the Huth Collection before they were sold to us by Ranschburg in 1942.
Not only does the Sibley Music Library collection of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian partbooks show the basic styles of composition but it provides a sampling of the music printers' art as well. Nearly all of the significant music publishers of Venice, Milan, and Rome are represented. The scholar can see some of the most beautiful examples of double impression printing (Petrucci) and single impression printing (Gardano) as well as the ordinary products of the printers' craft (Coattini, Lomatio, etc.).
Although our library may not equal a collection like that of the Liceo Musicale in Bologna in the number of partbooks we own, it is apparent that our scholars can find an excellent sampling of musical composition, some of the pieces being famous, others obscure; some traditional, others curious; some great masterpieces, others trivia; but all interesting.