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A musical accompaniment to Petrarchan lezioni at the Accademia Fiorentina.

In its early years the members of the Accademia fiorentina (founded in 1541) seem to have divided their interest between Dante and Petrarch. Florentine musicians were drawn more to Petrarch than to Dante; among them was Matteo Rampollini, who had written madrigals for the wedding of Cosimo I de' Medici in 1539. Rampollini's one published volume, Il primo libro de la musica [...] sopra di canzoni del divin poeta Francesco Petrarca (undated; c. 1550), contains settings of seven complete Petrarchan canzoni, the only collection of its kind in the whole of the madrigal repertory. Rampollini's poetic choices and the nature of the music he wrote suggest a close, if undocumented, relationship with Florentine literary academicians.

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The reign of Cosimo I as Duke of Florence, then Grand Duke of Tuscany, began early in 1537 with a series of tentative steps inside a narrow local space. (1) But Cosimo, a successful ruler though not a particularly attractive figure in middle age, must have been a remarkable young man. He and his advisers moved quickly and on the whole sure-footedly to legitimize and solidify his position, so that by the summer of 1539, when he married Eleanora de Toledo, the twenty-year-old Cosimo could, by means of a series of splendid wedding festivities, advertise himself to the world as head of the Medici family, hereditary duke of Florence, and proud husband in an important dynastic alliance. (2)

This event, the first in a series of Medici dynastic celebrations that continued through the Cinquecento and well into the seventeenth century, was amply publicized at the time and has often been described by modern scholars (Nagler; Minor and Mitchell). Of interest here is the role played in it by several Florentine men of letters and a couple of local musicians.

The chief contemporary account of the whole event, clearly an officially sanctioned one, was published by Pierfrancesco Giambullari in the form of a letter addressed to Giovanni Bandini, Florentine oratore to the court of Emperor Charles V. Giambullari wasted no time; his 170-page book, dated 12 August 1539, recounts events from the arrival of Eleanora at Livorno on June 22 to the last entertainment on August 3. He was, however, mainly concerned with the literary-musical features of banquets given on July 6 and 9.

On the first of these evenings a series of polyphonic musical settings of texts proclaiming the loyalty of Tuscan cities--Pisa, Volterra, Arezzo, Cortona, Pistoia--was performed. The poetic/musical frame for this series consisted of an introductory canzone, sung by the nine Muses, celebrating the ducal marriage; a song addressed to Cosimo by "Flora"; and a closing piece proclaiming the loyalty of the Tiber, presumably standing in for papal Rome, to Cosimo, a remarkable bit of optimistic propaganda considering the generally hostile attitude of the Farnese papacy toward the Medici. (3) A larger frame was provided by the master of ceremonies for the evening, an actor-singer impersonating Apollo, who declaimed to the lyre--that is, half recited, half sang--a lengthy series of ottava rima stanzas praising the ducal couple and introducing the other performers. (4)

We are told by Giambullari that these stanzas were the work of "nostro" Giovanbattista Gelli. As we shall see, Giambullari and Gelli were close literary colleagues and friends, both active in the Accademia Fiorentina during the first decade of its existence. The opening stanza of Gelli's Apollonian effusions shows that he was writing workaday verse, innocent of Petrarchan aspirations:
 Dal quarto Ciel' dove co'l mio dorato
 Carro, girando al mondo io do la luce,
 Vengo hor tra voi: da quello amor tirato,
 Ch'io portai sempre valoroso DUCE
 Alla nobile stirpe, onde sei nato;
 C'hoggi sovr' Arno piu ch'ogni altra luce:
 Et tien' per suo vessillo & caro segno
 Le verdi fronde del mio sacro legno. (5)


The stanzas were printed in the Venetian publication of the music composed for the Medici wedding; Giambullari notes disapprovingly that the verses appeared "come elle naquero, non riviste, non corrette, non intere, & con poco satisfatione di chi le feci." (6)

The evening of July 9 was devoted to a performance of Antonio Landi's comedy Il Commodo, with intermedi the texts of which were written by Giovanbattista Strozzi (both of these men were early members of the Accademia Fiorentina). As with his earlier account Giambullari gives the texts of play and intermedi complete, and is careful to cite their authors. He never says anything about the music composed for either of these two evenings, though he probably had a direct role in shaping the musical part of the 1539 festivities. His only reference to the music, which was published at the same time as his account, is a disapproving notice, cited earlier, about the way the poetic texts were printed in the music volume, and the remark that since the names of the composers are given there he need not mention them in his account. (7)

It would not have fatigued Giambullari unduly to record the names of the composers; there were only five of them. The bulk of the music--a motet and a madrigal for the program of July 6, and all of the music for the play on July 9--was written by Francesco Corteccia, the leading Florentine musician of the day and a loyal Medicean who for years headed the chapels of the Duomo and Baptistry. Two "city" madrigals were written by Costanzo Festa, two by Matteo Rampollini, two by Baccio Moschini, and one by Giampiero Masacone. All except Festa, a papal singer resident in Rome, were Florentines. (8) If, as seems likely, the musicians were chosen and commissioned by Corteccia, it is worth noting that Moschini was organist at the Duomo and that Masacone, Rampollini, and Corteccia himself all had connections with the Medici church of San Lorenzo, as did Giambullari, a canon there. Giambullari must have been in contact with these musicians, among whom Corteccia is known to have written music for the Accademia Fiorentina, and Rampollini, I will suggest, may also have done so. Perhaps Giambullari supplied the texts written for the occasion by Gelli and Strozzi, leaving to Corteccia the selection and assignment of the other musicians.

In November of 1540, barely a year after the Medici wedding, a brigata of Florentine men of letters concerned with the study of Tuscan speech and with Florence's literary heritage met to form an academy, calling it the Umidi. (9) Their first leader, Goro della Pieve, was given the task of reading Petrarch in private sessions attended by the small group of founding members. (10) By December of 1540 Pierfrancesco Giambullari, together with his friend Cosimo Bartoli, had become members, and early in 1541 Giovanbattista Gelli and Antonio Landi had joined. At this point the academicians vowed to give, as evidence of their devotion to the vernacular, readings "in Toscano" of every Latin author, the members themselves to supply the translations (Rilli xviii). Whether realistic or not, this aim shows the strength of the Umidi's devotion to the questione della lingua.

Cosimo I, of course, knew of these academic activities and had decided to take them under the wing of ducal patronage. On March 25, 1541 the group, now renamed the Accademia Fiorentina, was reconstituted with Medicean support and given the stipulation that members should devote themselves to reading Dante and Petrarch, with the goal of "adding to the grace and beauty of their [Florentine] language." (11)

From the beginning there was strong emphasis in the new Academy on Dante. The first reading under the first consul, Lorenzo Benivieni, was given by Gelli, on a passage from the Paradiso beginning with the highly apposite line "La lingua ch'io parlai fu tutta spenta." (12) Gelli gave other Dante readings, as did Giambullari and Bartoli; all three published books of lezioni on Dante. The academicians did not, however, neglect Petrarch. From the beginning there were public and private readings of individual sonnets and canzoni, with commentary on phrases and single words as well as discussion of whole poems. (13) Among the earliest who read on Petrarch were Giovanni Cervoni and Bernardo Segni (both in 1542), and Pietro Orsilago and Niccolo Martelli (both in 1544); the latter commented on at least three sonnets, a sestina, and the canzone "Lasso me ch'io non so in qual parte pieghi" (Canzoniere 70). (14)

Benedetto Varchi, who on his return to Florence joined the Accademia and became consul in 1545, gave a series of twenty-two lezioni, divided into a set of public readings on Dante and one of private sessions on Petrarch (Salvini 42-43). This suggests a division of approach in Florentine culture of the period, perhaps a hierarchy of values favoring Dante; it may also indicate a concession to Florentine feelings on the part of the Bembist follower, Varchi. Not everyone was convinced; Alfonso de' Pazzi, who gave, c. 1547, several private readings on Petrarch, "con sua non piccola lode, ed applauso," was an inveterate foe of Varchi, attacking him in several sonnets. (15) Some of Pazzi's concerns were clothed in musical language; they will be discussed later.

One way to raise esteem of Petrarch to the level of that enjoyed by Dante was to discuss his ideas as well as his language. Gelli tried to do just this in a lezione given at the Accademia on 29 May, 1549 and published shortly thereafter. (16) Beginning with a capsule history of Florentine painting (from Cimabue to Michelangelo), which he sees as reviving "tre cento anni sono" after a long death, Gelli reflects that poetry, beginning with Dante, returned to life, in both subject and language, at the same time. Dante is rightly to be praised for this; but why, Gelli asks, should Petrarch be lauded by everyone "in una medesima bocca" only for his "bellezza et leggiadria" of language? What about his "dottrina"? Gelli proceeds to discuss Petrarch's subject matter, choosing a pair of linked sonnets, "Per mirar Polyclito a prova fiso" and "Quando giunse a Simon l'alto concetto" (Canzoniere 77-78). In these verses Petrarch discusses a portrait of Laura made in heaven by "il mio Simon"--that is, Simone Martini--and brought, its celestial character intact, to earth. These poems are indeed of almost Dantesque density of concept and image; their singling out by Gelli shows something of the care with which he approached Petrarch's verse.

The Accademia appears to have taken some interest in the visual arts. Among its original members were "Il Pilucca sculture, detto lo Scoglio" (Rilli xviii). Bronzino became a member; he, along with Vasari, Cellini, and Ammanati, all at various times fellow members, attended the funeral services for Michelangelo in 1564 (Rilli 173-78). Vasari and Cosimo Bartoli were good friends; the latter was among a group of the artist's associates who saw the first edition of the Vite through the press. Members of the Accademia, among them Gelli (see above for his brief history of Florentine art) must have known something about the Vite's contents before its publication in 1550. Bartoli himself introduced conversations about architecture, sculpture, and painting into his Ragionamenti accademici, published in 1567 but written over a period of at least twenty years prior to its appearance in print. (17)

In this same work Bartoli introduced a rather extensive conversation (III, fols. 34v-39) on music, with attention concentrated on Florentine musicians. There is no direct reference in it to the Accademia Fiorentina, but one of the interlocutors is Pierfrancesco Giambullari and the other two, Lorenzo Antinori and Pietro da Ricasoli, were clearly fellow academicians. (18) A possible reference to music-making and its effect on members of the Accademia may be found in Carlo Lenzoni's In difesa della lingua fiorentina, published in 1556 through Bartoli's efforts after the author's death, and dedicated by Bartoli, like so many other books by members in this early period of the Accademia, to Cosimo I. (19) Here a group including Bartoli, who was an interlocutor, met to walk, hear Mass, then adjourn to an unnamed place to eat and listen to music, song accompanied by superb playing from Antonio di Lucca and "il Trombone." People passing by the room came in to listen, and all received a double benefit:

affected by the food, the hour, and [...] charmed by the sweet harmony of the music, they went lightly to sleep--if sleep it can be called, this caressing narcotic trance in which one hears and understands everything. (20)

As soon as the music stopped all awakened, fresh and joyful, and all moved to another room to hear Griambullari speak on "la difesa di Dante." We can only hope that Lenzoni--or perhaps this is Bartoli's voice--meant the passage as a Neoplatonic evocation of the powers of music.

I have written in detail elsewhere about Bartoli's discussion of music. In this context it will suffice to point out that Giambullari is given a lot to say about music, something Bartoli as his close associate would not have ventured to do if the former had no interest in the subject, and that all the Florentine musicians who contributed to the 1539 festivities are mentioned approvingly in Bartoli's text. A few words suffice for Moschini and Masacone. (21) Rampollini and especially Corteccia receive more attention and will require separate notice here.

Bartoli's discussion of older and contemporary composers includes mention of a number of internationally known figures, saving Florentines for the end:

L[orenzo] And what of our Florentines? Have you nothing to say of them?

P[ietro] I will let Pierfrancesco speak of Francesco Corteccia; since they are both canons in the same church [San Lorenzo] and continuously talk with each other on artistic matters, he can say more than I.

G[iambullari] In order that I may not appear to speak too flatteringly, I will simply say that we have so many of his compositions that these speak for themselves. Beyond this, the many talented and worthy students he has produced during the fifteen years he has been His Excellence's maestro di cappella show how distinguished he is in his profession. I will add that there is one thing that you, not being in constant touch with him, may not know.

L. Tell us, please.

G. Know that I believe that he is as excellent a theorist as any who practice this profession. (22)

From this it is clear that Giambullari must have been in close touch with Corteccia as the 1539 wedding festivities were planned, and had known him for years. Corteccia is called Cosimo I's maestro di cappella by 1540; if he is being exact, Bartoli's "fifteen years" might date this passage as written ca. 1555. Whether Corteccia was a theorist--that is, a thinker on musical matters, an important attainment to academicians--we do not know; no treatise in his name survives. He was a prolific composer of madrigals, especially in his earlier years; and though he published relatively little sacred music, he was certainly an active church musician. (23)

Corteccia's madrigals set occasional and currently popular verse, including at its best stanzas by Ariosto and poems of G. B. Strozzi but for the most part ephemeral stuff. (24) Having composed some of Gelli's poems for the 1539 Medici wedding, he must have been acquainted with that academician. Corteccia became a member of the Accademia Fiorentina in 1541, and there is evidence that he was known to other members of the academy. (25) In 1544 he was commissioned to write madrigals for the intermedi of Francesco d'Ambra's Il furto, a comedy the performance of which preoccupied many academicians in that year. (26) Finally, in 1544-47 Corteccia published three volumes of madrigals, all dedicated to Cosimo I and all bearing on their title pages the Medici-Toledo arms, proof that the Venetian publishers received Medici approbation and, presumably, financial support. They appeared at the same time as a number of books by Giambullari, Gelli, and other academicians, many of these also dedicated to Cosimo.

There is nothing to suggest that Corteccia would have been especially interested in lezioni on Petrarch. His fellow Florentine composer Matteo Rampollini was not just interested but seriously committed to Petrarch; he published a volume containing settings of seven complete Petrarchan canzoni. (27) This set of partbooks has drawn a certain amount of scholarly attention for the negative reason that it is undated (various dates ranging from 1540 to 1560 have been proposed; see below). Its contents are extraordinary. It was unusual for a composer to set a complete canzone, though there are a few examples from this period: Cipriano de Rore published a setting of "Vergine bella che di sol vestita" in 1548, and Lasso's "Standomi un giorno" appeared in 1557. (28) But a collection of seven such settings is unique, and calls out for explanation.

Bartoli speaks briefly of Rampollini directly after his notice on Corteccia:

P. Tell me a bit about M. Mxatteo Rampollini, whom we no longer have with us, since he has acquired a wonderful reputation, especially among foreigners.

G. Certainly one cannot say that he is not a worthy figure.

L. I remember that the last time I was in Rome, finding myself in the house of Bindo Altoviti, where there were gathered a number of the leading musicians in Rome at that time, that talk came up about his [Rampollini's] compositions and that they were much praised.

P. One cannot deny his competence, that in composition and also in revising (rimettere) he is valiant, quick, and clever. (29)

Thanks to the research of Frank D'Accone we know somewhat more about Rampollini. (30) Born in 1497, Matteo Rampollini must have shown early and unusual musical gifts; in 1515 he was hired to teach chant and figural (polyphonic) music at San Lorenzo, where he later served as a chaplain in 1530-34. He joined the choir at the Duomo and became chapelmaster there in 1520. He was replaced in this position by Philippe Verdelot, Florence's most distinguished musician in the 1520s, but Rampollini remained in the chapel and served as maestro during Verdelot's absences. Not much is known about him in the years following the establishment of the Medici principato, but he must have been living in or near Florence in 1539 when he contributed two madrigals to the Medici wedding festivities. In 1547 he and his brother Giovanbattista, who taught music to the children of Cosimo I, are recorded as renting a house in the Santa Croce neighborhood. He may be the priest "Matteo" who died in Florence in December 1553. (31) Other than the Medici madrigals and a few pieces printed in later anthologies, his only known compositions are the Petrarchan canzoni of his undated Primo libro de la Musica.

Compared to Verdelot and Corteccia, Rampollini seems very obscure. Yet he was known as a composer, admired in the discriminating group of musicians gathered around the Roman banker (and Florentine expatriate) Bindo Altoviti (Bernstein 207-13). That he was known to Cosimo Bartoli, and through the Medici wedding to Gelli and Giambullari, raises the question of whether he could have had some kind of connection with the Accademia Fiorentina. The contents of his Primo libro strongly suggest such a connection; for one thing, it is hard to imagine Rampollini having composed settings of seven complete canzoni--a total of 49 stanzas--without some kind of sustained patronage lasting over a period of years.

Rampollini's volume is dedicated to Cosimo I, just as Corteccia's madrigal volumes had been. It reads as follows:

Having been thinking to myself of to whom I could dedicate this volume of my music, I resolved that I could not do better than mark such a work as belonging to your Illustrious Excellence, the glory not just of our homeland but of all the world, and the supporter of all men of distinction. Well may all who have some bent for creating works of virtu rejoice in living in your time. Thus I beg that you will do me the favor, when occasion can be found for it, of hearing some of my canzoni; your doing this will give me inspiration, in this bit of life that remains to me, for creating some more praiseworthy work. I know well that such lofty, sweet, and musical words deserve composition by the most excellent Josquin, Father of music; by Adriano, Giachetto, and others more worthy than I. Yet I have put myself to this task not out of presumption but moved by love for our Poet, incited by nature to accomplish it with little fatigue, for certainly these graceful and sweet words contain music within them. May your Excellence accept kindly this, my small gift, as a token to help you recall that I have been, am, will be, and if possible would be after death your most humble and faithful servant. (32)

Though he humbly says he is unworthy to set texts that call for the greatest composers--Josquin des Prez, Adrian Willaert, and Giachetto (probably Jacquet of Mantua), none of whom set Petrarchan cycles--Rampollini is clearly proud of his work, and hopes that Cosimo will hear some of it. His emphasis on the high level and musicality of the text is suggestive of an academician's posture. He makes no mention of the circumstances of its composition or how long he labored over it (the "poca fatica" he says it cost him cannot be taken at face value), forcing us to speculate a bit about both.

The canzoni are not a random assemblage, but they do not add up to a larger cycle of Petrarchan works, and were surely composed separately--this may even be true of individual stanzas within cycles--and over a period of some years, perhaps as many as ten. (33) We should first try to fix, if only approximately, the date of the printed volume. When he wrote the dedication, Rampollini may, as he says, have felt old and near the end of his life, but he still hoped to compose more music and he surely expected his book to be published in his lifetime. Whether it was or not, we do not know, but its contents were complete and ready for publication well before his presumed death late in 1553. In his study of the music printer Jacques Moderne, publisher of Rampollini's work, Samuel Pogue gives typographical evidence for dating the book no earlier than 1545 and possibly as late as 1554; D'Accone agrees with this dating, and I believe their view should supplant earlier guesses about the book's date. (34) One bit of evidence not previously cited may be mentioned here: the Medici arms in the device on Rampollini's title page are encircled by a necklace and pendant of the Order of the Golden Fleece. Cosimo became a member of the Order in the late summer of 1545; this device could not have been used or even designed before that time, and Moderne in Lyons could hardly have had it before the following year. (35) Within the span 1546-1554, I would suggest the latter five years, though much of the music may have been composed earlier.

There is no evidence that Rampollini became a member of the Accademia Fiorentina. He could nonetheless have supplied music for its members, perhaps to complement Petrarchan lezioni. One such opportunity arose in 1542 when Bernardo Segni, known for his "many lezioni on Petrarch, recited by him to great applause," gave a final lecture on the canzone "Si e debile il filo a cui s'attene," which several other academicians had attempted to explicate. (36) "Si e debile" is the first canzone in Rampollini's volume; that it was at least partly composed by 1542 is proved by the presence of one of its stanzas, "Novo piacer che ne gl'uman'ingegni," in a musical anthology printed in that year. (37)

Evidence of this kind is lacking for the other canzoni in Rampollini's book. But the music itself, about which I cannot go into detail here, supports the notion that the composer treated the texts with special care, emphasizing clarity and correctness of declamation and setting the text with clear cadences at the ends of single lines or small groups of lines of text, almost as if to suggest that the poem could be sung in segments as it was being explicated. There are even some didactic touches, such as the unusual frequency of written accidentals and demonstrations of the workings of the mensural system, and of series of arithmetically indicated musical proportions. (38) Is it possible that Rampollini could have been teaching music to interested academicians as he assembled this volume?

Varchi's lezioni on Petrarch, given while he was consul in 1545, must have had an effect since no other lezioni were read during his consulate (Plaisance 167). They may have given inspiration for Rampollini to compose and perhaps to revise music already written (see Bartoli's remark that Rampollini was good at composition and also at revision of music). (39) Whether Varchi spoke on any of the canzoni set by Rampollini I do not know; but even if he did not have contact with the composer, I think he would have been sympathetic to the latter's aims. Varchi is known to have taken pleasure in polyphonic music, (40) and he may, while resident in the Veneto in the early 1540s, have encountered the Venetian vogue for Petrarchan musical settings by Willaert and others. But Varchi had to be careful; his known adherence to Bembist doctrine did not sit well with the linguistic campanilismo of a sturdy core of Florentine academicians, and he was often the object of personal literary attacks.

On the stated subject of music these came from Alfonso de' Pazzi, who posed as an exponent and defender of the Florentine improvisatory musical tradition, featuring "natural" singing and playing without dependence on the "artifice" of written notation. Pazzi opened the subject in 1544 with a general diatribe (signed by Pasquino Patritio Romano but surely the work of Pazzi), a condemnation of written music and all its practitioners, including "quel Babbuasso di Josquino" and even the harmless Corteccia, described as peering at a score over his "occhiali." (41) Pazzi was probably using music as a metaphorical way of attacking Bembists, defenders of Trecento written language as opposed to Florentines, who espoused use of living (current) Florentine speech. He repeated the musical motif in a sonnet directly attaching Varchi, opening with the lines, "Tu canti con le note, et con g'occhiale / Varchi, et vedi il riflesso, et non la luce." (42)

Varchi may not have taken Pazzi's verses seriously, but he was for a time in a vulnerable position, and in Florence the occasion may not have seemed at hand for publication of a volume of polyphonic settings of Petrarchan verse, composed by another bespectacled note-writer. After the reform of the Accademia in 1546-47, Cosimo I thinned its ranks and put some of his strongest supporters in control; others, like Pazzi, had to quiet down. (43) Varchi now emerged to give a funeral oration for Bembo and then to publish in Florence in 1548 a new edition of the Prose della volgar lingua, dedicated to Cosimo and with the Medici arms on its title page. This might well have given the impetus for Rampollini's volume, also dedicated to Cosimo and bearing the ducal arms, to be issued as a Florentine musical tribute to Petrarch and to Bembist ideas. (44)

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(1) On the beginning of Cosimo's reign see Albertini 201-11; 180-89.

(2) Eleanora was the second daughter of Don Pedro de Toledo, Viceroy of Naples and brother of the Duke of Alba.

(3) Spini, pt. 2, v: "Cosimo contro Paolo III," et passim.

(4) Apollo was carrying a lira and archetto, and Giambullari says that "soavemente sonando, canto" (36). If the role was performed by a Florentine improvvisatore, he could himself have accompanied his simple vocal line, perhaps alternating it with speech.

(5) Apparato et feste 37. The publisher's inclusion of these texts in the Canto partbook of the music print would have enabled its purchasers to perform Gelli's verses if they so desired.

(6) Apparato et feste 170-71. The stanzas are included in Minor and Mitchell, A Renaissance Entertainment.

(7) Apparato et feste 171: "[...] ma perche si leggono in esse [the music print] i nomi de loro compositori, mi tolgono la fatica di scrivergli alla S.V." The title of the music print is: Musiche fatte nelle nozze dello ill. Duca di Firenze il signor Cosimo de Medici et della ill. consorte sua mad. Leonora de Tolleto (Venice: Gardane, August 1539). Antonio Gardane, who was busy publishing volumes of Arcadelt madrigals in mid-1539, must have made a special effort to get this obviously commissioned wedding commemoration into print as quickly as possible. On Gardane's activities at this time see Mary S. Lewis, Antonio Gardano, vol. 1: 182-249.

(8) Festa had connections with the Strozzi family, in Florence; see Richard Agee. On Masacone, Fenlon and Haar 32-34, 132-36. Masacone entered the Accademia Fiorentina in 1541, and later in the 1540s was associated with the prominent academician Lorenzo Scala; see Plaisance 361-438, 410n. For Moschino see Haar 37-79, 62, 67-68. Rampollini will be discussed below.

(9) A full account of the Humidi and the early years of the Accademia Fiorentina is given in Plaisance, "Une Premiere affirmation."

(10) Rilli xviii. A list of the original members is given in De Gaetano 101.

(11) Salvini xx-xxi. On Cosimo's ideological and political concerns over the Accademia, see Sherberg.

(12) Salvini 2. The passage, Paradiso 26: 124ff., is about Adam speaking on the birth of language.

(13) In the years 1541-45, there are sixty-one recorded lezioni on Petrarch, twenty-nine on Dante. See Sherberg 27n.

(14) Salvini 17-18; Rilli 71-72. The canzone was popular with early madrigalists; individual stanzas were set by Bernardo Pisano (1520), Costanzo Festa (1537), Jacques Arcadelt and Giachet Berchem (both 1539).

(15) Rilli 167-69. On Pazzi's academic activities see Nosow.

(16) Il Gello Accademico fiorentino, esp. 13-22.

(17) On these discussions see Haar 41-46. One of the Dante lectures was published by Antonfrancesco Doni.

(18) On Antinori and Ricasoli, see Haar 47-48.

(19) Bartoli wrote the dedication to Cosimo; he also includes an oration given in the Accademia on Lenzoni's death. Giambullari, apparently a co-editor, dedicates the book to Michelangelo.

(20) Lenzoni: "invitati dal cibo, & dall'hora [...] & allettati dalla Armonia, leggiermente si addormentarono; se dormir si chiama pero quel suave sonneferare, che ode e 'ntende cio che si fa" (38-39).

(21) Haar 62, 67-68. Of Moschini Bartoli says, "non e possibile che habbia cantato con piu grazia" (later, 65, 73, Moschini is highly praised as an organist). Masacone gets only the words: "se potrebbe lodare assai ser Giampiero se havessi avuto buona voce" (62)

(22) Haar 55: "L. Et de nostri qua di Firenze? voi non dite cosa alcuna. P. Di M. Francesco Corteccia lasciero io parlare qui a M. Pier Francesco, perche per essere Canonici in una medesima chiesa, & conversando virtuosamente del continovo insieme, ne sapra meglio parlare di me. G. Di lui accio che ei non paia che io lo faccia per adulazione, diro questo solo che ci sono horamai tante delle sue composizioni, che da per loro stesse la fanno conoscere, & oltre questo i tanti virtuosi & valenti scolari che egli ha fatti dapoi in qua che egli e maestro di Capella di sua eccellenzia che sia gia sono 15: anni, dimostrano quanto in questa sua professione egli sia valente: ma vi diro ben di lui una cosa che voi forse per non praticare tanto continovamente seco quanto ho fatto io, non la sapete. L. Dite di grazia. G. Sappiate che io credo certo che hoggi egli sia forse cosi gran Theorico, quanto qual si voglia altro che si eserciti in questa professione."

(23) See the work list of compositions in D'Accone, "Corteccia" vi, 508-09.

(24) Corteccia's madrigals include five Petrarch settings: the first quartet of the sonnet "Giunto m'Amor fra belle e crude braccia" (Canz. 171); "Nessun visse giamai" (332, seventh stanza); "S'honest' amor puo meritar mercede" (334, first quatrain); it might be worth noting that Rampollini set two canzoni, "Standomi un giorno" and "Solea de la Fontana" (323 and 331) from the same part of the Canzoniere as the two just listed; "Perch' io veggio et mi spiace" (72, ll. 61- 66); "A voi rivolgo il mio debile stile" (71, ll. 9-16). For further discussion of Corteccia's text choices see Howard Mayer Brown.

(25) Plaisance, "Une Premiere affirmation" 410, after Florence, Biblioteca Marucelliana, MS B III 52, fols. 2v-3. Masacone was admitted at the same time. For carnival of 1541 Corteccia wrote music (now lost?) for Niccolo Martelli's Canto delle fanti (Plaisance 420).

(26) The first performance of Il furto was on 9 November 1544; see Plaisance, "Une Premiere affirmation" (423).

(27) The title is Il Primo Libro de la Musica di M. Matteo Rampollini Excellente Musico Fiorentino sopra di alcune Canzoni Del Divin Poeta M. Francesco Petrarca. Impress' in Lione per Iacobo Moderno a' presso Nostra Dona di Confort (n.d.). The seven canzoni are 1) "Si e debile il filo a cui s'attene" (37); 2) "Se'l pensier che mi strugge" (125); 3) "Standom' un giorno sol' a la fenestra" (323); 4) "Solea de la fontana di mia vita" (331); 5) "Che debb'io far? che mi consigli Amore?" (268); 6) "Per che per mio destino" (73); 7) "Di pensier in pensier, di mont' in monte" (129).

(28) Jachet Berchem's setting of the complete Petrarchan sestina "A la dolce ombra de le belli frondi" (142) appeared in 1544.

(29) Haar 55-56: "P. Ditemi un poco non ci habbian noi ancora M. Mattio Rampollini, le composizioni del quale vi do mia fede che gli hanno acquistata una riputazione maravigliosa, & massime appresso a forestieri. G. Certamente e che egli non si puo dire se non che egli sia valente. L. Io mi ricordo la ultima volta che io fui in Roma, ritrovandomi un giorno in casa di M. Bindo Altoviti, dove erano assai Musici di primi che fussino in Roma in quei tempi, che e si venne a ragionare delle sue composizioni, che elle furono grandemente lodate. P. Ei non si puo negare la sufficienza sua, che certo, & nel comporre & nel rimettere ancora e valoroso, presto, & accorto."

(30) The biographical material given here is taken from D'Accone, "Matteo Rampollini," and D'Accone, ed. Matteo Rampollini.

(31) I have translated the opening of Bartoli's remarks on Rampollini to indicate that the musician was "no longer with us" ("non ci habbian noi ancora M. Mattio rampollini"). D'Accone translates this as: "don't we still have here M...." and speculates that Bartoli did not know of Rampollini's death ("Matteo Rampollini" 80).

(32) "Andando meco pensando a chi dedicar potessi questa mia Musica, Mi risolvei poi non poter meglio simile opera attribuire che a vostra Illustrissima Eccellentia honor non sol de la patria nostra ma di tutto el mondo, Rimuneratrice di tutti gli huomini virtuosi, Et ben si posson gloriare quelli che hanno qualche spirto intento a le virtu essersi trovati al tempo di quella: Per cio la priego che mi voglia fare tanto favore che quando al tempo ne conciedera si voglia degnare udirne alcuna di queste mia canzone: Il che facendo mi dara animo questo poco di vita che mi resta a seguitar simile opera laudabile. So ben che si alte dolce et Musical parole meritavono esser composte dal padre de la Musica lo eccellentissimo IOSQUINO & ADRIANO GIACHETO et altri piu valenti compositori che non sono io: Ma non come presumptuoso anzi affectionato al nostro Poeta mi sono messo a questa impresa incitato de la natura con poca fatica: che certamente si leggiadre e dolce parole hanno la Musica con esso' loco: vostra Eccellentia Illustrissima Accettera benignamente (questo mio picciol dono) come far suole ricordando a quella che io fui, sono, sara, et sel possibil fussi doppo morte suo humilissimo et fedelissimo servitore."

(33) Although there is a great deal of internal musical coherence among stanzas within each canzone, some stand out as individual, perhaps written singly. An example is no. 45, "Per alti monti," the second stanza of "Di pensier in pensier." The music for this stanza opens with a direct reference to an earlier setting, attributed mainly to Verdelot; Rampollini is clearly making a gesture toward his erstwhile colleague.

(34) Pogue 213-15; D'Accone, "Matteo Rampollini" 79. The conjectures (1540-41, 1545) in Einstein 136, 288, are logical but unconvincing. The late date of 1560 given by Poccianti has only its age to recommend it.

(35) Gibbons 77-102. Cosimo wears the insignia of the Golden Fleece in the late sixteenth-century equestrian statue of him in the Piazza della Signoria. The insignia appear in two windows in the Biblioteca Laurenziana in Florence; see Brogan, figs. 8-9.

(36) Rilli, Notizie letterarie 36; Salvini, Fasti consolari 18.

(37) Di diversi autori il primo libro di madrigali de diversi eccellentissimi autori [...] a quatro voci (Venice, 1542), no. 26. The piece is attributed to Arcadelt but it is Rampollini's setting.

(38) I do not accept D'Accone's interpretation, expressed both in his article on Rampollini and in the introduction to his edition, of Rampollini's use of accidentals, but he is right to emphasize this feature of the Petrarchan volume. At the end of his article D'Accone gives a facsimile of Rampollini's no. 10, "Pero ch'Amor mi sforza," which features a textbook collection of successive proportions.

(39) See above and n34.

(40) Nosow, "The Debate on Song" 208.

(41) Nosow, "The Debate on Song" 186-90, 216-19. The text is a "Pasquinata," a supposedly anonymous Roman broadsheet surviving in a Florentine source, Bibl. Naz. Cent. MS II, 1. l07 (Magl. VII, 46), fols. 177-79.

(42) Nosow, "The Debate on Song" 202.

(43) Plaisance, "Culture et politique" 184ff.

(44) Note Rampollini's reference, in his dedicatory letter, to Josquin and other musicians "con le note," suggesting that the composer knew of Pazzi's attacks, may even have felt himself included in them. Rampollini's music volume concludes with a setting, probably not by him but by Hubert Naich, of Bembo's "Che giova saettar un che si muore" (from Gli Asolani). Could this have been inserted into the volume--which has all the marks of having been published with the support of Cosimo I's regime--as a reference, through the recently deceased Bembo, to Varchi and the attacks of Alfonso de' Pazzi on dependence upon written music (and language)?
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Publication:Annali d'Italianistica
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:4EUIT
Date:Jan 1, 2004
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