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“With various and diverse manners of invention and harmony”

"His Highness" Francisco Gonzaga of Mantua

“Monteverdi is having printed an a capella Mass for six voices, of much study and labour, since he was obliged to manipulate continually, in every note through all the parts, always further reinforcing, the eight motifs that are in the motet In illo tempore of Gombert. And he is also having printed together [with it] some vesper psalms of the Virgin with various and diverse manners of invention and harmony, and everything over a cantus firmus, with the intention of coming to Rome this autumn to dedicate them to His Holiness. He is also in the midst of preparing a group of madrigals for five voices, which will consist of  three laments: that of Arianna, still with its usual soprano, the lament of Leandro and Hero by Marini, the third, given him by His Highness, about a shepherd whose nymph has died. The words [are] by the son of Count Lepido Agnelli on the death of the little Roman [the singer Caterina Martinelli].”

From a letter written by Monteverdi’s vice maestro di capella at Mantua, Don Bassano Casola to Cardinal Ferdinando Gonzaga in Rome, dated July 16, 1610. The eight motifs from the Gombert motet are actually ten in number.  The madrigals would form the sixth book  published in 1614.

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