Canzona No. 2 from Tre Canzone: "Hor che'l ciel e la terra"
LKMP R01598/ HL 304078
0.0.0.0: 0.0.0.0: Timp.Perc(3): Str (at least 66442)
The term "canzona" refers to a genre of Italian insturmental music first made popular in the sixteenth century where the composers either merely arranged or completely transformed French chansons, a form of song. In a similar fashion, Claude Baker's "Tre Canzone" provides reimaginings of three vocal compositions form the late Middle Ages, Renaissance, and early Baroque. The preexisting pieces form both the structural and programmatic bases of the composition and serve as points of departure for new musical ideas. Elements of the older music emerge quite clearly at times, while at others they are presented more subtlly. But the texts are the driving force of the work, capturing the essence of the poetry through non-vocal commentary with allusions to the original composers' settings. CANZONA NO. 2 for String Orchestra and Percussion provides a recasting of the second work in Claudio Monteverdi's eighth book of madrigals, Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi (Madrigals of War and Love), published in 1638. Monteverdi's piece, "Hor che'l ciel e la terra," is a setting of a sonnet by Petrarch for six voices, two violins and continuo, and is unquestionably one of his greatest achievements. In this treatment of the madrigal by Claude Baker, he adheres to the general contruction of the original, making both distorted and literal references to Monteverdi's music, with the voices, violins, and continuo supplanted by a full string section and modest percussion complement of membranes, woods, and metals.