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Dolcemente Dormiva and In Dolci Lacci

By Salomon Rossi

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SATB choir a cappella (SATB choir a cappella)
Composed by Salomon Rossi. Edited by David Howard. Octavo. Alliance Music Publications #AMP 0893. Published by Alliance Music Publications (AN.AMP-0893).

Item Number: AN.AMP-0893


Two Four-Voice Madrigals by Salamone Rossi (1570-1630)

In the history of music, there exists no fully preserved polyphonic music by a Jewish composeruntil Salamone Rossi. In the quality and quantity of his compositions, and in his twofold abilitiesas composer and performer, Rossi is unique. The musicologist, Don Harron observed that, Noother Jewish musician of his stature and accomplishments is known from ancient times to the early seventeenth century; he was described, in fact, as the first to have restored music to its splendor in the Ancient Temple and as having David the psalmists as his forbear. Nor can anylater Jewish composer, of the same caliber, be found until the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.Rossi's output includes thirteen printed collections containing five books of madrigals,canzonettas, chamber duets, four instrumental collections, and 33 unaccompanied polyphonicsettings of liturgical Hebrew texts for use in synagogue worship and through which he is mostoften remembered today. Throughout his career, Rossi was associated with the Gonzaga court inMantua, along with his contemporary, Claudio Monteverdi, as musician, singer, and composer,though as a Jew, Rossi never attained a regular appointment. Dolcemente dormiva and In dolcilacci are scored for four voices and basso seguente and were published in Madrigall a 4, Libroprimo in 1614. Both madrigals illuminate Rossi's skill as a contrapuntist and his facility at wordpainting. In 1630, the Jewish ghetto in Mantua was destroyed by invading Austrian troops. Rossieither died in the destruction or shortly thereafter.

About this edition...
It seems very likely that both Dolcemente dormiva and In dolci lacci would have beenoriginally performed using a STTB voicing. For the present edition, Dolcemente dormiva hasbeen transposed up one whole step from the Dorian mode on G to Dorian on A to better facilitatethe performance by contemporary choral altos. However, the director may decide to re-voice mm.4-6 out of concern for balance. Similarly, In dolci lacci has been transposed upward one wholestep to Mixolydian on A. The Dorian-Mixolydian relationship contributes to a nice pairing of thetwo madrigals with In dolci lacci following Dolcemente dormiva. The editor has providedsuggested rhythmic changes to allow for breath and proper phrasing.

Please look at the sample to see the text, translation and pronunciation guide.

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