The Barca di Venezia per Padova (The Boat from Venice to Padua) by Adriano Banchieri is a set of what we can call comedy madrigals for five voices (SSATB) which is basically a boat journey from Venice to Padua during which several of the passengers reveal themselves.
The work was first published in Venice 1605, a second edition (with several differences from the first) was published in 1623. This is the version used in the videos. The full text together with a music edition can be found HERE.
The 1623 version, besides some minor significant modifications and the adding of a basso continuo for spinet and chitarrone, accentuates its hybrid nature by a different distribution of the madrigalian presences setting lyrical poetry written in Tuscan. Instead of sequencial at the central part of the work, Banchieri distributed them in a sequence of two and two madrigal and one aria interpolated by text also in Tuscan but written in a popular style that contrast with the more “intelectual” madrigalian polyphony. The madrigals in the 1623 edition were explicitly conceived to represent the manner of the famous composers of the period such as Carlo Gesualdo, Luca Marenzio, Domenico Spano and Enrico Radesca.
The characters represent the Italian society in early seventeenth century and are present figures of the theatre of the time. The Venetian, the student the Jew and other characters appear in a plurality enriched by parodies of cultured musical dialects. Venetian fishermen, a Paduan mendicanti, a Florentine bookseller, a German (tedesco), two Hebrews, the courtesan Rizzolina, a soldier, a merchant from Brescia, come together in a boat from Venice to Padua sing madrigals and canzonettas.
- Introduttione – L’umor svegliato
- Strepito di Pescatori
- Partenza – Padrone di barca e Ninetta
- Barcaruolo a’ Pasaggieri
- Libraio fiorentino
- Maestro di musica luchese
- Concerto di cinque Cantori
- Venatino e Thedesco
- Madrigale affettuoso
- Madrigale capriccioso
- Mattinata in dialogo
- Aplauso – Mercante bresciano et hebrei
- Madrigale alla romana (Madrigale Stile del Marenzio Romano)
- Madrigale alla napolitana (Madrigale A’imitaz. Spano Napolitano)
- Prima ottava all’improvviso nel liuto (ottava rima all’improvviso nel liuto)
- Seconda ottava all’improvviso nel liuto
- Aria à imitazione del Radesca alla Piamontece nel liuto
- Barcaruoli Procaccio e tutti al fine (Barcaruolo Procaccio e tutta la Camerata)
- Soldato svaligiato
The performance and staging was made by I Madrigalisti della Radio Svizzera di Lugano and the Ensemble I Barocchisti, directed by Diego Fasolis.
One of Banchieri’s finest works! I also like the Festino. Great madrigals!
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