The Ins and Outs of the Madrigal

Friday, May 18, 2018 - 12:30
Contact person
Dr Cristina Neagu
01865 276265
Concert / Performance

The third in a series of four concert-talks hosted by Christ Church Library, “the Ins and Outs of the Madrigal” is a lunchtime concert-talk which will include English and Italian madrigals alongside other related genres such as the canzonet paced throughout a talk which explores the context of the genre both historically and in contemporary composition.

Though popular, madrigals were not the only genre popular in the musical landscape of Elizabethan England. The rise of instrumentally accompanied music such as lute-songs followed on from the madrigal, while the performance of madrigals in parallel with canzonets and villanelles blurred the distinctions between madrigals and other light genres in England. The madrigal was preceded by the frottola, a similar genre with a complex musicological history, an exploration of which assists in expounding the relationship between the two genres.

Madrigals have also been written across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and they sit within a completely different context and play a different role to the earlier, “light” madrigal. Composers such as Herbert Howells have contributed madrigals which blend an earlier lightness with the seriousness of modern choral composition and the complex harmonies of jazz, attempting to update the madrigal for the 21st century.

This talk will explore the links between historic and modern madrigals and their surrounding genres, with attention given to their critical history and potential for future composition.

The talk and concert, delivered by Chris Cottell and friends, will take place on the 18th May at 12:30.