Francesca Caccini's Il primo libro delle musiche of 1618

Francesca Caccini's Il primo libro delle musiche of 1618

A Modern Critical Edition of the Secular Monodies
Francesca Caccini, edited by Ronald James Alexander, Richard Savino and Francesca Caccini
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/18/2004
Format: Paperback 17 figures, 1 bibliog.
ISBN: 978-0-253-21139-2
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Francesca Caccini (1587–ca.1640) was an accomplished composer, singer, and instrumentalist in the tradition of the Florentine Camerata. Her 1618 volume Il primo libro delle musiche was dedicated to her patron the Cardinal de’ Medici (1596–1666).

This modern critical edition presents 17 secular monodies for one and two voices with figured bass accompaniment from this landmark collection. The book includes text translations, biographical and stylistic essays, recommendations on performance practice, and other commentary.

Author Bio

Ronald James Alexander (1961-1990) received a Master of Music Degree at the University of California at Davis, and, at the time of his death, was enrolled in the Ph.D. program in musicology at Stanford University. An avid sports enthusiast and versatile musician, he studied classical guitar and lute at California State University at Sacramento.

Guitarist and lutist Richard Savino is active as featured performer, concerto soloist, and accompanist. His recordings include a collection of monodies by Barbara Strozzi with soprano Emanuela Galli and Ensemble Gallilei (Stradivarius, Milano). He is presently Professor of Music at the California State University at Sacramento.


“Francesca Caccini (1587-c.1640) was celebrated as a virtuoso singer and composer. She was also a fine instrumentalist and poet. This performing edition of songs, verified against materials in the Medici archives, is complemented by a discussion of Caccini’s life and works.”

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

I. Overview and Commentary
Introduction: Francesca Caccini (1587-ca. 1640)
Il primo libro delle musiche
The Present Edition
Performance Practice
Textual Commentary and Translations

II. The Secular Monodies of Il primo libro delle musiche

[1] Ardo infelice, e palesar non tento
[2] Io mi distruggo, et ardo
[3] Lasciatemi qui solo
[4] Io veggio i campi verdeggiar fecondi
[5] La pastorella mia tra i fiori, è 'l giglio
[6] Rendi alle mie speranze il verde, e i fiori
[7] Dov'io credea le mie speranze vere
[8] S'io men vò, morirò
[9] Non sò se quel sorriso
[10] Chi desia di saper che cosa è Amore
[11] Che t'ho fatt'io?
[12] O vive rose
[13] Se muove a giurar fede
[14] Ch'Amor sia nudo, e pur con l'ali al tergo
[15] Fresche aurette
[16] Dispiegate
[17] O chiome belle