Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Quasi Un Madrigale: Four Italian Songs


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The Details

for Soprano and Piano (1985) (ca. 22’)

texts by Gary Snyder

  1. Il Palatino/”The Palatine”; Aldo Palazzeschi
  2. Poesia d’Amore/ “Love Poem”; Salvatore Quasimodo
  3. La Trombettina/”The Little Trumpet”; Corrado Govoni
  4. Quasi un Madrigale/”Almost a Madrigal”; Salvatore Quasimodo

Quasi Un Madrigale sets the poetry of three 20th century Italian poets: Salvatore Quasimodo, Aldo Palazzeschi and Corrado Govoni. These expressive, evocative poems deal variously with states of memory, nostalgia, and longing.

The four songs are conceived as a cycle. The first three songs are true duets, with the piano a full partner of the soprano. The fourth and final song, from which the cycle draws its name, constitutes the emotional core of the set. It is at once a resigned lament of personal loss and an affirmation of new life.

Quasi Un Madrigale was composed between February and September 1985.

All poems used with permission