Philippe Verdelot

Madrigals for a Tudor King

Directed by David Skinner

Philippe Verdelot was the most important composer of Italian madrigals in the early 16th century and recognized as the greatest innovator of the genre.

A Frenchman, he occupied several important musical posts in Italy, including the Florentine posts of maestro di cappella at the Baptistry of S. Maria del Fiore and the great Duomo itself. In the mid 1520s, during his time in Florence, a set of part-books were assembled, probably under Verdelot's supervision, for the court of Henry VIII.

Most, if not all, of the works were composed by Verdelot. This is the first recording of the complete madrigals in the collection, which stands not only as the most exceptional of diplomatic musical gifts but is also an important source for the history of the early madrigal.


Track listing

1. Italia mia bench’ el parlar’
2. Con l’angelico riso
3. Quanto sia lieto il giorno
4. Lasso, che se creduto
5. O dolce nocte
6. Madonna qual certeça
7. Afflicti spirti mei
8. Dentr’ al mio cor’
9. Quando nascesti, Amore?
10. Piove da li occhi
11. Pur troppo, donna
12. I vostri acuti dardi
13. Chi non fa prove, amore
14. Liet’ è madonna et io pur
15. Con lacrim’ et sospir’ negando porge
16. Donna, se fera stella
17. Ognun si duol’ d’amore
18. Altro non è el mio amor’
19. Madonna io v’ amo e taccio
20. Sì suave è l’inghanno
21. Se ben’ li occhi
22. Cortese alma gentile
23. Quanta dolceça amore
24. Donna che sete fra le donne belle
25. La bella donna
26. Deh, quant’ è dolc’ amor
27. Donna leggiadr’ et bella
28. Madonna, per voi ardo
29. Amor, io sento l’alma
30. Ultimi mei sospiri

In the press

“Alamire are on fine form here, alternating several performance possibilities, as on their recent recording of Josquin for this label: solo lute, lute and voice, lute and vocal consort, or consort on its own. That the top line is often paired with the lute is no surprise, but other voices were often so treated, and different ones are heard here. The solo lute option works surprisingly well because the rhythm of the words is perfectly audible even when they are not actually sung (the lyrics of all the pieces are given in the booklet, regardless of how they are performed).”
- Gramophone Magazine

“Obsidian should be commended alone for devoting a whole disc to this composer, whose work usually appears in one or two items per disc in the context of madrigal collections.”
- All Music