Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Bujic, Bojan. "Palestrina, Willaert, Arcadelt and the Art of Imitation." Ricercare 10 (1998): 105-31.

Adrian Willaert's and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina's settings of the Petrarch sonnet "Amor, Fortuna, et la mia mente schiva" demonstrate similarities in their openings as well as in the number of voices, choice of mode, and cleffing. While the normal assumption would be that the younger composer (Palestrina) is borrowing from the older one, Palestrina's madrigal came out in 1555, four years before the publication of Willaert's setting in his Musica nova. While it may be possible that Willaert was modeling his setting after Palestrina's or that Palestrina knew Willaert's madrigal prior to its formal publication in 1559, the directionality of this relationship cannot be determined with absolute certainty. What is more likely is a common influence on both composers from Arcadelt as a model. The arch-shaped opening phrase of both madrigals can be traced back to Arcadelt's musical style, as well as a concern for text setting and attention to both structural and thematic aspects of the poetry in the musical realization. The relationship between Palestrina's and Willaert's settings of the same Petrarch text may then be due to two salient aspects of the art of imitation: a contemporary influence on each other and a case of modeling on an older master.

Works: Willaert: Amor, fortuna, et la mia mente schiva (105-31); Palestrina: Amor, fortuna, et la mia mente schiva (105-31).

Sources: Willaert: Amor, fortuna, et la mia mente schiva (105-31); Palestrina: Amor, fortuna, et la mia mente schiva (105-31); Arcadelt: Del più leggiadro viso (119), Gli prieghi miei tutti gli port?il vento (119), Viva nel pensier vostro (119).

Index Classifications: 1500s

Contributed by: Elizabeth Elmi

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