ABOUT THIS BOOK
Michelangelo Rossi's two books of five-voice polyphonic madrigals are among the most expressive works of their kind ever composed. Showing the influence of Gesualdo, the madrigals were probably written in Rome between 1624 and 1629, when Rossi was in the service of Cardinal Maurizio of Savoy. They were apparently never published, and there is only one complete manuscript source, which once belonged to Queen Christina of Sweden and now forms the principal source for Brian Mann's critical edition.
In his extensive introduction, Mann considers in detail the biographical, cultural, and stylistic milieu in which the madrigals were written. The scholarly edition of the music, based on a thorough examination of all the known sources, includes a complete critical commentary.
Mann's work on Rossi's madrigals has already helped revive interest in them. In 1998 a CD recording of Book I appeared on the Virgin label, performed by Il Complesso Barocco under the direction of Alan Curtis, and based on this critical edition.