Carlo Gesualdo‘s fifth “Book of Madrigals” contains twenty-one pieces set for five voices. In terms of their formal structure, contrapuntal approach, chromaticism, and freedom of part writing, they are regarded as some of his most experimental compositions. This edition is based on the first edition by Carlino, which was published in 1611 under direct supervision of Gesualdo but has only been preserved in parts, as well as the edition published by Gardano in 1614 which was also presented in partbook form.
The detailed Preface discusses the editorial approach while describing and evaluating all relevant sources. Furthermore, conclusions regarding the distribution and importance of Gesualdo’s music are drawn from an analytical look at its dedicatees, and all essential characteristics of the compositions included in this volume are covered. Additionally, the poems set to music by Gesualdo have been meticulously evaluated and edited for contemporary interpretation (N. Panizza). They are available in separate critical editions.
The concluding Critical Commentary contains an index of all handed down sources, listing all deviations from the two primary sources.