Claudio Saracini

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Born: July 1, 1586   Died: 1650   Country: Italy  
Claudio Saracini was a highly significant composer of monodic secular songs in the time of Claudio Monteverdi and dedicated some of his work to the latter, indicating a personal connection between the two. Saracini, however, didn't write any operas that are known; the five printed volumes issued under his name, appearing from 1614 to 1624, contain songs, two-voice and solo madrigal settings exclusively, apart from three pieces for archlute tacked Read more onto the end of the first volume. Very little is known of his life; Saracini was born in Siena and all of his printed music appeared in Venice. Saracini's dedications indicate that both Catherine of Brunswick and Cosimo de Medici personally knew him.

The printed volumes of Saracini's arias and madrigals are numbered 1 through 6, though the fourth volume, if ever published, remains unknown. Saracini's style is often boldly experimental in its use of harmony, for example in the song "Tu parti ahi lasso," which has no apparent tonal center, or highly chromatic arias such as "Cruda ma Filli." Some others among his 133 extant songs are disarmingly simple and plainly diatonic. Saracini is identified on the title pages of his editions as a "Sienese nobleman" and the lack of any record of his employment as a musician indicates that he may have been an amateur. This has led some to conclude that his more experimental-sounding writing is an accident or owes to improper transcription; however, even Saracini's very dissonant pieces demonstrate a determinate will at work. While his traditional death date is widely listed as having been in 1630, research that is more recent suggests Saracini lived until at least 1649. Read less

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