Contemporary manuscript score of a collection of six two-part madrigals: ‘N° VI Madrigali a due voci’.

Italy, mid-18th century.

Oblong folio, 84 ll., ink on paper, staves ruled in ms. ink, written on three systems, ms. title-page; in very good, original condition, in contemporary patterned paper boards, front cover working loose; rubbed and worn, particularly to spine, light waterstain to front cover.

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A collection of secular madrigals for two voices by Clari (1677-1754), written for soprano/bass, soprano/alto, and soprano/tenor, each with instrumental bass accompaniment. The madrigals included here are: Il Soldato poltrone, Il Musica ignorante, L’Amante disperato, Amante di Donne Vecchia, Il Poeta Spiantato, and Il Ciocatore sfortunato.

‘Clari’s most famous compositions, cited frequently in works of later theorists as fine examples of the genre, are his vocal chamber duets and trios. There are copies, both manuscript and printed, in libraries all over Europe. Probably they were written for his pupils to sing, especially in view of the fact that the vocal range tends to be more restricted than in his other works. The chamber works show a charming combination of didactic exercise and delightful melody. By the 19th century Clari had been all but forgotten. His fame now rests almost entirely on the six duets that Handel incorporated into his own Theodora (1750)’ (New Grove).

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