The music of Giulio Caccini and his time



Giulio Caccini was a major Italian composer, and one of the responsible for the biggest transformation in the history of music. At the end of the renaissance (end of the XVI century), the church, musicians and audiences were struggling to keep alive the music style that ruled for two centuries: the polyphony. In one hand, the church was accusing composers because the sacred texts were not recognizable anymore because of the intricate relationship between music voices. In the other, musicians were struggling to play so many and difficult voices, specially the lute players, who had limited possibilities with their instruments. And the public, in the middle of that, was aiming for a less technical and a more fresh and improvisational way to carry the text.  


In 1601, Giulio Caccini published in Florence his “Le Nuove Musiche”, presenting this new and fresh music style: the monody, which was by the way mostly accompanied by lutes. This collection of pieces represented the beginning of a new era in music, presenting the texts with only one singing voice with a basso continuo, the synthesis of all other voices in one bottom voice with a vertical harmonic material. This new style of music endured by centuries, and was the predecessor of genres like the famous German “lied”.





Giulio Caccini (1587-1639)

O, che felice giorno

Dolcissimo sospiro


Stefano Landi (1587-1639) Augellin, che’l tuo amor


Giulio Caccini. Dovro dunque morire 


Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) Se l’aura spira


Alessandro Piccinini (1566-1638) Aria di Fiorenza   


Giulio Caccini

Dalla porta d’Oriente

Amor, io parto

Amor, ch’attendi?

Vedro il mio Sol


Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) Si dolce e'l tormento


Giovanni Battista Fontana (1571-1630) Sonata seconda


Giulio Caccini. Amarilli, mia bella


Claudio Monteverdi. Quel sguardo sdegnosetto


Tarquinio Merula (1595-1665) Folle e ben che si crede


Giulio Caccini

Torna, deh torna

Odi, Euterpe




1 singer, 1 cornetto/recorder, 1 lute