A Method for the Renaissance Lute, with a Supplement for the Archlute

A Method for the Renaissance Lute, with a Supplement for the Archlute

Peter Croton (1957) • Renaissance lute • Italian & French tablature

Intavolatura di Liuto Attiorbato, Libro Secondo, Venetia 1616

Pietro Paolo Melli (1579-c.1623) • Archlute • Italian & French tablature

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• Composer(s): Pietro Paolo Melli (1579-c.1623)
• Title: Intavolatura di Liuto Attiorbato
• Sub-title: Libro Secondo
• First Publisher: Giacomo Vincenti
• Year of edition: 1616
• Source: D-Mbs
• Volume: 2

Pietro Paolo Melli (1579-c.1623)

We have little biographical information regarding Pietro Paolo Melli. Born in Reggio in 1579, he was appointed lutenist at the Court of Matthias in 1612, the year the latter was elected Holy Roman Emperor. He must have been highly appreciated as a lutenist and musician, since documents attest to his being one of the best-paid court musicians. When Ferdinand II succeeded Matthias, Melli kept his position. In 1623, he left the imperial court to return to Reggio, in Emilia. The date and place of his death are unknown.

Pietro Paolo Melli’s five books of Intavolatura di Liuto Attiorbato were published between 1614 and 1616 by Giacomo Vincenti, a prolific publisher of music and works on music theory from northern Italy. Indeed, many of the works that serve as references today can be credited to him: re-editions of Caccini's Le Nuove Musiche and L’Euridice in 1615 and treatises on diminutions (Bassano, Rognoni, Diruta, Bovicelli, Spadi), including Botazzi's in 1614. Melli thus entrusted his works to a key figure in the musical life of his time, fully aware of the revolutionary changes occurring in music theory and practice in the early 17th century.

The dedications Melli placed in the table of contents of the Libro Secondo give us an idea of his entourage. Most of the pieces are dedicated to prominent figures of the Empire or Italian nobility (Cardinal Alessandro d’Este). By way of exception, the title of the Volta detta la Furiosa refers to a sentiment, but it is in fact dedicated to a General of the Artillery, implying that our lutenist had a sense of humor. Two pieces are dedicated to musicians: a duet, the Canzon Terza detta la Regiana, to Giacomo Abbati, “musician of His Majesty, King of Poland” and the Claudiana Gagliarda, which concludes the second book, and is placed after the table for contents, to “the most illustrious Signor Claudio Monteverdi”.

Melli’s works were composed for a new type of lute, the “liuto attiorbato”, an instrument emblematic of the new style, of the nascent opera and accompanied monody, and whose construction bears witness to the creativity of the Italian musicians and master luthiers of the late 16th century.

Melli used customary musical forms such as dances (courante, volte, galliard), the prelude and the canzon, with a certain predilection for pieces of the “chromatic” genre (Corrente detta la Bratola, Corrente detta la Diana, Volta Chromatica detta la Savia, Il Ciarlino Capricio Cromatico...). He also paid tribute to the new æsthetic, writing essentially for two, sometimes three, parts, with a clear bass line supporting the melody or dialoging with the upper part. The motifs in imitations and the playful or melancholic “passaggi” echo the airs of Caccini or the vilanelles of Kapsberger and canzonette of Monteverdi that he undoubtedly knew.

The Libro secondo also contains two pieces for the theorbo and, most notably, four duets, representative of a practice that must have been common, but for which few sources are extant. The ballet il Fedel amante, composed of an intrada, allemande, galliarde and courante, is there to remind us that Melli was a musician of his time and aimed, above all, at creating “divertimenti”. That he was able to remain original and inventive within this rather rigid and conventional framework attests to his talent.

Wanda Kozyra | Le Luth Doré ©2015

La Prezzata Imperiale Corrente
Corrente detta la Bartola
Corrente detta L’Alvisina
Corrente detta la Diana
Corrente detta la Darduina
Volta alla Francese detta la Brava
Volta alla Francese detta la Piacevole
Corrente detta la Favorita
Corrente detta l’Amigona
Corrente detta la Palatina
Corrente detta la Passaura
Preludio detto il Slesiante
Preludio detto il Bransuico
Gagliarda detta la Crudelle
Gagliarda detta la Liberale
Preludo detto il Bavarante
Dimi Amore passeggiato dall’autore
Corrente cromatica detta la Bernardella
Corrente detta la Graciosa
Corrente detta la Speranza
Corrente detta la Glisente
Volta cromatica detta la Savia
Volta detta la Robartella
Volta detta Losestana
Volta (fatta alla pontieba) detta la Contumacia
Gagliarda detta la Rossa
Gagliarda detta la Fontanella
Gagliarda alla Santinesca detta la Farnese
Gagliarda detta la Favalina
Preludio per la Tiorba detto l’Estense
Corrente per la Tiorba detta la Alessandrina

Baletto detto il fedel Amante
Intrada detta la Festinberga
Allemana detta la Giorgia
Gagliarda detta la Frubenia
Corrente detta la Rubestaina

Il Ciarlino Capricio Cromatico composto sopra al qui sotto scritto Esempi
Tastata detta la Cortese
Corrente detta la Corteggiana
Corrente detta la Rangona
Corrente detta la Inamorata
Volta detta la Furiosa
Volta detta la Virtuosa Ambasciatrice

Suonate concertate a due Liutti
Canzon Prima detta l’Astarosta Liuto Corista
Liuto piu grando un Tasto

Canzon seconda detta la Gran Marasale Liuto Corista
Liuto piu grando un Tasto

Canzon Terza detta la Regiana Liuto Corista
Liuto piu grando un Tasto

Corrente detta la Favorita Gonzaga Liuto Corista
Liuto piu grando un Tasto

• Editor(s): Wanda Kozyra & Richard Civiol
• Music period: Late Renaissance
• Instrument(s): 14c Archlute
• Notation: Italian & French tablature
• Modern edition: Urtext
• Publisher: Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions
• Year of publication: 2016
• Collection: Lute and Theorbo Music Collection

• Pages: pp. 164
• Dimensions: 230x310 mm
• Weight: 0,320g
• Binding: Section sewn glue binding
• ISMN: 377-0-0017-8808-1

Wanda Kozyra

Wanda Kozyra, lutenist, was born in Gdansk (Poland) into a family of artists (fine arts and music). She graduated with a degree in renaissance lute from CNSMD in Lyon (studies with Eugene Ferre) and advanced her studies in Germany under Rolf Lislevand.

As a chamber musician, she is interested in musical theater and especially early dance and improvisation. Currently she is working on music (renaissance and baroque) especially for the ensembles L'Academie du Concert de Lyon, "Conversation Baroque", L'Ensemble Baroque de Toulouse, and the Polish ensemble Silva Rerum and finally for the La Cortessa that she founded.

As a professor Kozyra has collaborated with the Akademia Muzyczna of Gdansk, the Cefedem Rhone-Alps and she teaches lute at the CRR de Lyon and at CRD de Romans at Isere.

She finds inspiration, especially for her work for Le Luth Dore, in jogging, reading poetry and idleness.


Richard Civiol

As a musician and lutenist, Richard Civiol has chosen as his life's work the study of the lute and theorbp. These instruments have basically disappeared from our contemporary orchestras while growing in visibility in smaller ensembles and solo performances thanks in part to his efforts.

He participates with the same enthusiasm and expertise in the renaissance and baroque repertory of all the different instruments of the lute family as well as the practice of basso continuo.

Civiol is a member of the ensemble "Les Musiciens des Mademoiselle de Guise" directed by Laurence Pottier, and they have performed both in France and abroad. They have also done several CDs together. Civiol is a member of the music ensemble "L'Oiseliere", and has collaborated with other ensembles, orchestras or chorales including"La Fabrique a Theatre", the chamber choir "Les Temperaments", and has worked with Jean-Francois Fremont, Didier Bouture, Christophe Sam and Romain Champion.

Civiol is the holder of the Premier Prix in musical composition (in Paris, France?).

Finally, Civiol is engaged in a large project of copying and restoring music for the lute, theorbo and vihuela.

Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions

The Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions offer musicians and musicologists worldwide reliable and authoritative musical texts. The main features are:

• superb and aesthetically appealing music engraving
• optimized for practical use (page turns, fingerings)
• books originally in Italian tablature are published in both Italian and French tablatures
• high-quality and durable (cover, paper, binding)
• both original and modern prefaces, documentation of the corrections made and explanatory footnotes in English, French, Italian, German …

About Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions

Our editions are urtext: we strive to provide reliable musical texts that are as true as possible to the existing sources and the composer’s intentions. We are aware, of course, that it is impossible to reconstruct the one and only urtext. Often, several manuscript sources exist for the same piece, and there is little reliable guidance for determining which version best represents the composer's intentions.

Although we cannot entirely dissipate historical uncertainty, we can compare texts and correct obvious errors, which sometimes occur even in autograph manuscripts. Sources have been meticulously examined - note by note, mark by mark.

When facing ambiguity inherent to the sources, wise editorial judgment must take the place of textual certainty.

The most important observations and editorial decisions are elucidated in the prefaces, in the critical commentary, in footnotes, or marked as such in the musical text. It therefore comes as no surprise that an editor has to invest a great deal of patience, knowledge and time when piecing together an urtext that is true to the source and, hopefully, to the composers’ intentions as well. Proven specialists with extensive knowledge and experience edit our Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions in close cooperation with our Editorial Department.

Each verified musical text preserves the original fingerings and notation of ornamentation and, in the absence of original manuscript notations, also sets forth helpful suggestions by modern masters regarding useful fingerings and ornaments faithful to historical style, as a stimulus to further thought and a starting point for the student's approach to performance.

We are deeply grateful to all the extraordinary musicologists, music teachers and artists that put their knowledge and experience at our disposal for Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions.

Le Luth Doré ©2015

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