Bella guerriera mia (München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 1503g) und Pietro Bembos Kriegsdienst der Liebe


  • Katelijne Schiltz



This contribution focuses on the anonymous five-part madrigal Bella guerriera mia, which survives in two sixteenth-century manuscripts (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 1503g and Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Cod. Guelf. 293 Musica). The poem by Pietro Bembo plays with the famous topos of love as war. Following the example of Petrarca and other poets, Bembo has the woman play the role of warrioress, but he ends the sonnet with a subversive punchline that takes the form of a poetic self-reflection. Bella guerriera mia was set to music by several composers, from Perissone Cambio to Alfonso Ferrabosco the Elder. The article analyses the anonymous setting in the light of this musico- textual tradition, while at the same time highlighting striking parallels with Cambio’s madrigal.



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