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Carlo Gesualdo

(c. 1561—1613)


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(b Naples, c.1560; d Gesualdo, Avellino, 1613).

It. composer and lutenist. Pubd. 4 books of madrigals from 1594 to 1596 when at court of the Estensi at Ferrara. Returned to Naples 1597. Two further books of madrigals pubd. 1611; these contain harmonic complexity and modernity far in advance of his contemps. in the 20th cent., for example, these madrigals inspired and fascinated Stravinsky. Also wrote motets and religious songs. In 1590 his first wife and her lover were murdered on Gesualdo's orders, an event which is explored in a book on Gesualdo by Cecil Gray and Philip Heseltine (1926).

Subjects: Music.


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