The poet Orsina Cavaletta is a relatively obscure figure, although Torquato Tasso dedicated an important dialogue about Italian poetry to her. Her biography is still full of lacunae and dubious assumptions. For instance, the birth date that she has been traditionally assigned (1531) should now be considered implausible, as well as the widespread notion that she disputed against Tasso’s Conclusioni amorose in the early 1570s. On the contrary, evidence demonstrates that Cavaletta wrote most of her poems only later, during the 1580s, at exactly the time when she established meaningful relationships with Ferrarese composers and music patrons. We may conclude that it was thanks to Orsina and to her documented interest in the madrigal that Tasso addressed music in the final pages of his Cavaletta. There also seems to be a compelling analogy between his apology of music and the defence of female dignity that she supported. In conclusion, the essay aims at placing Orsina Cavaletta in a relevant position within the context of the late Renaissance madrigal in Ferrara: it was not by chance that composers such as Luzzaschi, Gesualdo, and Monteverdi, among others, set her verses to music.

Orsina Cavaletta, musa occulta del madrigale ferrarese

BIZZARINI Marco
2021

Abstract

The poet Orsina Cavaletta is a relatively obscure figure, although Torquato Tasso dedicated an important dialogue about Italian poetry to her. Her biography is still full of lacunae and dubious assumptions. For instance, the birth date that she has been traditionally assigned (1531) should now be considered implausible, as well as the widespread notion that she disputed against Tasso’s Conclusioni amorose in the early 1570s. On the contrary, evidence demonstrates that Cavaletta wrote most of her poems only later, during the 1580s, at exactly the time when she established meaningful relationships with Ferrarese composers and music patrons. We may conclude that it was thanks to Orsina and to her documented interest in the madrigal that Tasso addressed music in the final pages of his Cavaletta. There also seems to be a compelling analogy between his apology of music and the defence of female dignity that she supported. In conclusion, the essay aims at placing Orsina Cavaletta in a relevant position within the context of the late Renaissance madrigal in Ferrara: it was not by chance that composers such as Luzzaschi, Gesualdo, and Monteverdi, among others, set her verses to music.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/890816
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