Tune of the Day: Matona mia cara
Orlande de Lassus, also known as Orlando di Lasso, was a Franco-Flemish composer of the late Renaissance. He is today considered to be one of the two most famous and influential musicians in Europe at the end of the 16th century, the other being Palestrina. Lassus demonstrated complete competence in the expressive styles of the Italian madrigal, setting Petrarch and Ariosto alongside the best native speakers. Yet he also left essays in the simpler and lighter Italian genre of the villanella, two books' worth. “Matona mia cara” (“My Dear Lady”), from the second published collection, exemplifies his efforts in the genre. The text of this madrigal represents a particular subset of the broad category villanella, the todesca, in which German soldiers are the butt of various jokes. In this case, an inept German soldier stumbles upon his words as he tries to convince an Italian lady to accept his attentions.