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Sigismondo d'India

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Born: c. 1582

Died: 19 April 1629

Documentation on d'India is unusually scarce. The title-pages of his publications state that he was of noble Sicilian birth. He was probably a relation, possibly even the son, of Don Carlo d'India, a ‘nobleman of Palermo’ resident in Naples in 1592. Sigismondo may thus have spent his formative years in that city. In the preface to his Musiche of 1609 he stated that from ‘learned men of music’ he learnt ‘how to compose for several voices and how to sing solo’. These mentors may have been part of the circle of composers in Naples affiliated with the academy of Don Fabrizio Gesualdo, the foremost of whom was Giovanni de Macque. D'India probably spent the years 1600–10 travelling about Italy, visiting various courts. He implied in the dedication of his first set of five-voice madrigals (1606) that in 1606 he was in Mantua, where he may have met Monteverdi. From the 1609 preface it is known that in 1608 he visited Florence, where his songs were performed and admired by Vittoria Archilei and Giulio Caccini, and later Rome, where Cardinal Farnese and ‘the most famous musicians and singers’ acclaimed his songs.

In 1611 d'India was appointed director of the chamber music at the court of Carlo Emanuele I, Duke of Savoy, in Turin, where he remained until 1623. Most of his publications date from this period: ten collections of secular music. The emphasis on secular music is a reflection not only of d'India's predilection for it but also of the tastes of the duke, who was a poet and painter and an enthusiastic admirer of the new monodic style. The malicious gossip of certain courtiers forced d'India to leave the court of Savoy in May 1623. After travelling about Italy for five months he settled temporarily at the Este court at Modena from October 1623 to April 1624. He then moved on to Rome to come under the patronage of Cardinal Maurizio of Savoy, his former master's son and another enlightened patron of the arts. In 1625 his sacred opera Sant' Eustachio was performed in Maurizio's palace, and in 1626 he wrote for Pope Urban VIII his Missa ‘Domine, clamavi ad te’, which was performed with great success in the Cappella Giulia. Early in the same year he took a permanent position at the Este court, and in the autumn he directed a mass of his own – possibly the one composed in Rome – for the funeral of Isabella d'Este. In the summer and autumn of 1627 he was competing for the commission of wedding music for the marriage of Duke Odoardo Farnese of Parma to the daughter of Cosimo de' Medici, a commission finally awarded to Monteverdi. A document in Modena dated 19 April 1629 addressed to ‘the heirs of Sig. d'India’ suggests that he died there before that date. —Source: New Grove Dictionary of Music

View the Wikipedia article on Sigismondo d'India.

List of choral works

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Liber secundus sacrorum concentuum 1610

Tribus Vocibus

Quatuor Vocibus

Quinque Vocibus

Senis Vocibus


Il primo libro de madrigali a cinque voci

  1. Intenerite voi,lagrime mie
  2. Al partir del mio sole
  3. Parlo, miser', o taccio?
  4. Crud' Amarilli
  5. Ha di serp' il velen, di tigr' il morso
  6. Felice chi vi mira; Ben hebbe amica stella     ( Icon_pdf.gif Icon_snd.gif )
  7. Fiume, ch'a l'onde tue
  8. Quasi tra rose e gigli
  9. Cor mio, deh, non languire
  10. Ma con chi parl'ahi lassa?   ( Icon_pdf.gif Icon_snd.gif Finale 2004 )
  11. Che non t'ami, cor mio   ( Icon_pdf.gif Icon_snd.gif Finale 2004 )
  12. Pur venisti, cor mio
  13. Interdette speranz' e van desio
  14. Filli, mirando il cielo   ( Icon_pdf.gif Icon_snd.gif Finale 2004 )

Le Musische a 2 voci di S.d'India - Libro II (1615)

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Publications for 1 or 2 voices

Sacred Works

External links

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