Friday, 11 May 2018

Simple Meanings

The Meaning of Madrigals

A few more thoughts on the subject of madrigals. They are very pretty to listen to and great fun to sing, but the words are an equally important element.

They covered the whole range of human life and emotions and often used "conceits" to give a twist to the meaning. One of my favourites, and the first proper madrigal I ever sang, is "April is in my Mistress' Face" by Thomas Morley.

Here is the simple little poem:

April is in my mistress' face.
And July in her eyes hath place.
Within her bosom is September
But in her heart a cold December

In four lines the mistress stands before us. She is young and fresh, but has a changeable nature - sunshine and showers. She's sultry with a full, ripe figure. But she's cold, in the dead, final way that December is, with no looking forward to Spring.

The writer carefully avoids the generalisations of the seasons in order to give us this richness.

Follow this link to hear the song:

So, our job is to convey all this detail of meaning to our audience with a madrigal that lasts barely a minute and a half.

Here are the details:

A Summer Idyll
30 June 2018
Millfield Prep School Sports Pavilion, Edgarley
Tickets: £12.00

The ticket prices include a buffet supper

More on this soon.

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