| PREFACE |
The present work is the outcome of research carried out on all the original records and documents now to be found in the Archives of the House of Our Lady of the Annunciation (the « Annunziata ») in Naples.
These archives are truly invaluable, for without them we should know nothing of Nola's life or - and perhaps this would be an even more serious gap - the activities of the « Annunziata » Choir itself. The «engagement books» that were carefully kept by some long-forgotten scribe, and have been lying there on the shelves for centuries, surviving fires and wars, have proved to be a mine of interesting information where both are concerned. Everything relating to Nola has therefore been collected and fully reported here, mainly for the purpose of piecing together his biography.
Nola's polyphonic works leave no doubts as regards his excellence as a composero They have come down to us in printed editions now to be found in libraries scattered over half of Europe. There is today no trace of any possible manuscripts.
The criterion adopted for this edition of Nola's works reflects the strictness necessitated by this type of study, ensuring an accurate reproduction of the early printed versions - errors included. The transcription is thus a faithful one, only the following modifications being made to the originals to facilitate reading: sub-division of bars, at times entailing a sub-division of breve and longer rests into shorter ones and a long into two shorter notes tied together; the use of modern clefs, though the original clefs are invariably shown. The obvious misprints of the sixteenth century editions have all been annotated. Time values have in no case been diminished.
The same strictness has not, however, been adhered to as regards the texts. In fact, it seemed useless not to put an accent where it was needed, for example, or to add punctuation marks which polyphonic writers systematically left out below their melodies. It will be clear, however, that these additions refer only to the words set to music, particularly in the Neapolitan Villanelle, to facilitate their comprehension.
My thanks are due to all whose courtesy and help have enabled me to accomplish this work, and I wish to express my gratitude to the various Italian, German, Austrian and British libraries for kindly sending me the photographic material I needed - especialty the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna.
Chapter 1 - Historical features of music in Naples at Nola's time.
Chapter 2 - Biographical information on Gian Domenico del Giovane da Nola, and the « Annunziata » Choir.
Chapter 3 - The Madrigals.
Chapter 4 - The Villanelle. Chapter 5 - The Texts.
Chapter 6 - ChronologicaI Index of Printed Editions.
INDEX OF FIRST LlNES.
INDEX OF CITED NAMES.