Tarquinio Merula: Canzonetta spirituale sopra alla nanna (Jupiter Ensemble / Léa Desandre)
The Jupiter Ensemble and Léa Desandre (mezzo-soprano) perform "Canzonetta spirituale sopra alla nanna" by Tarquinio Merula. Excerpt from the France Musique Concert, recorded live on 30 March 2019
The Italian composer Tarquinio Merula (1595–1665) was a key member of the Baroque period and of the Venetian style of composition, alongside Monteverdi. A progressive 17th-century composer, he contributed strongly to the evolution of sacred music, applying newly developed musical techniques to the genre.
Merula's Canzonetta Spirituale sopra alla nanna is a lullaby sung an anxious mother rocking her ill-fated son to sleep, a foreboding lullaby telling the story of Christ and his eventual demise. Full of anguish and hopelessness, the mother's voice sings over a rocking sensation created by the bass line, gently lilting with a two-note accompaniment.