Caro dolce ben mio, perche fuggire – Andrea Gabrieli

This short piece (length of roughly 2,5 minutes) written by Andrea Gabrieli is about a man whose lover or wife left him. Similar to Belta poi che t’assenti by Carlo Gesualdo, there’s a mix between homophonic and polyphonic passages. The dynamics of the piece only vary a tiny bit, but one can often notice a swap between major and minor keys as well as contrasting paces.

The first phrase, which is the same as the title and can be translated to “Darling, why did you run away” is in the same pace for all voices, which gives the piece a characterfull strong start. The short part after that is polyphonic and seems to be working in echoes: A few voices continue with the text, singing always one syllable which come back as an echo from the other voices. After those two parts there is a repetition from the beginning, although, the used chords at the homophonic part seem slightly varied, more dramatically.

Following comes a polyphonic part, where I couldn’t make out a structure. It sounded incredibly sad (even though the part before was in a minor key already), but also had a “hopeful” character to it. The pace varies strongly between fast and slow.  Despite the dramatic sounding chords it seems to have something warm to it too. This part too, comes twice.

The third part is quite similar to the second one, as well the others it’s being repeated. The only difference is, that the second last chord suddenly dissolves in to a major chord. It doesn’t come unexpectedly as some other major chords of a minor piece, but it gives a nice change to the sound colour.

That was one of the few pieces of this epoch I actually enjoyed listening to. Even though it doesn’t sound very contrasting I found that, especially the second part I mentioned above sticks out with its warm but dramatic character, it reminded me a bit of the classical music style.