Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

Haiku Wednesday: Jacques Arcadelt



The Lute Player by Caravaggio. Music by Jacques Arcadelt.

Jacques Arcadelt wrote
Many, many madrigals,
Chansons, and motets.

Born 15-0-4?
Wrote in Italy and France,
Was widely published.

Who knows Jacques’ song, Il
Bianco e dolce cigno?
Well, you do now.  Here:

Jacques Arcadelt was born between 1504 and 1507, and died in 1568.  He was a leading madrigal writer of his time in Italy.  His works were widely published and helped spread the form in Europe.  While in Rome he set two of Michelangelo’s sonnets, for which Michelangelo sent him satin for a doublet (from The Letters of Michelangelo, p 17).

After writing over 200 madrigals, Arcadelt took up residence in France, where he wrote numerous chansons, as well as masses and motets.

Here is Arcadelt’s Ave Maria.

And here’s O felici occhi miei


The Letters of Michelangelo, Volume 1, Michelangelo Buonnarroti, E. H. Ramsden.  Stanford University Press, 1963.


Image attribution:  The Lute Player by Caravaggio [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.  The music is by Jacques Arcadelt.


2 thoughts on “Haiku Wednesday: Jacques Arcadelt

  1. Thoroughly enjoyable. Crème Brûlée. Yum!


  2. Thanks so much, Chris- made my morning. We’ve done the Ave Maria, of course, and one or two of the madrigals, but never Il bianco e dolce cigno- I’ll download it from CPDL and we’ll do it some year (Chalice Singers). Gorgeous music!



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