The sonnet, a 14-line phenomenon of rhyme and drama. Developed in Italy in the 13th century, the sonnet’s lines are most often measured out in iambic pentameter, with a hallmark volta (or turn) to its final section in which lies argument, answer, or perspective to its preceding lines. This shift is underpinned by a change in its rhyme scheme.

Rhyme templates are associated with two of the greatest progenitors of the sonnet (both featured in this concert), Francesco Petrarch (1304 – 1374) and William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616):

  • Petrarchan: ABBA ABBA (volta) CDECDE or ABBA ABBA (volta) CDCDCD
  • Shakespearean: ABAB CDCD EFEF (volta) GG

These reflect an interesting discrepancy between English, a language that does not lend itself to rhyming; and Italian which (with its pure, liquid vowels) generously offers many pairings.

To  these famous Fathers of the Sonnet, we add the voice of Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 – 1564), that master of the High Renaissance. Painter, sculptor, architect, poet, Michelangelo’s sonnets burn with the passion, beauty, and intensity that radiate from his visual art.

“Sonnet” is derived from the Italian sonetto, which means “a little sound or song.” It seems only fitting then that these lines should be presented as melody.

Sat, March 4th @ 7:30 p.m.
Ann Goodman Recital Hall
Kaufman Music Center
129 W. 67th Street

Colin Ainsworth, tenor
Suna Chung, piano
Kelly Strandemo & Zander Kirby, readers

 Tickets: $20 Cash only, at door

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