Thursday, February 5, 2015

Gesualdo's Jealousy

Last time we introduced Carlo Gesualdo, a Renaissance composer who was also a prince. While some scholars say that he was ahead of his time in the way he dealt with harmonies, would he be as famous as he is if he wasn’t also associated with murder?

On October 16, 1590, Carlo Gesualdo committed a double murder after finding his wife in bed with Don Fabrizio Carafa, the Duke of Andria. The Duke was a handsome man and reports say that he was found wearing “a woman’s nightdress with fringes at the bottom, with ruffs of black silk.” The murder was bloody and gruesome, both bodies left in a horrific state. Eyewitnesses verified Gesualdo as the murderer however there were no consequences since he was a prince.

While Gesualdo may not have suffered the consequences of his actions during his lifetime, he has certainly paid for them after his death as musicologists for centuries have referred to him in negative ways, not being able to get past his jealousy that ended in murder. Can you blame them?

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