Events & Exhibitions  /   Events  /   Baroque Music Ensemble ‘Chiaroscuro’: ‘I’m dying for you and you don’t know it’

Baroque Music Ensemble ‘Chiaroscuro’: ‘I’m dying for you and you don’t know it’



Rūta Vox (Vosyliūtė) – Soprano
Ieva Baublytė – Long flutes, gothic harp
Saulius Lipčius – Modern archlute, baroque guitar
Vilimas Norkūnas – Harpsichord, organ

“It’s a miracle when you can experience death and life at the same time, and I don’t know whether I am alive or dead, but I know that I am there for you…” (G. Stefani’s “Amante felice”, 1621)



Chiaroscuro presents the genre of the secular song, the villanella (Italian villanella, or canzone villanesca). The year 1537 marks the beginning of this genre in the history of music, with the publication by Johannes de Colonia of the first collection of Neapolitan songs, Canzone villanesca alla napolitana, which contains 15 poems in Neapolitan dialect. The poet-musicians who lived and worked in Naples were influenced by a very rich everyday oral and singing tradition, which, enriched by literary and musical fashions, created the genre of the villanelle, which is a direct expression of the ‘rural’, simple, everyday song. The early villanelles are mostly found only in literary sources without written melodies.

The most significant publications of sheet music come to us in two stages. The first, usually up to three voices, are collections of villanelles published in Venice by composers from Naples and southern Italy (Giovane da Nola, Thomas di Maio, Vincenzo Fontana, Leonardo Primavera, Leonardo dell’Arpa, Massimo Troiano, etc.). The second is a set of villanelles for four voices by non-Italian composers (Adriano Willaerto, Luca Marenzio, Adriano Banchieri, Orlando di Lasso, etc.). In the 17th century, the genre of the villanelle spread not only in Italy but also throughout Europe, influencing other musical forms-genres, including the madrigal, and the poetic, word-raising style of recitar recitatives in Baroque opera.


At the heart of Vilanelli’s poetic text is the theme of love and the human emotions surrounding it: nostalgia, joy, sadness, anger and forgiveness. The listener is invited to delve into the origins of the beauty of Neapolitan and Italian songs – the 16th and 17th century villanelles written by different composers.


  • Chiaroscuro was founded in 2014, although the performers had known each other for many years. The three founding members – Ieva Baublytė (long flutes, gothic harp), Rūta Vosyliūtė (baroque vocals), Vilimas Norkūnas (harpsichord, organ) – all received their specialized studies in Early Music in different countries (Switzerland, Italy and Austria). The performers were brought together by a common desire to develop in Lithuania the knowledge and experience of Early Music acquired in Western Europe. For this special programme, the ensemble will be joined by well-known performer, guitarist Saulius Lipčius (lute forte and baroque guitar).


    The name of the ensemble, Chiaroscuro (pronounced Chiaroscuro), is Italian for light and darkness. The conveyance of strong feelings, emotions and contrasting moods through light and darkness is widespread throughout the art of the Baroque era, from Caravaggio’s paintings to the recitar cantare style of singing in the music of G. Caccini, C. Monteverdi and other composers.