The madrigal 'Vestiva i colli' is probably one of the greatest examples of enduring music, crossing centuries. It originated as a five-voice setting by Palestrina, but gained in popularity as other authors made parodies and variations on it. The art of improvising was thoroughly intertwined with performance practice between the 16th and 17th centuries, and it was expected that performers were able to provide their own variations and embellishments.
'Vestiva i colli' is a prime example of a common melody to which embellishments are applied; Bassano, Della Casa, De Selma, and Rognoni et al provide their own, sometimes in multiple versions. These are all showcase pieces, for display of instrumental technique and improvisatory imagination. Besides the aforesaid composers the recording focuses on the premiere recording of a Mass by Baldassare Vialardo (d. after 1620), Maestro di Cappella active in Milan. It is a late example of a parody on 'Vestiva i colli': an ideal recapitulation of the different genres and styles on this CD, in an intense musical experimentation.