Io mi son giovinetta, by Domenico Maria Ferrabosco, c. 1542.
In his Decameron, Boccaccio included 10 ballata (a poetic form of 14th- and 15th-century secular Italian song) texts. One ballata was to be sung at the end of each “giornata” by a single performer. In one case, Boccaccio instructed that the ballata was to be accompanied by a lute and on another occasion, the entire ensemble was to join in singing the text. In 1539, there was a renewed interested in performing ballatas from the Decameron, an interest that continued into the 17th century. Composers who set music to Boccaccio’s ballata included Girolamo Scotto, Jacques Arcadelt, Orlando de Lassus and Sigismondo D’India.
Ferrabosco's setting of Io mi son giovenetta (track 22), a ballata from the conclusion to the ninth day of the Decameron decameron (Neifile's song), was one of the most popular of its time. It was included in at least 46 printed manuscripts in the mid century. Ferrabosco set the text as a madrigal and Palestrina subsequently used the melody as a model for two masses.
Attribution: Naxos Music Library