Hombres de Maiz: the Italian spirit in Mexican music

4 novembre 2014

Hombres de Maiz: the Italian spirit in Mexican music

HOMBRES-DE-MAIZ-evidenzaTraditional repertoires from Mexico and Italy are often remarkably alike, and many have kept tunes, harmonic structures and names that date back to the Italian Renaissance. Here, Ensemble Lucidarium combines Italian folk songs and dances with their 16th and 17th century models, while Barbara Ceron Olvera performs the music of her native Veracruz in a joyful musical melting-pot that preserves ancient sonorities while remaining surprisingly close to modern sensibility. (altro…)

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Una Musa Plebea: “minor” repertoires of the Italian Renaissance

4 novembre 2014

Una Musa Plebea: “minor” repertoires of the Italian Renaissance

Una-Musa-Plebea-evidenzaLife in the bustling city states of Renaissance Italy must have been an intense experience, full of constantly changing sights, sounds and odors.  People of all classes were thrown together, and very different levels of society often had surprisingly similar tastes in music.  Although great Northern masters like Josquin composed for the courts, most people preferred the era’s home-grown repertoire: Giustiniane, frottole and improvised sung poetry with soaring melodies, sonorous harmonies and universal themes; the dances that still swing after 500 years.

Next to Lucidarium’s performances of “everyday” repertoire from the 15th and 16th century, “Una Musa Plebea” boasts a series of fieldwork recordings of some of today’s finest sung poets – the carpenters, masons, schoolteachers and post-office workers who have lovingly kept this centuries-old tradition alive.
(altro…)

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La Istoria de Purim: Music and Poetry of the Jews in Renaissance Italy

4 novembre 2014

La Istoria de Purim: Music and Poetry of the Jews in Renaissance Italy

La-Istoria-de-Purim-evidenzaThis program is a celebration of the musical and poetic legacy of the Jewish communities of Renaissance Italy: a vast, entertaining and cohesive repertoire, the exuberant result of a fertile crossover fed by the confrontation between different cultures. (altro…)

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Le droict chemin: popular devotion at the time of the Reform

4 novembre 2014

Le droict chemin: popular devotion at the time of the Reform

51rrGUrM+mLLucidarium’s multi award-winning CD explores the musical propaganda used by French-speaking Catholics and Reformers during the battle for the hearts and minds of Europe’s faithful… (altro…)

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En Chantan M’Aven a Membrar: Troubadour, Trouvere and Minnesanger from Rhone to Rhine

4 novembre 2014

En Chantan M’Aven a Membrar: Troubadour, Trouvere and Minnesanger from Rhone to Rhine

0742495307928_300Regionalism, multilingualism, cross-cultural exchange: the key-words of modern Europe were already reality in the Middle Ages.  A select group of composer-poets with distinctive personalities would animate the musical life of Mittel-Europa from the late 12th century on: Rudolph von Fénis-Neuchâtel, who, inspired by Folquet de Marseille, Guiot de Provins, and Peire Vidal, would try his hand at adapting their works to the German language; Konrad von Würzburg, whose earthier, more direct style could be seen as the culmination of a more native tradition, and Gautier d’Espinal, musician and poet of quality. (altro…)

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Lo Mio Servente Core: Tradition and Avant-Garde in Music from the Time of Dante

4 novembre 2014

Lo Mio Servente Core: Tradition and Avant-Garde in Music from the Time of Dante

0742495305122_100From the thirst for experimentation of the first polyphonic composers of the Trecento, to the primitive two-part pieces sung in isolated local churches, we find evidence of a repertoire where the attraction of the new exists side by side with a powerful archaic tradition.  This program alternates music and recited texts: contemporary chronicles, anecdotes taken from 14th and 15th century novellieri, verses from the Divine Comedy, a 14th century recipe for lasagna: a panorama peopled with irascible friars, ill-tempered blacksmiths, lovesick bourgeois, curious monks, and beautiful ladies little interested in romantic reveries. (altro…)

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HOMBRES DE MAIZ

4 novembre 2014

HOMBRES DE MAIZ

Co-production Casa Musicale / Festivoce / K617 / created in 2011 for l’Année du Mexique en France

HOMBRES-DE-MAIZ
Although Hombres de Maiz is a term that Latin American peasants have used to describe themselves since time immemorial, it could just as well be applied to the polenta-eating young men who came to Mexico from Italy in the 16th and 17th centuries.  The sailors, peasants and friars who sailed the seas in search of fortune brought their dances, ostinati and songs with them.  The familiar sounds probably helped to lift their spirits and keep homesickness at bay.  It was the pop music of the era, and they played it on anything they could carry: harps, guitars, recorders, violins, drums, pipe and tabor.  These sprightly tunes and simple harmonic patterns, as well as the European instruments, were quickly adopted by the native population, blending with the local styles and repertoires.  Incredibly, even today, traditional repertoires from Mexico and Italy are often remarkably alike, and many have kept tunes, harmonic structures and names that date back to the Italian Renaissance.  Here, Ensemble Lucidarium combines traditional Italian songs and dances with their 16th and 17th century models – Bergamasca, Ciascona, Mattacin – while Barbara Ceron Olvera, a bright new star on the early music scene, goes back to her roots, performing the powerful and touching music of her native Veracruz in a joyful musical melting-pot that preserves ancient sonorities while remaining surprisingly close to modern sensibility.

8 Performers: Barbara Ceron: voice, Veracruz Harp, Renaissance Harp; Gloria Moretti, Marie Pierre Duceau: voice; Bettina Ruchti: vielle, violin; Avery Gosfield: recorder, pipe and tabor, Marco Ferrari: recorder, clarinet, bagpipe; Francis Biggi: guitar, lute, viola da mano;
Massimiliano Dragoni: hammer dulcimer, percussion

Henry Lebedinsky, Fanfare Magazine:
The sound is clear, close, and honest, and contributes to the illusion of a live concert performance. This album is meticulously researched, well conceived, and expertly presented. The liner notes by Francis Biggi lay out the concept behind the program in just enough detail. It achieves what, in my opinion, too many recordings of Medieval and Renaissance music do not, presenting an engaging and thoughtful concept in an elegant and entertaining way. Lucidarium captures the vibe of a concert on this disc. It is not an aural catalog of ancient and obscure repertoire, but a living, dancing presence. This disc is one of the few that I’ve heard recently that makes me want to jump up and dance—and hear this ensemble live in concert as soon as possible. Kudos.

Arianna Crawford, American Record Guide:
This is a spectacular program: lively and extremely enjoyable. I highly recommend that you pick it up, put it on, and enjoy it.

Buy the CD

 

 

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LA ISTORIA DE PURIM

4 novembre 2014

LA ISTORIA DE PURIM

Music and Poetry of the Jews in Renaissance Italy. Program created with the support of the EAJC

La-Istoria-de-Purim-evidenza

Performed over 100 times from Budapest to Berkeley, La Istoria de Purim is a celebration of the musical and poetic legacy of the Jewish communities of  Renaissance Italy: a vast, entertaining and cohesive repertoire, the exuberant result of a fertile crossover fed by the confrontation between different cultures, made possible by one of the rare moments of peaceful cohabitation and mutual respect between Jews and their neighbors. Among enlightened clerics, there was a real curiosity about Jewish learning and practice, while Jewish musicians, composers, theatrical troupes, directors, costume makers, dancing masters, poets and playwrights abounded throughout the peninsula.  The repertoire of this time can still astonish us with its overwhelming richness: a prayer sung to the melody of La Follia, a rollicking song in Yiddish about a fire in Venice, sung poems in Italian for the celebration of Purim or Pesach, dances designed to celebrate life’s transitions… All this is a musical affirmation of the intensive, uninterrupted exchange between Italian Jews and Christians and the Jewish communities from all over Europe, with their customs, their songs and their dreams, for whom Italy represented a land of refuge and hope.
7 – 8 Performers: Gloria Moretti, Anna Pia Capurso, Enrico Fink: voice; Avery Gosfield, Marco Ferrari: Renaissance winds, 
Francis Biggi: plucked strings, Massimiliano Dragoni: percussion, hammer dulcimer (Oleguer Aymami Busque, viola da gamba)

Diapason (4 diapasons):
…”A joy which involves the agile voice of Gloria Moretti, the declamation of Enrico Fink, touching guardian of the memory of Israel in “En Kamokha,” and, above all, the excellence of an instrumentation, already infiltrated by Baroque presentiment, in the diptych Pass’e mezzo and Saltarello alla bolognesa where the rhythmic intuition of maitre d’oeuvre Francis Biggi triumphs.”

Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace – A Surprising Heritage Revealed.
…There was no need to be a scholar in order to be moved by the singing of Gloria Moretti …  No more than it was necessary to understand Hebrew, Yiddish or Italian to be won over by Enrico Fink’s cheeky humor in his larger-than-life narrations … it was enough to be swept away, by the refinement and conviction of the performers, to a place where magic reigns.

De Stentor – Jewish tradition, Italian style
…here we have specialists at work.  As is the case of their approach to every repertoire, Ensemble Lucidarium has carried out a profound investigation, this time of the Italian Jewish communities of the 16th Century.  …Within Lucidarium, everyone has mastered all of the parts, so that there is a constant stream of mirthful interchange and improvisation.  A swinging saltarello, a frightening rattle, and precise guitar articulation combine for a perfect mix.

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Reviews

Raze/Raise

Lucidarium is an irresistibly fun group, a light-hearted collection of friends out to relish each other’s company by making music together. That unbuttoned ethos is a welcome intrusion in the concert hall, one that will hopefully infect other performers.

Basler Zeitung

Next to their stylistic confidence and saddle-sure historical interpretation, Ensemble Lucidarium shows us just how contagiously vivacious the reconstruction of medieval sounds can be.

Tagblatt.ch

The six members of Lucidarium let their listeners dive into a completely enchanting world… The musical poetry of the Middle Ages was brought back to life in the most beautiful way possible

New York Times

… The Ensemble Lucidarium, an Italian group, in a program of vocal works (and a couple of high-energy saltarellos) on Wednesday afternoon, performed in a style free of vibrato and other forms of modern polish but plentifully adorned with florid vocal embellishments…

American Recorder Society Magazine

Anyone who arrived thinking of Medieval repertoire as “minor” or as music that ‘all sounds alike’ left with changed ideas.

The Arts Desk

There was a naturalness and relaxedness to their performance that was immensely pleasing.

Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace

… it was enough to be swept away, by the refinement and conviction of the performers, to a place where magic reigns.