Life 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.
L’alto Tirreno – con le sue coste e le sue campagne – rivive in questo raccomandabile CD un proprio passato per l’arte e la buona volontà di un gruppo di artisti di straordinaria sensibilità, i quali, senza degnazione ma con un’operazione culturale di rilievo, disegnano – non solo in bianco e nero – lo sfondo variegato di quella grandiosa civiltà cui si aggancia, alla fine, con arte purissima, il cantore-improvvisatore-dicitore Dolando Bernardini con i versi del suo Orlando furioso.
American Record Guide – Catherine Moore
This imaginative and unusual program brings together Renaissance music and contemporary
poetic improvisations that show how the traditions of speech and song declaimed with music have carried through the centuries. Performing poets from Tuscany and Corsica use their rich “musical” voices to demonstrate a living art form that complements the popular forms of song and dance from the 15th Century. All the performers are experts in their genres, and very fine booklet notes supply details of improvisational structures and explain the common ground in this continuum of performance history. The program is sequenced in very satisfying way, and themes across Renaissance texts and texts from the early 21st Century sit happily side by side…