April 6, 2010
Some preliminary observations on bowed vielles used in audio recordings, inspired in part by wondering about the provenance of instruments used in the period 1950-2010 in recordings of Johannes Ciconia and in part by discovering the use of violins and ‘cello, alongside viols, used in an early recording of Lawes and Byrd viol consort music by the Leonhardt Consort on LP. My thesis is that instruments might have been handed down from master to student. This is part of wider thesis that the translation of musicological research into audio recordings (and presumably concerts as well) follows a trajectory marked by the loyalty students have to their masters and will shy away from innovation – by no means an original idea. This contrasts with my ‘anecdotal’ impression that a few years ago viol playing sped up enormously, perhaps around the time of Pandolfo interpreting Tobias Hume and the increased drive and exuberance in the playing of Forqueray, for example, by Il Giardino Armonico. I’m also much intrigued by Howard Meyer Brown’s article in Early Music on the Trecento fiddle and its bridges. I’m hoping to ‘track’ specific instruments down through the decades. Or not.
Recordings made 1982-1994, with a few interlopers.
0. English Medieval Songs, The 12th & 13th Centuries. Music of the Middle Ages vol.5. Russell Oberlin, countertenor and Seymour Barab, viol. CD, Lyrachord Early Music ser, LEMS 8005. Originally recorded in 1958 on a (fretted) tenor viol (Dolmetsch, England). Saville Clark has devised his own viol accompaniment to these examples of English monody.
1. L’Art de la Flute, vol.1 La Flute a Bec du Moyen-Age au XVIIIe Siecle. Roger Cotte et le Groupe des Instruments Anciens de Paris. LP, 1969. Liner notes by Cotte, trans. Edgar Hunt. Arion 30A070.The bowed vielle, played by Odette Geoffre, makes an appearance on the first three tracks of this recording. Track 1. Ductia, Oxford MS. 0’55. Larigot, rebec, tambourin. Track 2 In Saeculum Viellatoris, motet instrumental, anonyme. 0’55. Flute a bec, viele a l’arc and cornet a bouquin.Track 3 Hoquet David fragments, Guillaume de Machaut, 0’51. Largiot and viele a l’arc over the plainchant played on the harpe medievale a fils d’archal.
2. Music of the Crusades. Early Music Consort of London, dir. David Munrow. CD, Decca, 1991. Recorded 1971. No vielles on this recording, but Oliver Brookes plays bass rebec. This LP/CD features the French royal dances, which is why I mention it here, e.g. nos.3 and 8 are played on a treble rebec and a bass rebec.
3. In a Medieval Garden. Stanley Buetens Lute Ensemble, dir. Stanley Buetens. LP, Nonesuch H71120, [1960/70s?]. Fifteen tracks of music ranging from C13 to Capirola’s La Spagna (C16) via Dufay, Obrecht and Attaignant. Instrumental accompaniment and instrument-only pieces are played on recorder, krummhorn, lute and viol in the main. This recording predates the use of the bowed vielle, but I include it here because it perhaps forms part of the bowed vielle music canon. Side 1. Track 2. Anon. C13, In seculum artifex (krumhorn, lute, viol), 1’12. From Higinio Angles, ed. El Codex de las Huelgas, vol.III. Barcelona, 1931. Track 5. Anon C13, Trotto (recorders, krummhorn, viol, lute, percussion), 1’10. From British Museum MS; Harold Gleason, ed. Examples of Music before 1400, New York, 1942..Side 2. Track 2. Anon C13. In seculum viellatoris (krummhorn, lute, viol), 1’00.From Gleason, ibid.
4. Medieval Monodies: Martin Codax and Marcarbru. La Romanesca. CD,. Move Records, Melb. Australia, 1987. Recorded 1982. Vielle (as appearing on front cover photograph of liner notes) played by Ruth Wilkinson and Australian-made by Ian Watchorn (then Canberra).
5. Bella Domna: the Medieval Woman: lover, poet, patroness and saint. Sinfoyne, dir. Stevie Wishart. CD, Hyperion, 1988. Vielle is mostly limited to the more instrumental of the tracks here – the Martin Codax songs are accompanied by symphony, harp and pandeiro, for example. Vielle accompanies two C13 troubadour songs. Vielle and Moroccan bendir, a very limited texture compared to larger ensembles, are used in recordings of the same pieces: Estampie Royales nos. 2, 4 and 6. Vielles are described as ‘Medieval Fiddles, by Alan Crumpler (tuned according to Jerome of Moravia’s 2nd tuning) and by Jim Bisgood, as used in the troubadour song’..
6. Ars Magis Subtiliter, Project Ars Nova: secular music of the Chantilly Codex. CD, San Fran: New Albion, 1989. All but two of the fifteen tracks, vocal with instruments and instruments alone, feature one and/or two vielles: Shira Kammen, vielle by Fabrizio Reginato (Fonte Alto, Italy, 1984) and Randall Cook on one by Richard Earle (London, 1982).
7. Little Consort: Ciconia & His Time. CD, Channel Classics, 1990. Recorded in 1988. Both Kees Boeke and Toyojiko Satoh take up the viella in addition to their principal instruments, flustes and lute respectively. Their CD liner notes quote the Eugene Deschamps, L’Art de dictierAbout Music, 1392 to justify their use of bowed vielle.
8. The Island of St Hylarion, Music of Cyprus 1413-1422. Ensemble P.A.N. CD, New Albion Records, 1991. Half of the sixteen tracks feature bowed vielle, played by Randall Cook and Shira Kammen, as per 1989..
9. A L’Estampida. Dufay Collective. CD, Avie 0015, 2002. Recorded June 1991. Three vielles on this one, played by Giles Lewin, Susanna Pell (a large bass vielle, easily the size of a tenor viol or small bass, judging from the photo in the liner notes) and Raphael Mizraki. Their 1993 recording seems to ‘fill the gaps’ so that between these two CDs, one appears at first glance to have the entire Italian istanpitta collection and the British MS pieces.
10. Homage to Johannes Ciconia, ca.1370-1412 Ensemble P.A.N. CD, New Albion Records, 1992. Recorded April 1992. This is the first CD devoted entirely to the composer since the complete works recorded on a 3-CD set by the Huelgas Ensemble. It’s the first to explore arrangements and improvisation in interpreting Ciconia. The vielle appears on just about all the tracks. Bowed vielle played by Shira Kammen on the Reginato mentioned above.
11. Wanderers’ Voices: Medieval Cantigas & Minnesang. The Newberry Consort. CD, Harmonia mundi HMU 907082, 1993. Mary Springfels plays a bowed vielle without credits – presumably the same instrument as played on their other albums, Il Solazzo, Ay Amor! and Cornago.
12. A Dance in the Garden of Mirth: medieval instrumental music. Dufay Collective. CD, Chandos, 1994. Recorded 1993. Suzanne Pell plays a Gary Bridgewood (London, 1988) bowed vielle on Tracks 1 (Ghaetta istanpitta), 5 (3rd Royal Estampie), 8 (Trotto-Saltarello), 10 (Belicha istanpitta) and 11 (Isabella istanpitta). She shares the music with at least five or six others on these tracks, which are large ensemble/dance band interpretations of the standard French and Italian monophonic dances I’ve mentioned in other posts.
13. Poder a Santa Maria: Andalucia in the ‘Cantigas de Santa Maria’ of King Alfonso X ‘el Sabio’. Sinfonye, dir. Stevie Wishart. CD, Almaviva, DSI 0105, 1994. Recorded Oct. 1993. Stevie Wishart plays Medieval Fiddles on the three tracks out of eleven. Alan Crumpler (Leonminster, UK) made the waisted fiddle and Bruno Guastaldi (Oxford) made the oval fiddle. Tuned according to Jerome of Moravia’s Tractus de Musica.
14. Venus’ fire. The Renaissance Players. CD, Walsingham WAL 8004-2, 1994. Recorded 1992/1993. Katie Wards plays an Ian Watchorn vielle, with four or five other instrumentalists, in a large ensemble texture, which includes Royal estampies 4 and 8. Vielle-maker Bernard Ellis has one of his rebecs on this recording.
15. Oswald von Wolkenstein, Lieder. Ensemble fur Musik des Mittelalters.CD, BMG, 1993. Two Fiedels, one by Rainer Ulreich (Vienna, 1991) and one by Richard Earle (Basel 1988). Elizabeth Gaver plays one and Rainer Ullreich the other. Songs here are accompanied by fiddle(s) and sometimes with additional late Gothic Harp. Elizabeth and her vielle photographed on the back cover of the liner notes.
16. Chominciamento di gioia: virtuoso dance-music from the time of Boccaccio’s Decamerone. CD, Ensemble Unicorn. Naxos, 1994. Fidel/Fiddle features in the photo of instruments on the back cover of the liner notes. Fidels played by Marco Ambrosini and Thomas Wimmer.
March 13, 2010
This two-voiced Italian ballata has been infrequently recorded work outside the complete works’ collections. What is immediately striking in the score is the use of a repeated first section.
All is explained by Timothy Dickey, All Music Guide, whom I quote at length as follows:
A composition such as Johannes Ciconia’s Ballata La fiamma del to amor che giá me strinze, though it qualifies as complex and polyphonic, preserves a somewhat lighter texture than its Francophile contemporaries (which Ciconia certainly knew). Both text and music follow he Italian refrain form, which kept a closer resemblance to the French virelai. An opening refrain is followed by two verses with both contrasting music and poetic structure. A volta (turning) gives new text to the opening meter, and the refrain rounds the entire form with its return. Ciconia’s music fills the expected form with a powerful yet subtle structure. Both refrain and contrasting “feet” (verses) are in the same meter and are close to one another in level of rhythmic complexity; the refrain, however, contains subtly longer melismatic extensions, a bit more rhythmic interest, and more intimacy of imitation between the two voices; the music for the “feet” also shifts the basic tonality of cadences, leading to a more secure harmonic return in the “turning.” The Italian poetic text mirrors (or presages) these subtleties in a number of ways. The refrain sets out the duality of love in an almost Petrarchan dichotomy: the lover’s soul balances between life and death. The “feet” elaborate: his spirit desires to soar above its weeping, but cannot find a place to live beyond death. Almost surprisingly, the “turning” offers hope: “Love can conquer death!” Unfortunately, the form demands that poem and music return to the opening refrain, and we are once again reminded of the lover’s perilous suspension between life and death.
Sources: Lucca: Archivio di Stato 184 (Mancini Codex), fol. 54v (2/2).
Facsimiles: The Lucca Codex. Codice Mancini. Introductory Study and Facsimile Edition. Edited by John Nadas and Agostino Ziino, Lucca. Libreria musicale italiana editrice, 1990.
1. CLERCX, Suzanne. Johannes Ciconia: Un musicien liégois et son temps, 2 vols., Brussels: Palais des Académies, 1960, Vol. II: 61.
2. NEMETH, George L. The Secular Music of Johannes Ciconia, Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University (1977): 198.
3. WILLIAMS, Carol J. The Mancini Codex: A Manuscript Study, Ph.D. dissertation (University of Adelaide), 3 vols., 1983, Vol. II: 45.
4. The Works of Johannes Ciconia, edited by Margaret Bent and Anne Hallmark. Monaco: Editions de L’Oiseau-Lyre, 1985. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century XXIV: 134. Work No.31
1. BONACCORSI, Alfredo “Un nuovo codice dell’ Ars nova: Il codice Lucchese.” Atti della Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Ser. 8, I/12 (1948): 586.
2. PIRROTTA, Nino and Ettore LI GOTTI. “Il Codice di Lucca. III. Il repertorio musicale.” Musica Disciplina, V (1951): 129.
1. Recording on CD
2009 Trecento. EtCetera KTC1902. Jill Feldman, soprano and Kees Boeke, fl. Inter alia: Dolce fortuna; La Fiamma del to amor. Reissued by Olive Music, OM002, 2009.
2005 (Dec 13) Ars subtilior: Dawn of the Renaissance. Ferrara Ensemble, Ensemble Organum, Hilliard Ensemble, Huelgas Ensemble, Orlando Consort. Harmonia mundi Fr. Inter alia: 2. La fiamma del to amor (2’27); 3. Le ray au soley! (1’27)
1998 En doulz chastel de Pavie: Chansons a la cour des Visconti vers 1400. Ferrara Ensemble, Crawford Young. Harmonia mundi ‘Documenta’ 905241 (60:28). Inter alia: La Fiamma del to amor, a 2 (Lucca f54v) (2:30); Le ray au soley! canon, Perugia, f.83 (1:30); Sus une fontayne (Mod.f.27v-28)(8:15). Incl Randall Cook on viola d’arco, CY on guiterne and Marion Fourquier on harp.
1982 L’œuvre intégral / Johannes Ciconia.: Huelgas Ensemble, dir Paul van Nevel. Musique en Wallonie, MW 80040-44. (10 and 12/80). Œuvres italiennes III: Merçe o morte; La fiamma del to amor (4’44); O donna crudele; Per quella strada lactea. ?Reissued 1997.
2. YouTube video clips
Johannes Ciconia (1335-1411) – La fiamma del tio amor (instrumental). theprof1958, 24 Oct 2009 (2:26). Ferrara Ensemble, dir Crawford Young. lute and vielle. Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia. La fiamma del to amor. CathedralMusicOnline, 6 Dec 2009 (3:30). Fidel and vielle. Case Western Reserve University Collegium Musicum, dir. Dr. Debra Nagy. Performed at Trinity Cathedral (Episcopal), Cleveland, Ohio. Brownbag Concert: A medieval banquet, November 18, 2009. Visuals: live concert, church altar.
March 12, 2010
Le Ray Au Soley! is a short work by Johannes Ciconia, one of two he wrote in the form of a canon. This is in three parts, with the top two parts texted and the bottom part untexted. One reference gives this as preserved in a Ciconia manuscript, Perugia, f.83 and from its title, is obviously a work done in the French style. Planchart, in the liner notes of the Ensemble PAN recording, describes this as an early work when he was strongly influenced by French music; I need to examine any links in this piece with Ciconia’s role model, de Caserta. Exactly which of the three possible Johannes Ciconia of the period becomes a factor here – how this French influence was activated and whether or not he spent time in Avignon. Planchart concludes that “our” Ciconia was an Italian composer with north European training.
As seen below, it has been recorded consistently but not as often as some others. It lasts for a minute as sung, in all parts, by the Orlando Consort, who sing it at a Goldilocks pace, not too fast and not too slow. The character of this all-too-brief piece lends itself to asking for more, so Ensemble PAN have on their track 10 done just that pushing it out to 2mins 12secs, with an opening focussed on the rocking lullaby nature of the rhythm, followed by a very light touch in the voices. This is an arrangement by Shira Kammen. Both so far have been all-vocals, so Ensemble PAN launch in their track 11 into a treatment with vielles and harp in the lowest line. To keep the whole thing from sounding laboured, they’ve done it as-is in 1min 12secs. Track 11 reprises the whole thing in a large ensemble-sounding effort, voices and strings. The melodic fragments falling over each other is enormously infectious and this “bubbling” effect, so often used by Ciconia, makes me wonder whether he was enormously influenced by highly resonant performance spaces, exploiting echo and reverb. Its “modern” soundscape lends itself well to a contemporary group like Alarm Will Sound arranging it over 2’47 mins, starting with a solo voice joined by violin; the Blindman Saxophone Quartet has also recorded a version lasting 6’23 mins.
The sparkling, effervescent quality immediately falls into place once we consider the lyrics (rhyme scheme is ABBA). Whoever the ‘laquel compagnon’ is, it’s an ode of sunshine, with a strong hint of a dedicatory intent in the mention of the “dove”.
To quote at length from Timothy Dickey, “All Music Guide”:
The manuscript copy that preserves the music for us today makes this clear: the scribe has highlighted words within the text that point to elements of Visconti’s crest: soleyl (the sun), tortorelle (the turtledove), and a bon droyt (faithfully). The text otherwise appears to be a rather simple pastoral image of the turtledove waking a lover in the rays of the sun. The wit and true cleverness of Ciconia’s music here comes in the canonic conception: in the manuscript, only one musical melody is notated, with a Latin inscription indicating that all three voices should be derived from the single melody, as each reads its notes in a different mensuration, or rhythmic framework. The esoteric and rarefied nature of this musical device has actually tended to obscure our understanding of it, as no one is completely sure how to properly interpret the canon.
Le ray au soleyl qui dret som karmeyne/En soy bracant la douce tortorelle/Laquel compagnon onques renovelle/A bon droyt sembla que en toy perfect reyne.
The ray of sunlight, in whose true enchantment/sleeps the sweet turtledove – in his embrace -/ever rejuvenating that beloved one;/faithfully makes his appearance in your perfect kingdom. (Trans. John Fleagle)
2009 A/Rhythmia. Alarm Will Sound. Nonesuch. (15/9/09). Inter alia: Le Ray Au Soley! arr Gavin Chuck, 2:47.
2005 (Dec 13) Ars subtilior: Dawn of the Renaissance. Ferrara Ensemble, Ensemble Organum, Hilliard Ensemble, Huelgas Ensemble, Orlando Consort. Harmonia mundi Fr. Inter alia: 2. La fiamma del to amor; 3. Le ray au soley!
2002 Multiple Voice, Blindman Saxophone Quartet. Universal 472596-2. Inter alia, Le ray au Soley! puzzle canon, 4 saxophones (6’53).
1999 The Saracen and the Dove: Music from the Courts of Padua and Pavia. Orlando Consort. Deutsche-Grammophon, Archiv, 2894596202. Inter alia: Doctorum principum; Per quella strada lactea; O felix templum jubila; O Padua sidus praeclarum; Con lagreme bagnandome; Una panthera (5’24); Sus une fontayne; Le ray au soley! (1’01).
1998 En doulz chastel de Pavie: Chansons a la cour des Visconti vers 1400. Inter alia: La fiamma del to amor; Le ray au soley! (1.30) and Le ray au soley (8:15).
1992 Homage to Johannes Ciconia c.1370-1412. Ensemble P.A.N. New Albion, NA 048. Includes Shira Kammen and Steven Lundahl on medieval slide trumpet. Inter alia: 2. Chacando un giorno (2:27); 3. O Padua sidus praeclarum (2:52); 4. Regina Gloriosa (2:15); 5. Aler m’en veus (5:15); 6. Io Crido amor, arr S Kammen (3:20); 7. O rosa bella, ballata (5:02); 8. Poy che morir (4:49); 9. Ben che da vui donna arr. C Young (2:18); 10. Le ray soley! (2:12); 11. Le ray soley! arr S Kammen (1:12); 12. Le ray au soley! (1:18); 13. Petrum Marcello Venetum (2:45); 14. Chi nel servir antico (2:34); 15. Per quella strada (3:47); 16. Una panthera (4:51); 17. Gli atti col dancar (3:02); 18. Sus une fontayne (5:23); 19. O Petre Christi discipule (2:28); 20. Doctorum principem (2:41); 21. O Virum omnimoda (2:17). Reissued 2009.
1982 L’œuvre intégral / Johannes Ciconia. Huelgas Ensemble, dir Paul van Nevel. Musique en Wallonie, MW 80040-44. (10 and 12/80). Œuvres italiennes I: Una panthera; Chi nel servir; Poi che morir ; I cani sono fuora; Motets I: Albane missi celitus; O Petre Christi; O virum omnimoda; Doctorum principem; Parties de messes I: Et in terra pax “Regina gloriosa” & Patrem omnipotentem “Regina gloriosa”; Et in terra pax & Patrem omnipotentem; Œuvres italiennes II: O rosa bella; Chaçando un giorno; Lizadra donna; Deduto sei a quel; Œuvres françaises: Le ray au soleil; Aler men veus; Quod jactatur; Sus un fontayne; Motets II: Petrum Marcello; Ut te per omnes; O felix templum; O beatum incendium; O Padua sidus praeclarum; Œuvres italiennes III: Merçe o morte; La fiamma del to amor; O donna crudele; Per quella strada lactea; Parties de messes II: Et in terra pax; Et in terra pax & Patrem omnipotentum; Et in terra pax; Motets III: Regina gloriosa; Venecie mundi splendor; Parties de messes III: Et in terra pax; Patrem omnipotentem; Œuvres italiennes III: Dolçe fortuna; Chi vol amar; Con lagreme bagnandome nel viso.
1972 Johannes Ciconia (1335-1411), Early Music Studio, dir. Thom. Binkley. EMI-Reflexe 1C06330102, LP/Cass and CDM (or 555) 7 63442 2 (CD). (12/1970)2. 1. Una panthera; 2. Chi nel servir anticho; 3. Lizadra donna; 4. Per quella strada; 5. O rosa bella; 6. Le Ray au soleil; 7. Sus un’ fontayne; 8. Aler m’en veus; 9. Albane misse celitus; 10. Gloria; 11.Credo “Regina gloriosa”. (mezzo, tenor, c/tenor, vielles, lute/sackbutt, sop, sackbutt). Reviewed in Diapaison, Gramophone, Fanfare 4/5, MayJune 198
Ciconia Dufay Isaac. Renaissance Telefunken Alte Werk. Capella Antiqua Munchen conducted by Konrad Ruhland. (LP) 1. Una panthera, (5:42; 2. Chi nel servir (3:11); 3. Lizadra donna (4:10); 4. Per quella strada, (3:48); 5. O rosa bella (5:35); 6. Le ray au soley! (1:50): 7. Sus un’ fontayne (5:57); 8. Aler m’en veus (3:54); 9. Albane misse celitus (2:45); 10. Gloria (3:45); 11. Credo (5:38).
2. YouTube videos
Johannes Ciconia – French Ballads (1/3) Le ray au soley! bartje11, 16 Jan 2010 (1:57). Source: Andrea von Ramm, mezzo; Willard Cobb, tenor; Thomas Binkley, sackbut. Visuals: lyrics.
Johannes Ciconia: Le ray au soley! musiquedumoyenage, 28 Feb 2010. Huelgas Ensemble.
“Le ray au soley! qui dret som kar meyne”. MONTENSEM, 21 Dec 2009 ( : ). Voices. Visuals: still image.
March 11, 2010
Here beginneth the daily look at Ciconia’s individual works. As I gain further insights and information, I’ll update and edit the words below.
Una panthera is a three-voice Italian madrigal, one of four attributed to Ciconia, thought by some to have been composed in the 1390s and by others as more closely linked with the visit of the noble Lazzaro, from Lucca, visiting Giangaleazzo Visconti in Padua in May or June 1399. Ciconia was working for Visconti at the time.
To quote Donato Mancini in the “All Music Guide”:
The lyrics, possibly Ciconia, engage Lazzaro in deep flattery. They refer to the mythical founding of Lucca by an armoured panther (or leopard), in the company of the war-god Mars. The celebration of the creature’s strong defnse of the city is aimed to flatter Lazzaro into accepting terms for a political and military alliance with Padua.
Integral to an understanding of Ciconia and his music is the political context of the north Italian city-states spending both a lot of money on ceremony and status-seeking musical accompaniment and on fighting with each other. Initially, the principal struggle was between the two ports, Genoa and Venice. After Genovese acquiescence to Venice, a struggle grew between Venice and Milan. Pavia, a city immediately to the south of Milan was caught up in military action, as did Padua not far from Venice. Florence, to the south of Bologna, came into its own more in the fifteenth-century after these events of the late fourteenth-century, after the Black Death of 1385 and the likes of Petrarch and Boccaccio. Things seem to have rather come to a natural close with Padua surrendering in 1405 to Venice. I’ll refine my understandings of the politics as I go along. Obviously Ciconia has a place in the music of Venice; more on that later, and of course, Padua.
But back to the music. Any superficial listening will cause one to consider Una panthera in terms of “angularity” and strong contrasts between long sustained chords and melismatic vocal acrobatics. In considering Mancini’s further description of this madrigal, he describes it as a “most famous” and “most… influential” work. Now I’m not sure to what extent it was famous and popular in Ciconia’s own time – perhaps it was one of those works which was copied and transmitted across Europe. But certainly it has been famous and popular for modern audiences, with at least fifteen different recordings in the last five decades. Sus un fontayne comes in with twelve over the same period, but almost all the remaining works have been recorded once, twice or three times, by comparison.
To quote Mancini again at length:
All four of these pieces (madrigals) are consistent in their Italianzed style and tone. Their particularly Italian traits are mostly rhythmic/melodic, quick lines with many notes, triplets in the beat, longish scalar passages, and often sequenced. The cumulative effect is celebratory and oddly three-dimensional. Una panthera breaks back and forth between sections of ebullient fludiity and studies in the syncopated montage of parts. In these latter sections (the refrains), Ciconia seems to be experimenting with the kind of the angular grace that can eb created when somewhat awkward, syncopated lines are justly superimposed. He makes a point of weaving the movements of onel ine into the open or static spaces of another. His concept seems to draw inspiration directly from the conventions of French Gothic architecture, sometimes described as the ‘awareness of space as a tangible entity’. Such asn awareness naturally leads to a fascination with the dramatic intersection of the hard lines that compose a space. To this learned, rational French sensibility, Ciconia adds an Italianate interest in color and flair, individualistic expressions of his own creative pleasure. The result of his efforts are some of the most enjoyable, influential works of the entire ars subtilior.
I’m not aware yet of how exactly a madrigal, with ostensibly such slim resources as three voices, can have taken on such an important role in the diplomatic and political fortunes of two bellicose north Italian city-states. I guess this is the Trecento equivalent of today’s photo opportunity of two political leaders shaking hands and about to announce a peace treaty. Perhaps the creation, performance and notation of a madrigal was as important then as any peace treaty signed with Montblanc fountain pens now. But certainly Ciconia was in the thick of it; his works are sprinkled with emblematic references and metaphors to the opposing city-states. And perhaps as a supremely confident man in his late-twenties, then at the prime of his life, he felt he could compose his own music to his own lyrics, and at least on one occasion include his own name in the text.
When it comes to the untexted bottom line of the three melodic parts, some performers have chosen to perform this as an all-vocal work and I’m obvious swayed by the powerful Orlando Consort in this regard, while other recordings have featured all-instruments, for example, three recorders, or recorder/vielle/harp. The Little Consort recording has a mezzo with two flutes and cetra; Catherine Bott is accompanied by two vielles. The madrigal seems to have gained a strong foothold with the Ruhland and Binkley LP recordings, obviously followed up in the Clemenic and Huelgas Ensemble ‘complete works’ CDs, with almost regular recordings from 1990 onwards. I’ve yet to fully understand its popularity, but its obvious choice by recording companies as well as performers is undeniable.
Having copied out the score by hand, I’ll come back later with comments on the madrigal’s structure and the relationships between music and text. I’ll include the full lyrics here shortly. Over time, I’ll consider how versatile it obviously is when it comes to instruments-only performances.
Una panthera in compagnia de marte
Candido Jove d’un sereno adorno
Constant’e’ l’arme chi la garda intorno.
Dando a ciaschun mortal che ne sia degno
Triumpho, gloria e parte in questo regno.
Questa guberna la cita luchana
Con soa dolcezza el cielo dispensa e dona
Secondo el meritar iusta corona.
Dando a ecc.
March 11, 2010
Okay, so I’ve drawn up a list of Ciconia’s work from LPs/CDs/YouTube and matched them this week with Margaret Bent’s edition of the complete works, mercifully located in the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Library thus saving me a trip to Canberra’s National Library, which is the only other copy in NSW that I know of. Concerned primarily with those works recorded with instrumental accompaniment, the list below is light-on when it comes to the religious/Mass movements and the oft-recorded “Gloria”.
Listed Number is from the Complete Works, edited by Margaret Bent. Pls ignore the recording durations. Pls note that Margaret Bent has commented on the veracity of particular works in her article in New Grove Online.
Gloria and Credo (listed as nos 1 and 2), SST voices all texted, 9.30mins.
Gloria and Credo (listed as nos. 3 and 4), SS voices texted and TT parts untexted, 8mins.
Gloria (listed as no.5 subtitlted Spiritus et alme), SS texted and T untexted, 4.30mins.
Et in terra pax “Regina gloriosa”Et in terra pax & Patrem omnipotentem
Albane, misse celitus, motet, a4 (SS voices texted and TT parts untexted), 3mins.
44. Aler m’en veus, virelai, a2, texted, French.
37. Amor perti, ballata, a1, texted, incomplete.
35. Ben che da vui donna, ballata, a1, texted, incomplete.
25. Cacando un giorno, madrigal, a2, texted, Italian.
32. Che nel servir antico, ballata, a3, top two lines texted, Italian.
38. Chi vole amar, a2, ballata piccola, texted. Opus dubium.
29. Con lagreme bagnandome nel viso, ballata, a2, texted. See Appendix 1, five keyboard versions.
42. Deduto sey, ballata grande, ballata, a3, texted, all in bass clef, Italian. Opus dubium. See Appendix 2, keyboard versions.
Doctorem principem/Melodia suavissima/Vir mitis, motet. SS voices texted and TT parts untexted, 2.30mins
30. Dolce fortuna, ballata, a2, texted.
43. Gli atti col dancar frances, ballata, a3, top line only texted. Opus dubium.
26. I cani sono fuora, madrgial, a2, texted, Italian.
36. Io crido amor, ballata, a1, texted, incomplete. Opus dubium.
31. La Fiamma del to amor, ballata, a2, texted (Lucca f.54v).
47. Le Ray au soley! canon, a3, two lines texted, Perugia, f.83
33. Lizadra donna, ballata, a3, top two lines texted, Italian. 2 Versions.
39. Merce o morte, ballata, a2, texted. Opus dubium. 2 Versions.
40. Non credo, a2, ballata, texted. Opus dubium.
22. O beatum incendium, motet/Latin contrafactum.
O donna crudele, Italian
12. O felix templum jubila, non-isorhythmic motet. SA voices texted and TT parts untexted, 3.30mins.
13. O Padua sidus praeclarum, non-isorhythmic motet. SA voices texted and T part untexted, 3mins.
23. O Petre Christi discipule, motet/madrigal Latin contrafactum.
34. O rosa bella, ballata, a3, top abd bottom line texted, Italian.
15. O virum omnimoda, non-isorhythmic motet
27. Per quella strada lactea, madrigal, a2, texted, Italian
Petrum Marcello Venetum, motet
41. Poy che morir, ballata, a2, texted, Italian. Opus dubium.
46. Quod jactatur, canon, a3, all texted, French.
24. Regina gloriosa, motet/Latin contrafactum. Opus dubium.
45. Sus une fontayne, virelai, a3, two lines texted, French (Mod.f.27v-28)
28. Una panthera, madrigal, a3, texted, Italian.
Ut te per omnes/Ingens alumnus Padue, motet. SS voices texted and TT parts untexted, 2.30mins.
14. Venecie mundi splendor/Michael qui Stena domus/Italia mundicie, non-isorhythmic motet, a3. SAT voices, all texted, 5mins.
March 6, 2010
2010 (Feb 12) Ciaramella Ensemble: Music from the Court of Burgundy Yarlung Records 05785. (Gold CD). Inter alia. 4. Una panthera; 5. Doctorum principem; 6. O rosa bella. ?with instruments.
2009 Trecento. EtCetera KTC1902. Jill Feldman, soprano and Kees Boeke, fl. Inter alia: Dolce fortuna; La Fiamma del to amor. Reissued by Olive Music, OM002, 2009.
2009 (Oct 2) Il Poverello: Medieval and Renaissance Music for Saint Francis of Assisi. Rose Ensemble (8/12/2009). Inter alia: 16. Ut te per omnes – voices (3:05).
2009R Reissue. Homage to Johannes Ciconia (1370-1412), secular music of Johannes Ciconia.
2009 A/Rhythmia. Alarm Will Sound. Nonesuch. (15/9/09). Inter alia: Le Ray Au Soley! arr Gavin Chuck, 2:47.
2009 Netherlands Chamber Vox Neerlandica I: a capella works from the Renaissance. Netherlands Chamber Choir, cond. Paul Van Nevel. EtCetera, 1368. (10/11/09). Inter alia. Gloria (4:16).
2008X Alfred Deller Christmas Carols and Motets, The Complete Vanguard Recordings, vol.3. Vanguard Classics, MC192.(14/10/08). Inter alia: Et in terra pax.
2006 (Feb 14) Delectatio Angeli: Music of Love, longing and lament. Catherine Bott. Hyperion 67549 (14/2/06). Per quella strada lactea, voice and fiddle (3:22); Una panthera, (2 fiddles and voice) (3:46)
2006 Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music vol.1 Ancient to Baroque. Inter alia Sus une fontayne.
2005 (Dec 13) Ars subtilior: Dawn of the Renaissance. Ferrara Ensemble, Ensemble Organum, Hilliard Ensemble, Huelgas Ensemble, Orlando Consort. Harmonia mundi Fr. Inter alia: 2. La fiamma del to amor; 3. Le ray au soley!
2004 Zodiac: Ars Nova and Arts Subtilior in the Low Countries and Europe. Capilla Flamenca, dir. Dirk Snellings. Countertenor, percussion, voices, vielle (Liam Fennelly), Jowan Merckx (recs, bagpipe), Jan van Outryve, lute. Recorded Feb 2004. Eufoda 1360. Inter alia: Track 3, Sus Un’ Fontayne En Remirant.
2004 Puzzles and Perfect Beauty: Italian music at the end of the Middle Ages. Newberry Consort. Noyse Productions, NP2534657822. Inter alia. Sus un fontayne.
2004 (May 5) Alfred Deller: ses premiers enregistrements, 1949-1954. (4/3/1950). EMI Classics France. Inter alia. 1. O rosa bella (2:43).
2003 (Nov 11) Monastic Chant: C12 and C13. European Sacred Music. Hillier Ensemble, dir. Paul Hiller.Inter alia: Disc 2/22 Venecie mundi splendor – voices(2:36), three voices; Disc 2/29 Ut per omnes – voices (2:43).
2003 (Dec 15) Ciconia, Dufay, Wolkenstein. Carpe Diem 16260. Ensemble Alta Musica. Instruments and voices. Inter alia. 6. Ben che da vui donna (3’35). 9. Doctorem principem (3:10); 11. Una panthera (3:12). Reissued 2005.
2003 Christo e Nato: Lauding the Nativity in Medieval Italy. Trefoil. MSR Classics, MSR 1094. Inter alia. Gloria – voices. MP3 track available.
2002 Medee fu: Ballades & Ballate. Verso. VRS2005. Inter alia. 4. Una panthera, recorders and strings; 10. Credo (Trento 87), voice, strings and recorders. Reissued 2006 (Oct 30).
2002 (Mar 5) Ballate e Madrigali al tempo Signoria di Paolo Guinigi (sec.XV). Tactus, TCT 400002. (5/3/02). Inter alia Una panthera, voices, vielle; Per quella strada lactea a2, voices and vielle, recorder (5:14).
2002 Multiple Voice, Blindman Saxophone Quartet. Universal 472596-2. Inter alia, Le Ray au Soley! 4 saxophones (6:53)
2001 Reissue. Newberry Consort Music for a medieval banquet.
2001 Alfred Deller: HMV Recordings, 1949-54.
2000 (May 23) Renaissance of the Spirit: the music of Orlando di Lasso and his contemporaries. Currende and Flanders Fiamminghi Orch., cond. Rudolf Werthen and Erik Van Nevel. Telarc. Inter alia. 19. Credo – large ensemble (5:10).
2000 Johannes Ciconia. EMI Classics.
2000 Ciconia. Complete Works
1999 Hoquetus: Medieval European Vocal Music. Theatre of Voices, dir. Paul Hillier. Harmonia mundi HMU 90 7185. recorded 1997/1998. Track 22. Venecie Mundi Splendor (3 voices).
1999 The Saracen and the Dove: Music from the Courts of Padua and Pavia. Orlando Consort. Deutsche-Grammophon, Archiv, 2894596202. Inter alia: 1. Doctorum principum (2’55); 2. Per quella strada lactea (4’44); 3. O felix templum jubila (3’37); 6. O Padua sidus praeclarum (3’03); 8. Con lagreme bagnandome (4’47); 9. Una panthera (5’25); 13. Sus une fontayne (8’26); 14. Le ray au soley! (1:01).
1998 En doulz chastel de Pavie: Chansons a la cour des Visconti vers 1400. Ferrara Ensemble, Crawford Young. Harmonia mundi ‘Documenta’ 905241 (60:28). Inter alia: La Fiamma del to amor, a 2 (Lucca f54v) (2:30); Le ray au soley! Perugia, f.83 (1:30); Sus une fontayne (Mod.f.27v-28)(8:15). Incl Randall Cook on viola d’arco, CY on guiterne and Marion Fourquier on harp.
1998 Sidus Praeclarum: the complete motets of Johannes Ciconia 1390-1412. Mala Punica, dir. Pedro Memelsdorff. Elektra (Erato Warner 3984-21661). Recorded 1997, Italy. Compilation reissue: Erato 84925. Italie Gothique (3 CDs). Inter alia. Track 1. O virum omnimoda; Track 2. O felix templum jubila; Track 3. Venecie mundi splendor; Track 4. Albane misse celitus (instrumental); Track 5. Petrum Marcello Venetum; Track 6. Introitus: Dicit Dominus Petro (chant); Track 7. O Petre Christi discipule; Track 8. Ut te per omnes; Track 9. O beatum incendium; Track 10. O Padua sidus preclarum; Track 11. Alleluia (chant); Track 12. Albane misse celitus; Track 13. Alleluia: Franciscus pauper (chant); Track 14. Doctorum principem; Track 15. Padu serenans (instrumental).
1998 (Nov 10) Armonia di Flauti. Opus 111. Inter alia: Ut te per omnes – recorders; Albane, misse celutis – recorders.
1998 (recorded June 1998) Fumeux fume par fumee. Speculum, dir. Ernesto Schmied. Jubal A 002. Track 4. Una panthera.
1997 (Oct 7) Neo-Medieval: Medieval Improvisations for a Postmodern Age. Dorian DIS-80155. Inter alia. 12. Una panthera – recorders; 18. O Padua – recorders.
1997 Musik der Engel/Les Haulz et Les Bas (USA: Chamber Music (12th-15th Centuries). Les Hautz Et Les Bas. Christophorus, CHR 77193. Probably Per quella strada, O virum omnimoda; Una panthera; Regina gloriosa – lge ensemble (2:38).
1996 Gothic Winds – Loyset, Dufay, et al. Les Haulz et Les Bas. Christophorus, CHR 77193. Inter alia Regina gloriosa, (2:40) Classicsonline/MP3. Track reissued on Medieval Music- Alfonso X/Carceres/Wolkenstein. Christophorus CHR77296.
1997 O rosa bella: English and Continental Music from the Late Gothic Period. Clemencic Consort, Arte Nova 59210. Inter alia: Track 15. O rosa bella, 3 voices, fiddle.
1995X Reissue. Les Tres Riches Heures Du Moyen Age: a medieval Journey. from Il Solazzo.
1995 (Jan 1) Popes & Antipopes: Music for the Courts of Avignon and Rome. Orlando Consort. Metronome, MET 1008. Liner notes by Margaret Bent. (1/1/95; reissued 29/6/01). Inter alia: O Petre Christi discipule, voices; Gloria (with Suscipe Trinitas, ), voices.
1995 (1 Nov) Musicalis Scientia. Sator Musicae Ensemble, Tactus Records 8000024MSH. Inter alia.
1995 Venice, Splendour of the World: Music for Popes and Doges from 15th-century Italy. Dufay Consort, Dervorguilla DRVCD 105. Recorded 1994. Inter alia: Track 1. Ut te per omnes, 3 voices only.
1995 Close Encounters in Early Music. Opus 111, OPS3000. Alla Francesca & Alta; reissued track from 30101. Track 7. Chacando Un Giorno.
1995 (July 18) D’Amor Ragionando, ballades du neo-Stilnovo en Italie 1380-1415 (Musica nell’autunno del medioevo). Mala Punica. Inter alia: Merce o morte (probably voices and instruments incl fl, vielle, organetto, campane, lute).
1994 Johannes Ciconia (1370-1412): Motets, Virelais, Ballate, Madrigals. Alla Francesca & Alta. 1 Jan 94. Opus 111, OP30101. Recorded Oct 1993. Alla Francesca (vocal and instrumental ensemble) and Alta (trio of high instruments).1. Merce o morte – 3 voices (5:41); 2. Una panthera – rec, vielle, harp (5:17); 3. Gli atti col dancar – shawm, bombarde, sl trump (1:49); 4. O Padua sidus preclarum – 3 voices (3:18); 5. Ben che da vui – rec (3:36); 6. Sus une fontayne – voice, 2 recs (6:56); 7. Chacando un giorno- 2 bagpipes, shawm, rebec, perc (3:37); 8. Quod jactatur – harp, vielle, rec (1:52); 9. Poy che morir – voices, vielle, harp (4:41); 10.Venecie mundi spendor – shawm, bombarde, sl trump (2:43); 11. O rosa bella – 2 vielles, harp (4:48); 12. Chi vole amar – bagpipes, shawm, perc (1:58); 13. O felix templum jubila – 2 recs, 2 vielles (3:35); 14. Chi nel servir antico – voice, harp, vielle, rec (3:47); 15.Deduto sey – shawm, bombarde, sl trump (3:32); 16. Aler m’en veus – 2 voices (4:30); 17. O virum omnimoda – 2 recs, 2 vielles (2:19); 18. Gloria – 3 voices (4:27); 19. Regina gloriosa – shawm, bombarde, sl trump (2:48).
1993 (Aug 19) Johannes Ciconia and His Time. Little Consort. Lucia Meewsen; Walter van Hauwe, Toyohiko Satoh, Anneke Boeke. (30/7/2001 reissued – sic). Inter alia. 1. Una panthera (mezzo, cetra, fl, fl, lute, vielle, vielle)(6:30); 2. Ben che da vui donna (rec, rec); 3. Per quella strada (sop, lute, rec, rec)(5:03); 5. Gli atti col dancar frances (rec, mezzo, rec, vielle); 7. Che nel servir anticho (cetra, vielle, rec, mezzo)(4:20); 8. Sus une Fontayne (lute, rec, mezzo, vielle)(7:43); 9. Quod jactatur (lute, rec, vielle)(2:27).
1993 Il Solazzo: Music for a Medieval Banquet. Harmonia mundi HMU907038). (10/3/93). Inter alia: 10. O rosa bella (countertenor; vielles) (6:19); 16. Ligiadra donna (vielles)(3:58)
1993 Channel Classics Collection, vol.1 Little Consort. Inter alia. Per quella strada lactea, a2 (voice, recorder).
1992 Homage to Johannes Ciconia c.1370-1412. Ensemble P.A.N. New Albion, NA 048. Includes Shira Kammen and Steven Lundahl on medieval slide trumpet. Recorded April 1992. Inter alia: 2. Chacando un giorno (2:27); 3. O Padua sidus praeclarum (2:52); 4. Regina Gloriosa, arr.(2:15); 5. Aler m’en veus (5:15); 6. Io Crido amor, arr S Kammen (3:20); 7. O rosa bella, ballata – vielles (5:02); 8. Poy che morir (4:49); 9. Ben che da vui donna arr. C Young (2:18); 10. Le ray soley! (2:12); 11. Le ray au soley! arr S Kammen (1:12); 12. Le ray au soley! (1:18); 13. Petrum Marcello Venetum (2:45); 14. Chi nel servir antico (2:34); 15. Per quella strada (3:47); 16. Una panthera (4:51); 17. Gli atti col dancar (3:02); 18. Sus une fontayne (5:23); 19. O Petre Christi discipule (2:28); 20. Doctorum principem (2:41); 21. O Virum omnimoda (2:17). Reissued 2009.
1990 Little Consort, Johannes Ciconia & His Time. Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo; Walter van Hauwe, flutes, Toyohiko Satoh, med lute, lute, cetra, viella; Kees Boeke, viella, flutes. Channel Classics. Recorded June 1988. Inter alia: 1. Una panthera, mezzo, cetra, fl, fl, vielle, vielle (6:30); 2. Ben che de vui donna, rec, rec (2:56); 3. Per quella strada, sop, lute, rec,rec (5:05); 5. Gli atti col dancar, rec, mezzo, rec, vielle (3:57); 7. Che nel servir anticho (4:23); 8. Sus une fontayne, lute, rec, mezzo, vielle (7:47); 9. Quod Jactatur, lute, rec, vielle (2:30).
1982 L’œuvre intégral / Johannes Ciconia. Huelgas Ensemble, dir Paul van Nevel. Pavane 73345-7. Reissued of Musique en Wallonie MW 80040-44, recorded Oct and Dec 1980. Œuvres italiennes/Italian secular works, Track 1: Una panthera, 3 voices, bombard, 2 sackbuts; Track 2: Chi nel servir, voice, echaquier, vielle; Track 3. Poi che morir, voice, recorder, rebec ; Track 4. I cani sono fuora, 2 voices, lute; Track 5. O rosa bella, voice, lute, vielle; Track 6, Chacando un giorno, shawm, bombard; Track 7. Lizadra donna, voice, viheula, vielle; Track 8. Deduto sei, 2 voices, 2 krumhorns; Track 9. Merce o morte, sackbut, rebec, recorder; Track 10. La fiamma del to amor, voice, rebec, recorder; Track 11. Per quella strada lactea, 2 voices, sackbut; Track 12. Dolce fortuna, voice, echaquier. Track 1. Chi vole amar, 3 voices, lute; Track 2. Con lagreme bagnandome nel viso, voice, echaquier, rebec. Motets I/Track 3: Albane missi celitus, choir, shawm, 2 bombards; Track 4. O Petre Christi, voice, bombard, sackbut; Track 5. O virum omnimoda, 3 voices, 2 shawms, 2 bombards; Track 6. Doctorum principem, 2 voices, 2 cornets, 2 sackbuts; Track 7. Petrum Marcello, 2 sop, 2 cornets, 2 sackbuts; Track 8. Ut te per omnes, 2 voices, 2 bombards, 2 sackbuts; Track 9. O felix templum, choir, 3 bombards; Track 10. O beatum incendium, choir, organ; Track 11, O Padua sidus praeclarum, 3 voices, bombard, sackbut; Track 12. Regina gloriosa, voice, cornet, echaquier, vielle, Track 13. Venecie mundi splendor, choir, cornet, organ; French secular works Track 1: Le ray au soleyl (shawm, 2 bombards); Track 2 Aler men venus (voice, lute); Track 3: Quod jactatur (lute, vielle, recorder); Track 4. Sus un fontayne (voice, echaquier, vielle). Mass sections Track 5. Et in terra pax & Patrem omnipotentem (Gloria and Credo), 2 voices, choir. 2 bombards, 2 sackbuts, organ; Track 6. Et in terra pax & Patrem omnipotentem (troped Gloria and Credo), 2 voices, bombard, sackbut; Track 7. Et in terra pax (Gloria), 4 voices, rebec, 2 sackbuts, organ; Track 8. Et in terra pax & Patrem omnipotentem (Gloria and Credo), 5 voices, cornet, vielle, sackbut; Track 9: Et in terra pax (troped Gloria), 4 voices, 2 cornets, 2 sackbuts; Track 10: Et in terra pax (troped Gloria), 2 voices, cornet, organ; Track 11. Patrem omnipotentem (Credo), voice, sackbut, organ.
1973 Flemish Composers in Renaissance Italy: Ciconia, Dufay.Vox Turnabout 34512, Boston Camerata, cond. Joel Cohen. Inter alia: 1. Ut te per omnes, strings, lutes, recorders, viols, krummhorns (4’10); 2. Lizadra dona, flute and recorders (2’35); 3. O felix templum, tenor voices and instruments (3’40). (LP).
1972 Johannes Ciconia (1335-1411), Early Music Studio, dir. Thom. Binkley. EMI-Reflexe 1C06330102, LP/Cass and CDM (or 555) 7 63442 2 (CD). (12/1970)2. 1. Una panthera; 2. Chi nel servir anticho; 3. Lizadra donna; 4. Per quella strada; 5. O rosa bella; 6. Le Ray au soleil; 7. Sus un’ fontayne; 8. Aler m’en veus; 9. Albane misse celitus; 10. Gloria; 11.Credo “Regina gloriosa”. (mezzo, tenor, c/tenor, vielles, lute/sackbutt, sop, sackbutt). Reviewed in Diapaison, Gramophone, Fanfare 4/5, MayJune 1981967 Festmusik der Renaissance. Das Alte Werk Renaissance. Capella antiqua Munchen, dir. Konrad Ruhland. SAWT 9524-B. Recorded July 1967. Inter alia: 1. Venetia mundi splendor, two soprano voices and tenor tromb (2’40); 2. O Padua sidus preclarum, two soprano voices and tenor krummhorn (3’02).
1966 Geistliche Musik um 1400 – Religious Music circa 1400. Ciconia, Dunstable and others. Telefunken Das Alte Werk, AWT 9505-A. Capella Antiqua München, dir. Konrad Ruhland. (LP). Inter alia: Track 1: Doctorum principem; Track 2: Ut te per omnes; Track 3: O virum; Track 4: Gloria in excelsis Deo.
1965 Christmas Songs, vol.4: Christmas Carols & Motets of Medieval Europe. Bach Guild Vanguard BGS 70680. Deller Consort, dir. Alfred Deller; Musica Antiqua of Vienna, dir. Clemencic. Recorded Vienna, 1965. Works by inter alia. Et in terra pax (instrumental).
3. YouTube videos (arranged by YouTube subscriber name)
Johannes Ciconia: Venecie, Mundi Splendor. micrologus2 21 June 2009 (1:58). Woodwind, brass, drums. Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia: Gli atti col dancar. micrologus2, June 21 2009 (3:37). Bagpipes alone. Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia: Merce o morte. micrologus2, 21 June 2009 (01:59). Bagpipes, drums. Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia: Doctorum principem – Melodia suavissima. micrologus2, 8 June 2009 (3:12). Voices. Visuals: still images.
Johannes Ciconia: O Padua, Sidus Preclarum. micrologus2, 21 June 2009 (02:54) Vocals. Visuals: still images.
Johannes Ciconia: Che vole amar. micrologus2, 21 June 2009 (05:42). Voices alone. Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia: Cacando un giorno. micrologus2, 21 June 2009 (1:49). Woodwind and brass. Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia: Ligiadra donna. micrologus2, 21 June 2009 (6:56). Voices, recorders. Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia – Una Panthera. kiralyd. 22 May 2009 (5:33). Source: Kiraly Consort. Tenor recorder (Kiraly Dora), lute (Kiraly Ildiko) and baroque bass viol (Kiraly Eszter). Szombathely, 10 May 2009. Visuals: still image, performance on concert hall stage.
Johannes Ciconia – Una Panthera. kiralyd. 12 Oct 2008. (5:29). Source: Tenor recorder (Kiraly Dora), lute )kiraly Ildiko) and baroque bass viol (Kiraly Eszter). Visuals: live performance, church altar, Savaria Karneval, ferences templum, 28 Aug 2005.
Johannes Ciconia – Albane, misse celitus. OedipusColoneus. 6 Mar 2008. (2:59). Source: Mala Punica, dir. Pedro Memelsdorff. Visuals: still image. Vocals, brass, bells.
Johannes Ciconia – Motets. OedipusColoneus (2:59). 6 Mar 2008. Source: Mala Punica, dir. Pedro Memelsdorff. Visuals: still image.Vocals; brass; bells.
Johannes Ciconia – O Padua sidus preclarum. OedipusColoneus. 3 Oct 2007 (08:21). Motets: O Virum omnimoda (vocals, brass and bells) and Petrum Marcello Venetum. Source: Mala Punica. Visuals: stills.
Johannes Ciconia – O virum omnimoda. OedipusColoneus 6 Mar 2008. (03:03). Source: Dir. Pedro Memelsdorff. Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia – Italian Ballads (1/3) Una Panthera. bartje11 17 Jan 2010 (3:18). Source: Capella Antiqua Munchen, dir Ruhland. Voices, sackbutt. Visuals: musical score.
Johannes Ciconia – Italian Ballads (2/3) Chi nel servir. bartje11 17 Jan 2010 (3:53). Source: Andrea von Ramm, mezzo; William Cobb, tenor. Visuals: lyrics.
Johannes Ciconia – French Ballads (2/3) Sus un’fontayne. bartje11 16 Jan 2010 (6:02). Source: Andrea von Ramm, mezzo; Sterling Jones, Fidel; Thomas Binkley, Laute. Visuals: lyrics.
bJohannes Ciconia – French Ballads (3/3) Aler m’en veus.artje11, 16 Jan 2010 (1:57). Source: Andrea von Ramm, mezzo; Willard Cobb, tenor; Thomas Binkley, sackut. Visuals: lyrics.
Johannes Ciconia – Latin Motets (4/5) Venetia mundi splendor. bartje11 16 Jan 2010 (3:14) Source: Andrea von Ramm, mezzo; Sterling Jones, Fidel; Johannes Fink, Fidel. Visuals: lyrics.
Johannes Ciconia – Latin Motets (5/5) O Padua sidus precarium. bartje11 16 Jan 2010 (5:48). Source: Andrea von Ramm, mezzo; Willard Cobb, tenor; Sterling Jones, Fidel. Visuals: lyrics, in
Johannes Ciconia – Italian Ballads (3/3) Lizadra donna. 16 Jan 2010 (4:17). Source: Richard Levitt, Altus; Sterling Jones, Fidel; Thomas Binkley, sackbut. Visuals: lyrics.
Johannes Ciconia – French Ballads (1/3) Le ray au soley!
Little Consort – Sus une Fontayne (Ciconia). leonocusto2009 (7:47), 22 June 2009. Source: Johannes Ciconia & His Time, Channel Classics, 1990. Lucia Meeuswen, mezzo; Walter van Hauwe, flutes; Toyohiko Satoh, medieval lute/lute/cetra/viella; Kees Boeke, vielle/flutes. Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia (1335-1411) – La fiamma del tio amor (instrumental). theprof1958, 29 Aug 2009 (3:40). Voices; rec; string bass.Visuals: still image.theprof1958, 9 Sep 2009 (3:11). Binkley. Visuals: still images.
Johannes Ciconia (1370-1412) – Ut per omnes/Ingens alumnus. theprof1958, 5 Dec 2009 (6:33). Huelgas Ensemble. Visuals: stills.
Johannes Ciconia (1370-1412) – Con lagreme. theprof1958, 5 Dec 2009 (4:15). Theatre of Voices. Visuals: still images
Johannes Ciconia (1370-1412) – Deduo Sei a Quel. theprof1958, 24 Oct 2009 (2:26). Ferrara Ensemble, dir Crawford Young. lute and vielle. Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia (1370-1412) – Chi nel servir. theprof1958, 15 July 2009 (9:15). Ensemble Mediva from the ablum Voices, ?plucked psaltery. Viva Mediva, http://magnature.com/artist… Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia (c1370-1412) – O felix templum.
Johannes Ciconia (1370-1412) – Venecie mundi splendor.
Johannes Ciconia (ca 1370-1412). BIRSECK27, 21 Nov 2009 (7:13). O verum omnimoda, with organ variations. Ann Allen and Hanna Geisel, schalmei and pommer; Nathaniel Wood, zugtrompete; Michelangelo Rinadli, organ and pommer. Visuals: live concert performance, church altar, 20 Nov 2009, St Joseph’s Church, Basel.
Johannes Ciconia: Petrum Marcello Venetum. musiquedumoyenage,
Johannes Ciconia: Venecie mundi splendor musiquedumoyenage, 28 Feb 2010 Huelgas Ensmble.
Johannes Ciconia: Sus une fontayne. musiquedumoyenage, 28 Feb 2010 Huelgas Ensemble.
Johannes Ciconia: Una panthera musiquedumoyenage, 28 Feb 2010 Binkley.Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia: Doctorum principem. musiquedumoyenage, 28 Feb 2010 Binkley.Visuals: still image.. musiquedumoyenage, 28 Feb 2010 Binkley.Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia: Per quella strada. musiquedumoyenage, 28 Feb 2010 Huelgas Ensemble.Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia: Chi nel servir antico. musiquedumoyenage, 28 Feb 2010 Binkley. Visuals: still image. Binkley.Visuals: still image.(5:27). Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia: Albane, misse celitus. musiquedumoyenage, 28 Feb 2010 (6:11). Huelgas Ensemble, instrumental only. Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia: Cacando un giorno. musiquedumoyenage, 28 Feb 2010 (6:44). Huelgas Ensemble; instrumental only. Visuals: still image.
Johannes Ciconia: Le ray au soley! musiquedumoyenage, (5:23). Huelgas ensemble, voices and brass instruments. Visuals: still image.
Foi. Capillaflam, 13 July 2007. Capilla Flamenca, Les Ballets C. de la B., Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Recorded in Leuven (Belgium) August 2003. http://www.capilla.be Music: Sus une fontayne (Johannes Ciconia) and Lulay, lulay (Anonymus). Visuals: stills from dance performance.
Johannes Ciconia, Regina Gloriosa; and Zachara da Teramo, Credo. CathedralMusicOnline, 6 Dec 2009 (3:30). Fidel and vielle. Case Western Reserve University Collegium Musicum, dir. Dr. Debra Nagy. Performed at Trinity Cathedral (Episcopal), Cleveland, Ohio. Brownbag Concert: A medieval banquet, November 18, 2009. Visuals: live concert, church altar
Johannes Ciconia. La fiamma del to amor. CathedralMusicOnline, 26 Nov 2009 (6:07) 3 tenor recs. Case Western Reserve University Collegium Musicum, dir. Dr. Debra Nagy. Performed at Trinity Cathedral (Episcopal), Cleveland, Ohio. Brownbag Concert: A medieval banquet, November 18, 2009. Visuals: live concert, church altar.
Ensemble Fortuna. Fortuna1400, 12 Nov 2009 (4:30). Samples of Ce jour de lan, Ligiadra donna, Au tamps, En un gardin, Rose, liz. http://ensemble-fortuna.nl Visuals: stills from concerts.
March 6, 2010
While resting after work on two major musicology essays at the moment, one on Galician cantigas di amigo and the other on Johannes Ciconia, I’m looking at more practical music-making in the form of vielle / Fidel / Fiedel, in my case tuned the same as a treble viol and played gamba-wise rather than at the shoulder. The more I hear from recorded performances, the more I realise how virtuosic this music is, which may explain why a medieval scribe notated them so underpinning their survival down to our own time.
What follows is today’s rather haphazard findings on CDs and the internet. This is in marked contrast to my analyzing performances on LPO/CD/YouTube of Ciconia secular music in far greater detail and with more rigour! Having come across today some performances of dance music which are in fact too fast to dance to, I’ll probably backtrack somewhat and find something slower to get my teeth into.
Yesterday I was honoured to attend Opera Australia’s launch of its OzOpera production, Sound Garden. What impressed me, among many other fascinating aspects of the production, was the use of the West African djembe drum. It was great to see a professional percussionist, Tim Brigden, in action and the experience added to my humble understanding of drumming in medieval music; drums are used to accompany the vielle solos in the recordings mentioned below.
Parlamento (Palamentro), anon. istampitta – BM MS Add 29987
Source is the British Library London, Add. 29987, fol.60-60v (1/0) and a facs has been published by the American Institute of Musicology in 1965 by Gilbert Reaney, “The Manuscript London, British Museum Add. 29987” (Musicological Studies and Documents 13). I’m also aware of an edition by Jan ten Bokum, De Dansen (Utrecht, 1976), pp.49-50. The full citation is “De dansen van het Trecento. Critische uitgave de instrumentale dansen uit hs. London BM add.29987, Utrecht Institut voor Muziekwetenschap, 1967. Scripta Musicologica Ultrajectina I. I think my modern edition comes from the Norton Anthology of Western Music, vol.1, ed. Claude V Palisca, Yale Univ, W W Norton, 1980, pp.40-42: set out in bass clef, with five puncti or sections, each with an aperto and chiusso endings (the equivalent of our first and second time repeats). Apparently it’s discussed by Frederick Crane in Early Music 7(1979): 24-33: On performing the “Lo estampies”.
The Ensemble Unicorn CD recording (Naxos), Chominciamento di gioia: Virtuoso dance-music from the time of Boccaccio’s Decamerone, in fact is a recording of all thirteen instrumental pieces in the BM manuscript, i.e. eight titled istampitta, four saltarello and a trotto. In terms of dating, they appear alongside madrigals c.1390, all the more interesting for someone like me looking at Johannes Ciconia (Rome, Pavia, Padua, Venice approx 1390-1410).
For the record, here is a list of the pieces in the manuscript: Lamento di Tristano and La Manfredina (both slow/solemn), each followed by a Rotta (quick variations); trotto and saltarelli 1-4 (dance music, with simpler and jauntier structure than the istanpitte); the programmatic instanpitte – Parlamento (Talk), Tre fontane (Three Springs), Ghaetta (the cheerful woman), In pro (Please), Prinicipio di virtu (Principle of Virtue), Isabella and Chominciamento di gioia (Beginning of Joy).
When it comes to recordings, there are three early ones in addition to the above-mentioned Ensemble Unicorn’s:
1. Medieval English Carols and Italian Dances. New York Pro Musica, dir Noah Greenberg, American Decca 79148.
2. Recordings to accompany A History of Western Music and Norton Anthology of Western Music (compiled from other recordings), dir Thomas Binkley, David Munrow and Denis Stevens.
3. Estampie, Instrumentalmusik des Mittelalters. Early Music Studio, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, dir Binkley. 1974; EMI-Reflexe IC 063-30-122 (GER)/IC 163-119/24 (GER). Recorded 1962.
I’m also aware of a more modern recording: Instrumental Music from the 14th century Italy. Sinfonye, Glossa GCD920701 (which also includes Tre Fontane, Principio di Virtu, La Manfredina etc. and which seems to complement their other CD devoted to medieval instrumental music, Dance in the Garden of Mirth). The internet site devoted to the Silk Road has a mp3 recording.
More on this piece anon! I’m interested to eventually find out more about the instruments modern instrumentalists are employing, as well as accompaniment for the soloist and the tempi.
Trotto – BM MS Add 29987
On the Dufay Collective recording, A Dance in the Garden of Mirth, their track 8 has it teamed up with a Saltarello from the same mansucript source, as mentioned above. It appears to be played on solo vielle by Giles Lewin, with additional drone strings; it seems to be an ‘extended mix’, the whole thing repeated several times. The approach is obviously strongly rhythmic dance music and the following Saltarello deploys the same instrumental forces with the addition of big bass drum accompaniment.
Chominciamento di gioia / The Beginning of Joy – BM MS Add 29987
There are references in the literary texts Decameron and Il Solazzo to istampitte or estampie being played in front of guests, but in neither case do the guests arise to dance. This appears to point to the form evolving into absolute music, for the purposes of listening rather than dancing.
Ensemble Unicorn has a recorder playing the first punctus/parti, followed with strings and drum accompaniment. The tempo is tempestuous; there are trills on the cadences. It moves straight into Saltarello No.4 and the whole of this track lasts 7mins 23secs. Another recording by them as posted on YouTube has an even faster tempo, too fast for anyone to actually dance, but sounds great!
The Newberry Consort record this on their Il Solazzo album, track 4 (6:27) for vielles and lute. Obviously a more intimate sound.
See magnatune.com for a version on high recorder and drum, on the debut album Canconcier (CD, 56:15, 27 Apr 2009). They also play In seculum viellatoris and the third and sixth Estampies Royales, amongst others.
See the discussion by Jeremy Noble, Early Music Dance (Performing early music on record 5), Early Music 1976(4): 355-360.
This Chominciamento di gioia is obviously popular for medieval ensembles venturing into recording. See The Dufay Collective, Medieval Dance Music, A L’Estampida. Avie Av0015. Inter alia Danse real, English Dance, 6th 4th and 7th estampies reals, Lamento di Tristano, La rotta, etc.