Category Archives: Renaissance

Missa Sancta Trinitas

missa-sancta-trinitas

In 2016 the Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance issued Missa Sancta Trinitas (4 vv). (B-Tc A58), a critical edition of the anonymous Missa Sancta Trinitas—which survives only in the manuscript B-Tc A58, housed at the Archives et Bibliothèque de la Cathédrale de Tournai—together with a critical edition of the four-part motet Sancta Trinitas.

The edition, part of CESR’s Le corpus des messes anonymes series, was prepared by Anne-Emmanuelle Ceulemans.

Above (click to enlarge) and below, the Sanctus from the Mass.

Leave a comment

Filed under New editions, Renaissance

Instrumentarium de Chartres

chartres-cathedral-rose-window

Built during the 12th and 13th centuries, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Among the cathedral’s precious treasures dating from the 12th through the 16th centuries are the statues of the Portail Royal and its three stained glass windows, the largest collection of stained glass from the 13th century, and several hundred 16th-century bas-reliefs in the choir. These unique elements contain 312 catalogued depictions of 26 musical instruments representing a veritable history of French instrument making from the High Middle Ages through the Renaissance.

Preliminary research led to a 1966 proposal by Julien Skowron to reconstruct some of the instruments depicted in the cathedral’s visual arts; six instruments were built, and in 1977 the Instrumentarium de Chartres was born. Today the collection of some 40 string, wind, and percussion instruments comprises the most complete and most played instrumentarium in Europe; it also serves an important pedagogical function for the curious of all ages who enjoy hands-on experience with the collection. The success of the project attests to the fine medieval and Renaissance artistry that makes modern reconstruction of this rich historical collection possible.

Instrumentarium de Chartres is an open-access online presentation of this collection, presenting images of the original artworks and the newly reconstructed instruments, and many other resources for scholars, performers, and the general public.

Above, a rose window from the cathedral that includes several images of instruments (click to enlarge); below, a brief demonstration of some of the instruments.

Leave a comment

Filed under Iconography, Instruments, Renaissance, Resources

Charles Butler and “The bees’ madrigal”

Butler's bees

Charles Butler’s The feminine monarchy, or, The history of bees first appeared as a small duodecimo in 1609; it was reprinted, with considerable additions and alterations, as a quarto in 1627, and again in 1634. Though it was intended merely as a bee-keeper’s manual, its beauty and insight render it worthy of a place among the renowned works of nineteenth-century poetry.

While in most matters the work is extraordinarily accurate, it becomes questionable when Butler turns to music. His account of a certain point in the hive’s life cycle might be thought to credit bees with the powers of a masterful composer. Butler’s depiction of this event—which he refers to as “the bees’ madrigal”—appears to present a carefully constructed four-part chorus.

This according to “Charles Butler and the music of the bees” by Gerald R. Hayes (The musical times LXVI/988 [1 June 1925] pp. 512–515). This issue of The musical times, along with many others, is covered in our new RILM Abstracts of Music Literature with Full Text collection.

Above, some of Butler’s notations from the later, enlarged edition (note that verso and recto considerations result in part of the notation appearing upside-down). Below, a performance of the work.

3 Comments

Filed under Animals, Renaissance

Iberian early music studies

 

Iberian Early Music Studies

In 2015 Reichenberger launched the series Iberian early music studies with New perspectives on early music in Spain, edited by Tess Knighton and Emilio Ros-Fábregas.

The volume brings together research by scholars—both well established and of younger generations, both Spanish and from all over the world—that offers new perspectives on many aspects of early musical culture on the Peninsula, whether regarding the Ars Nova or the Counter-Reformation, music historiography or analysis, early improvisation techniques or imitatio in Renaissance polyphony, or questions of performance practice or ambassadorial musical networks, making an important contribution to establishing and sustaining a valuable discourse with the broader European context.

Below, a selection from the Cantigas de Santa Maria, the subject of one of the articles in the inaugural issue.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Middle Ages, New series, Renaissance

Madrigals and bees

Giovanna_Garzoni_Still_Life_with_Bowl_of_Citrons

 

Many are the creatures of the air, water, and earth that inhabit the verses of Italian madrigals, sonnets, and canzoni.

The poets of the 16th and 17th centuries—Torquato Tasso, Giovanni Battista Guarini, and Giambattista Marino, to mention the most famous—found an erotic metaphor in the bee, which is both sweet and stinging.

There are also the little parasites that annoy and explore the desired body. All the animal species are represented in this repertoire: insects, fish and crustaceans, snakes, small mammals and ferocious predators, singing birds, and fantastical beasts.

This according to “Hic sunt leones: Animali e musica nella Sicilia nel Cinque e Seicento” by Giuseppe Collisani, an article included in Res facta nova: Teksty o muzyce współczesnej VI/15 [2003] pp. 51–68).

Above, a 17th-century Italian bee in a painting by Giovanna Garzoni; below, Giovanni de Macque’s Ne i vostri dolci baci; the work’s text includes the bee metaphor.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Animals, Renaissance

L’amorosa caccia

L'amorosa caccia

In 2014 Ut Orpheus issued L’amorosa caccia: 24 five-voice madrigals by Mantuan masters (Venezia 1588/1592), edited by Stefania Lanzo.

All of the Mantuan composers represented in this new edition were distinguished professional people, working within the church, at court, or in the Basilica Palatina di Santa Barbara, and music lovers of noble birth from the area who were connected to the Accademia degli Invaghiti.

The realization in score of the madrigals has made it possible to bring to light this collection, establishing its musical value and proving the remarkable mastery of madrigal writing of these 24 musicians and offering the opportunity to highlight each one’s different skill as a composer.

Below, a sequence of Italian madrigals.

Leave a comment

Filed under New editions, Renaissance

The Henry VIII book

Henry VIII Book

In 2014 DIAMM facsimiles published The Henry VIII book, a full-color facsimile of GB-Lbl MS Add.31922, which contains many works by Henry VIII of England.

This new edition presents over 260 full-color page images plus an 85-page introduction by David Fallows, who examines the book with fresh eyes and shares considerable new information about the content and context of this manuscript.

Below, two of King Henry’s works for recorders.

Leave a comment

Filed under New editions, Renaissance

A catalogue of Mass, Office, and Holy Week music printed in Italy, 1516–1770

Frescobaldi print

A catalogue of Mass, Office, and Holy Week music printed in Italy, 1516–1770 focuses on the vast repertoire (comprising approximately 2000 sources) of music for the Office, Holy Week, and the Mass published in Italy from 1516 to the cessation of the printing of such repertoire in the latter part of the 18th century. Even by the end of the first quarter of the Settecento, Italian prints of sacred music were quite rare.

Compiled by Jeffrey G. Kurtzman and Anne Schnoebelen for the JSCM Instrumenta series, this free online resource includes a wide range of indices, from academic references to publishers.

Above, Girolamo Frescobaldi’s Secondo libro, an edition covered in detail in the catalogue (click to enlarge); below, his Ave Maris stella, one of the works preserved in this edition.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baroque era, Renaissance, Resources

The Gibbons hymnal

Gibbons hymnal

The Gibbons hymnal: Hymns and anthems (London: Novello, 2013) presents the 17 hymn tunes composed by Orlando Gibbons for George Wither’s The hymnes and songs of the church (1623), many of which are still popular today. This is the first modern edition that incorporates Wither’s hymn texts beyond the first verses.

Gibbons composed treble and bass lines for the hymns; the editor, David Skinner, has constructed the inner voices to create a collection of pieces that can be performed either as hymns or as simple anthems. Also in this volume are Gibbons’s ten surviving full anthems.

Below, Gibbons’s O clap your hands, one of the anthems included in the edition.

Leave a comment

Filed under New editions, Renaissance

Frottolas and monkeys

Antico

The frontispiece of Andrea Antico’s Frottole intabulate da sonare organi libro primo (1517) features a woodcut of a player at a harpsichord, a singer holding a score, and a monkey holding a lute.

The image involves a symbolic mocking of Antico’s  rival, the publisher Ottaviano Petrucci. Antico had greater success than Petrucci in publishing keyboard music, and the allusions in the frontispiece highlight this fact. The monkey is meant to symbolize Petrucci, and the singer is Lady Music, who is pointing her finger accusingly at him.

This according to “A monkey business: Petrucci, Antico, and the frottola intabulation” by Hiroyuki Minamino (Journal of the Lute Society of America 26–27 [1993–94] pp. 96–106).

Above, the woodcut in question; below, Ensemble Renaissance performs Antico’s frottola Vale iniqua.

Leave a comment

Filed under Animals, Humor, Renaissance