WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

A Renaissance Wedding Gift: Music From The Medici Codex Of 1518

Rutgers Collegium Musicum / Kirkman
Release Date: 11/27/2012 
Label:  Centaur Records   Catalog #: 3230   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Pierre MouluGiovanni PalestrinaJean MoutonJohannes de la Fage,   ... 
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rutgers University Collegium Musicum
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



A RENAISSANCE WEDDING GIFT Andrew Kirkman, cond; Rutgers Collegium Musicum CENTAUR 3230 (52:01 Text and Translation)


Music of MOULU, FESTA, MOUTON, LA FAGE, ELIMOT, JOSQUIN DES PREZ, MAISTRE JAN, DE SYLVA, RICHAFORT, BRUMEL


Subtitled “Music from the Medici Codex of 1518,” this comes on the heels of “The Medici Wedding” by the Ring Ensemble on Alba 154, which duplicates three selections on this disc drawn from the famous Read more manuscript. Until the simultaneous appearance of these two discs, I was not aware of any recorded programs drawn exclusively from this source. It would be only a slight stretch to credit the Chicago record label with a special interest in this, since the definitive study of the source was prepared by the University of Chicago’s own Edward E. Lowinsky and published in 1968 by the University of Chicago Press. The manuscript was unknown to scholars until Arnaldo Bonaventura published an article in 1913 after it had been acquired by Leo S. Olschki. (Lowinsky theorizes that he acquired it from the library of Filippo Strozzi, Lorenzo’s brother-in-law.) Lowinsky was able to study the manuscript in 1948, and after it was acquired by Alidi Varzi he published his first study of the source in 1960, whereupon the new owner invited him to make an edition of the music. His transcription was complemented by a full-length study and a facsimile edition in the three large volumes of 1968.


Lowinsky’s effort was so exhaustive that it received well-deserved admiration and praise, but unfortunately his basic conclusion about the provenance of the manuscript, that it was made in France as a gift of Francis I on the occasion of the Medici wedding, was challenged from the beginning. Leeman Perkins suggested that it was compiled at the Vatican as a gift from Pope Leo X (Giovanni de’ Medici, son of Lorenzo il Magnifico and uncle of the groom) for the wedding of Lorenzo de’ Medici to Madeleine de La Tour d’Auvergne. (Both parties died in 1519.) Edgar Sparks considered that the question of provenance and donor would be a matter of debate, but Joshua Rifkin advanced his own reasons for siding decisively with Perkins over Lowinsky. Lowinsky rebutted that assertion later, but in 2009 Rifkin wrote a 54-page paper reviewing the entire matter, about which “for some time now no one has had much of anything to say” because scholarly consensus had gone against Lowinsky. His principal addition to the question is an assertion that the manuscript was not prepared for the wedding or given on that occasion, but was prepared earlier and given to the couple on their return to Florence four months after the wedding in Blois.


Of the 53 works gathered into this manuscript, 12 are included here and 11 (including three duplicates) on the Alba disc. These works are by no means unique to this source, for Lowinsky found concordances for all but 10 of them, so some of the contents are well known on records from other sources. Of the 10 uniquely found here, two were recorded on the Alba CD and three on this one. The latter three, placed on the first three tracks of this disc, are Moulu’s Mater floreat , Festa’s Super flumina Babylonis , and Mouton’s Exalta Regina . Even so, the Moulu work has been recorded by Dirk Snelling ( Fanfare 23:6) and Stephen Rice (34:1), and the Festa was recorded in an all-Festa disc by Paul van Nevel (not reviewed here). Another work, Brumel’s Sicut lilium inter spinas , was recorded by Chanticleer when they had their own label. Very little of the program will duplicate anything in your collection except for Josquin’s much-recorded Inviolata integra et casta , included perhaps for a dash of familiarity. At the opposite extreme of familiarity is Nuptiae factae sunt , attributed to “Elimot” but anonymous in most concordances.


The performances are the best I have heard from the 16-member Rutgers ensemble. The dynamic shading is particularly impressive, as well as the tonal quality of each section, but I had similar comments about their earlier work on another label. Kirkman’s understanding of the music has been evident from his work with the Binchois Consort, which has focused on the early Renaissance. This is a disc that can stand comparison with those marvelous realizations of early music. Don’t hesitate to hear this, for the largely unfamiliar program will be a revelation. We would hope for nothing less for the Medici Codex, and here at last it has come to life.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Mater floreat by Pierre Moulu
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rutgers University Collegium Musicum
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
2.
Super flumina Babylonis by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rutgers University Collegium Musicum
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1581; Italy 
3.
Exalta regina Galliae, for 4 voices by Jean Mouton
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rutgers University Collegium Musicum
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1515 
4.
Videns dominus civitatem desolatam, for 4 voices by Johannes de la Fage
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rutgers University Collegium Musicum
Period: Renaissance 
5.
Nuptie facte sunt by Elimot
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rutgers University Collegium Musicum
Period: Renaissance  
6.
Regina caeli by Anonymous
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rutgers University Collegium Musicum
Period: Medieval 
7.
Inviolata, integra et casta es, Maria by Josquin Des Préz
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rutgers University Collegium Musicum
Period: Renaissance 
8.
Lauda Jerusalem Dominum, motet for 6 voices, M. v (S. xiii/70) by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rutgers University Collegium Musicum
Period: Renaissance 
9.
Omnis pulchritudo Domini by Andreas de Silva
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rutgers University Collegium Musicum
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
10.
Intoniut de caelo by Andreas de Silva
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rutgers University Collegium Musicum
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1520; Italy 
11.
Veni sponsa Christi by Jean Richafort
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rutgers University Collegium Musicum
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Netherlands (Holland 
12.
Sicut lilium by Antoine Brumel
Conductor:  Andrew Kirkman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rutgers University Collegium Musicum

Sound Samples

Mater floreat
Super flumina Babylonis
Exalta regina Galliae
Videns Dominus civitatem desolatam
Nuptie facte sunt
Regina caeli
Inviolata, integra et casta es
Lauda Jerusalem Dominum
Intonuit de caelo Dominus
Omnis pulchritudo Domini
Veni sponsa Christi
Sicut lilium inter spinas

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In