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Vertu Contra Furore

Punica / Vertu Contra Furore
Release Date: 03/25/2014 
Label:  Arcana   Catalog #: 372   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Bartolomeus de BononiaAnthonello da CasertaMatteo da PerugiaNicola Zacharie (Magister,   ... 
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



VERTÙ CONTRA FURORE: Musical Languages in Late Medieval Italy 1380–1420 Pedro Memelsdorff, dir; Mala Punica ARCANA 372 (3 CDs: 186:05 Text and Translation)


Music of BARTHOLOMEUS, ANTHONELLO, MATTEO, ZACARA DA TERAMO, LANDINI, CICONIA, FILIPOCTUS, CONRADUS, JOHANNES DE JANUA


This is a well-conceived reissue of three related recordings of music of the Ars Subtilior, that mannerist period between the Medieval (the death Read more of Machaut) and the Renaissance (the rise of Dufay). The discs first appeared as Ars Subtilis Ytalica, D’Amor Ragionando ( Fanfare 19:2, recently reissued, still a single, in 34:2), and En Attendant (23:3). Clearly, they formed a series, since they were recorded by the same ensemble in 1993, 1994, and 1995, respectively. I have review copies of all three in my collection, but I can find only two reviews. All the composers are found on two or three of the programs except Landini (already the most well represented on records) and the most obscure, Conradus de Pistoia and Johannes de Janua. The second disc was recently reissued, as noted, and there the name given as Magister Zacharias was corrected to Antonio Zacara da Teramo, but somehow the original name is retained here for the two discs where his name occurs. As I mentioned in the earlier reviews, this era, centered in northern Italy where all these composers worked, is usually dated by the brace of French composers. Mala Punica has built these three programs by focusing on some of the more obscure people involved (Johannes de Janua had his first recording on one of these discs).


The ensemble is made up of flutist Memelsdorff, Kees Boeke on vielle and flute, singer Jill Feldman, and on the last two discs another singer, Giuseppe Maletto, along with several other singers and players. These four, however, have worked in varied alliances both before and after the period of Mala Punica, seldom straying far from this period, and they have used their expertise well. Most recently we heard Feldman and Boeke in a series of discs after they moved to Tuscany to grow olives (and named their own label accordingly), but nothing has arrived on the Olive label in the last four years. The present ensemble styled itself “music in the autumn of the Middle Ages,” reminding us of Johan Huizinga’s seminal book (also translated in a recent new edition as “the waning of the Middle Ages”). The subtitles of these three discs were cleverly worded: the first was “pseudo French polyphony in Italy,” the second was “neo-stilnovo ballate in Italy” (that’s like new-new-style), and the third was “the art of citation.” This last referred to a sort of game by which a sung text began with a participle (usually “en attendant”) citing a motto or a quotation. In the Phillipot ballade that opens the last disc and gives it its title, the motto cited is “souffrir m’estuet,” the motto of Bernabò Visconti, who was deposed and executed by his nephew Gian Galeazzo in 1385. The nephew became the first Duke of Milan, built the grandest princely dwelling in all of Italy at Pavia, the old Lombard capital near Milan and seat of the Visconti, and collected a library second to none. Through marriage to Isabelle de Valois he became conte di Virtù (a title in Champagne); after her death he married Bernabò’s daughter. If virtù gives the package part of its title, I can find no explanation of “contra furore” to fill it out. Maybe it suggests the conflicted personality of the Visconti. All three discs take music from the MS Mod. Est. ? M. 5,24. The notes by Memelsdorff, reprinted from the three original booklets, are fascinating, filled with insights into the broader picture in which this music was created.


These pieces are sung and played so well that there is little point in looking for duplications. By way of exception, Ciconia’s Sus un’ fontayne is included as a reference point for the leading composer of this period. It can also be heard in the composer’s two complete sets by La Morra (35:4) and Huelgas Ensemble (7:4; CD in 21:6), as well as in the major collections by Orlando Consort (23:2), Alla Francesca (18:5), Project Ars Nova (16:3), the Little Consort (14:4), and the pioneering LP by Studio for Early Music in 1972. Hardly anything else on these three discs is as familiar as that piece. If you missed the original issues, this is a valuable survey of the Ars Subtilior. Highly recommended.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
Que pena major, virelai by Bartolomeus de Bononia
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 9 Minutes 24 Secs. 
2.
Dame d'onour, en qui tout mon cuer maynt, ballade for 3 voices by Anthonello da Caserta
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1400 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 13 Minutes 42 Secs. 
3.
Amour m'a le cuer mis, ballade for 3 voices by Anthonello da Caserta
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1400 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 7 Minutes 27 Secs. 
4.
Le greygnour bien que nature, ballade by Matteo da Perugia
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 10 Secs. 
5.
Beauté parfaite, bonté soverayne, ballade for 3 voices by Anthonello da Caserta
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: by 1380 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 11 Minutes 47 Secs. 
6.
Dame zentil, en qui est ma sperance, rondeau for 3 voices by Anthonello da Caserta
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1400 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 7 Minutes 13 Secs. 
7.
Sumite karissimi by Nicola Zacharie (Magister
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 8 Minutes 10 Secs. 
8.
Che cosa è questa, Amor, ballata for 3 voices, S. 164 by Francesco Landini
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1350-1397 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 
9.
Work(s): Giovine vagha / Amor c'al tuo sugetto by Francesco Landini
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1350-1397 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 9 Minutes 21 Secs. 
10.
Fortuna ria, ballata for 3 (or 2) voices, S. 27 (2 versions) by Francesco Landini
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1350-1397 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 4 Secs. 
11.
Serà quel zorno may, ballata by Matteo da Perugia
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 18 Minutes 14 Secs. 
12.
Ad ogne vento by Nicola Zacharie (Magister
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 52 Secs. 
13.
Merçé o morte by Johannes Ciconia
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
14.
Movit'a pietade by Nicola Zacharie (Magister
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 29 Secs. 
15.
Più Chiar Che'l Sol, ballata for 3 voices by Anthonello da Caserta
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: 1399 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 7 Minutes 19 Secs. 
16.
Amor in uom gentil, ballata for 3 voices, S. 153 by Francesco Landini
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1350-1397 
Venue:  Hermatge of Ronzano, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs. 
17.
En attendant souffir by Philippus de Caserta
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Venue:  Abbey of Agnano, Bucine, Arezzo, Italy 
Length: 11 Minutes 36 Secs. 
18.
Se doulz espour, ballade by Conradus de Pistoria
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Venue:  Abbey of Agnano, Bucine, Arezzo, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
19.
Dame d'onour, c'on ne puet esprixier, rondeau for 3 voices by Anthonello da Caserta
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1400 
Venue:  Abbey of Agnano, Bucine, Arezzo, Italy 
Length: 7 Minutes 2 Secs. 
20.
Arte psalentes, ballade by Bartolomeus de Bononia
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Venue:  Abbey of Agnano, Bucine, Arezzo, Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 5 Secs. 
21.
Notés pour moi ceste, ballade for 3 voices by Anthonello da Caserta
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: circa 1400 
Venue:  Abbey of Agnano, Bucine, Arezzo, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
22.
Sus un' fontayne by Johannes Ciconia
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: France 
Venue:  Abbey of Agnano, Bucine, Arezzo, Italy 
Length: 8 Minutes 29 Secs. 
23.
Veri almi pastoris, ballade by Conradus de Pistoria
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Venue:  Abbey of Agnano, Bucine, Arezzo, Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 52 Secs. 
24.
Une dame requis, ballade by Johannes de Janua
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Abbey of Agnano, Bucine, Arezzo, Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 40 Secs. 

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