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Narcisso Speculando - Da Firenze: Madrigals / Mala Punica

Da Firenze / Punica / Memelsdorff
Release Date: 12/10/2013 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 501732   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Paolo da FirenzeAnonymous
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Flutist Pedro Memelsdorff's Mala Punica ("Pomegranates") ensemble explores interesting if somewhat rarefied territory: Italian music of the Trecento (13th century) and the Ars Subtilior (a.k.a. Mannerist) period of the late 14th century. For its first Harmonia Mundi recording the group focuses on the music of the Most Reverend Don Paolo di Marco (Paolo da Firenze), an abbot, diplomat, tenorista, and composer who lived from 1390-1425. His compositions are quite lovely and subtly colored, as evidenced by the eight secular madrigals performed here.

These songs, which represent about 15 percent of his extant work, all feature broadly sweeping melodies, allegorical texts, and very florid ornamentation. As elegant as
Read more these madrigals are, the performances are equally graceful. Mala Punica's forces include four singers (sopranos Tina Aagaard and Elisa Franzetti, countertenor Alessandro Carmignani, and tenor Gianluca Ferrarini), and their clarion-clear voices blend magnificently with the accompanying winds and brass. There are a few moments on the recording when the two sides mix so seamlessly that at first hearing it's surprisingly hard to distinguish instrument-produced sound versus that of the human voices.

Paolo's madrigals are interspersed with hearty istampita dance instrumentals. One of these, titled Un c'osa, has a curious instrumentation of organ, chitarrino, flute, and bells, the last of which would sound as at home in a Cowell or Partch work as they do here. It's a beautiful recording of underheard music. The only potential drawback is the too-broad sound; sharper articulation of the voices would have been welcome.

--Anastasia Tsioulcas, ClassicsToday.com
Reviewing original release of this recording, Harmonia Mundi 901732 Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Fra duri scogli sanz' alcun governo by Paolo da Firenze
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: Florence, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  Eremo di Tizzano Church, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
2. Un pellegrin uccel gentil e bello by Paolo da Firenze
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: Florence, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  Eremo di Tizzano Church, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
3. Amor, deh dimmi se sperar merzede by Paolo da Firenze
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: Florence, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  Eremo di Tizzano Church, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
4. Lena, virtù e speranza, ogni cor duro by Paolo da Firenze
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: Florence, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  Eremo di Tizzano Church, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
5. Isabella by Anonymous
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  Eremo di Tizzano Church, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 27 Secs. 
6. Non più infelice alle suo membra nacque by Paolo da Firenze
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: Florence, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  Eremo di Tizzano Church, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
7. Era Venus al termin del suo giorno by Paolo da Firenze
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: Florence, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  Eremo di Tizzano Church, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
8. Godi, Firenze, poi che se' si grande by Paolo da Firenze
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: Florence, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  Eremo di Tizzano Church, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
9. Girando un bel falcon gentil e bianco by Paolo da Firenze
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: Florence, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  Eremo di Tizzano Church, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
10. Un c'osa by Anonymous
Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
Period: Medieval 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  Eremo di Tizzano Church, Bologna, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 52 Secs. 

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