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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



PAOLO DA FIRENZE NARCISSO SPECULANDO Pedro Memelsdorff, dir; Mala Punica HARMONIA MUNDI 501732 (56:25 Text and Translation)


The Trecento on records is dominated by Landini, who had full LPs even before the several full CDs that have been issued more recently. His only contemporaries represented so generously in my collection are Ghirardello da Firenze ( Fanfare 34:2), Jacopo da Bologna (Ars Musici AM 1274–2, not reviewed Read more here), Matteo da Perugia (21:6), and the original issue of this disc. Don Paolo tenorista, as he is also called, lived a little later. An abbot in Arezzo from 1401 and a representative of Florence at the Council of Pisa in 1409, he lived over 80 years, dying in 1436–37. (Hence the dates on the cover, 1390–1425, are not his vital dates.) When this disc first appeared (not reviewed here), Don Paolo was added to this elite group of Trecento composers on records. The title draws two words out of the Madrigal on track 6 that compares Narcissus gazing at his reflection with the poet contemplating the beauty of his love, all overlaying hidden meanings.


There are eight vocal tracks and three instrumental, invariably lively pieces of music that Memelsdorff’s four singers and eight players seem to be enjoying very much. This is only a fraction of his compositions, almost all preserved in the MS BnF ital. 568. All of the pieces heard here are described as madrigals, but the three instrumental works are actually istampitas. The notes are unchanged from the first edition, where I was confused by the way the pieces are characterized. Memelsdorff refers to eight madrigals (which is the total of vocal works), but he describes only six and then describes two ballate as well as two estampies (leaving the third unmentioned). The madrigals are allegorical, for, as Memelsdorff writes, “the apparently innocent bucolic and mythological texts conceal a host of philosophical ideas, political positions, moral precepts, dedications, eulogies, and invective.” It is good to have a fair sample of this genre rather than one or two. In fact, it would be great to have CDs of more than just these five Trecento composers, even though we have numerous miscellaneous collections of samples. It is good to have this back in the catalog, the jewelbox replaced by a digipack.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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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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