Johannes Ciconia

Biography

Born: 1335; Liege, Belgium   Died: December, 1411; Padua, Italy  
Johannes Ciconia was one of the most important Franco-Flemish composers of the pre-Renaissance era. His output encompassed both the secular and sacred realms and included, in the former, madrigals, ballata, virelai, and a Latin canon; and in the latter, mass movements (only Glorias and Credos, however), motets, and Latin songs. His style mixed Italian, specifically Pavian, features with those of the French so-called ars subtilior. It is believed Read more that a substantial portion of his output was lost. Some of the surviving compositions, like the ballata Amor per ti sempre, may have been misattributed to him.

Ciconia was born in Liège, but details about the early years of his life are confusing and fraught with conjecture, so much so that it is often difficult to sift out the speculation from the facts. One factor contributing to the muddle is that there were two or three prominent men having the name of Johannes Ciconia with roots in Liège and living around the turn of the fifteenth century. Moreover, there is some speculation that the composer's given date of birth, "ca. 1370," is wrong by a whole generation; Ciconia conceivably could have been born as early as 1335. The reason for the wide gap in the two dates is that he may be confused with his father in certain biographical sources. Just who his father was is also a matter of controversy, since, according to a 1391 letter by Pope Boniface IX, a certain priest sired one Johannes Ciconia, who is thus referred to as illegitimate and thus placing him in Rome in the 1390s, which fits a likely scenario, as will be seen. There is a document confirming that Ciconia served as a choir boy in 1385 at the Liège Church, St. Jean l'Évangéliste, where a certain Johan de Chywongne was canon. This canon, another document suggests, was most probably the composer's father and the year 1370 the more likely time of Ciconia's birth. This last conclusion is supported most convincingly by the fact that all of Ciconia's surviving output can be dated to around and after 1390.

Ciconia himself was a cleric, though it is unclear whether he actually was a priest. In any event, he seems to have served Cardinal d'Alençon in Rome in the 1390s as clericus capelle, an important post usually occupied by young musicians. It is almost certain that Ciconia went into the service of Giangaleazzo Visconti at his Court in Pavia in the late 1390s, which would explain the composer's use of stylistic traits generally associated with Pavian music of the time. In 1401, Ciconia accepted a chaplaincy at the cathedral in Padua and a benefice at St. Biagio di Roncalea Church, also in Padua. It appears that only a handful of Ciconia's works date to the 1390s, with the rest coming during his Paduan period. In the years following his appointment at the cathedral, Ciconia was granted further benefices at nearby churches. He wrote a good many of his works for wealthy patrons, like the politically powerful Carrara family and Francesco Zabarella, a good friend and mentor. It is thus quite probable that the composer lived in very comfortable circumstances in his last decade, perhaps even with a measure of wealth. Ciconia retained his post with the cathedral until his death in June or July 1412. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 25 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Flemish Composers in Renaissance Italy / Cohen, The Boston Camerata
    Label: Vox   Catalog: 34512 Release Date: 08/17/2018  
    Composer:  Johannes Ciconia,  Arnold De Lantins,  Guillaume Dufay,  Johannes Ghiselin  ... 
    Performer:  Eric F. Fiedler,  Persis Silverstein,  Friedrich V. Huene,  Karl Dan Sorensen  ... 
    Conductor:  Joel Cohen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
    CD: $10.99
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  • 2.
    Think Subtilior / Santenay
    Label: Ricercar   Catalog: 386 Release Date: 08/25/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Julia von Landsberg,  Anonymous,  Solage,  Johannes Simonys Hasprois  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santenay
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  • 3.
    O florens rosa / La Rossignol
    Label: Iii Millennio   Catalog: 195 Release Date: 05/05/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erasmus Widmann,  Johannes Ciconia,  Guillaume Costeley,  Thomas Weelkes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Rossignol
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  • 4.
    Venecie Mundi Splendor: Marvels Of Medieval Venice
    Label: Arcana   Catalog: 387 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marchetto da Padova,  Johannes Ciconia,  Antonius Romanus,  Christoforus de Monte  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudia Caffagni
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Reverdie
    CD: $18.99
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  • 5.
    Le Chant De Leschiquier: Binchois & Dufay Songs In The Buxheim Codex
    Label: Passacaille   Catalog: 1012 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Ciconia,  Gilles Binchois,  Buxheimer Orge Anonymous,  Guillaume Dufay  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tasto Solo
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  • 6.
    Figures of Harmony: Songs of Codex Chantilly C. 1390
    Label: Arcana   Catalog: 382 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Robert Trebor,  Johan Robert,  Baude Cordier,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Kathleen Dineen,  Stephen [Bass-Baritone Vocal] Grant,  Randall Cook,  Norihisa Sugawara  ... 
    Conductor:  Crawford Young
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ferrara Ensemble
    CD: $37.49
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  • 7.
    The Garden With Countless Windows
    Label: Lindoro   Catalog: 3012 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Ciconia,  Guillaume Dufay,  Anonymous,  Jacopo da Bologna  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ÆroDynamic
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  • 8.
    Vertu Contra Furore
    Label: Arcana   Catalog: 372 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Bartolomeus de Bononia,  Anthonello da Caserta,  Matteo da Perugia,  Nicola Zacharie (Magister  ... 
    Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
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  • 9.
    Fleur De Valeur: A Medieval Bouquet
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9419 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Ciconia,  Buxheimer Orge Anonymous,  John Dunstable,  Jean Robert Trebor  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trefoil
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  • 10.
    A Commodo De Virtuosi
    Label: Ligia   Catalog: 301112 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Ciconia,  Vincenzo Ruffo,  Costanzo Festa,  Adrian Willaert  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Landini Consort
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  • 11.
    Monastic Chant / Paul Hillier, Theatre Of Voices
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 507356 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Philippe the Chancellor,  Adam of St. Victor,  Léonin  ... 
    Performer:  Christopher Bowers-Broadbent,  Ellen Hargis
    Conductor:  Paul Hillier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Theatre of Voices
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  • 12.
    Je voy le bon tens venir / Lazarevitch, Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 189 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Baude Cordier,  Solage,  Jacob Senleches  ... 
    Conductor:  François Lazarevitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
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  • 13.
    Cesena: Codex Chantilly / Schmelzer, Graindelavoix
    Label: Glossa   Catalog: 32106 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Philippus de Caserta,  Matheus de Sancto Johanne,  Johannes Galiot  ... 
    Performer:  Olalla Aleman,  Marius Peterson,  Albert Riara,  Tomás Maxé  ... 
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  • 14.
    Music From The Court Of Burgundy / Ciaramella
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 5785 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Pullois,  Guillaume Dufay,  Johannes Ciconia,  Grimace  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ciaramella
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  • 15.
    Johannes Ciconia: Opera Omnia
    Label: Ricercar   Catalog: 316 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Ciconia
    Performer:  Elizabeth Rumsey,  Els Janssens,  Javier Robledano Cabrer,  Hanna Jarvelainen  ... 
    Conductor:  Michal Gondko,  Corina Marti,  Antoine Guerber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Morra,  Diabolus in Musica
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  • 16.
    Ciconia, Dufay: Chansons / Fortuna
    Label: Aliud   Catalog: 47 Release Date: 09/03/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Guillaume Dufay,  Thomas Fabri,  Anonymous,  Johannes Ciconia  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fortuna Ensemble
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  • 17.
    Trecento / Jill Feldman, Kees Boeke
    Label: Etcetera Records   Catalog: 1902 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Guillaume de Machaut,  Jacopo da Bologna,  Andreas Horganista de Florentina,  Gherardello da Firenze  ... 
    Performer:  Jill Feldman,  Kees Boeke
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  • 18.
    Il Poverello: Medieval & Renaissance Music / Rose Ensemble
    Label: Rose Ensemble   Catalog: 10 Release Date: 10/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Costanzo Porta,  Anonymous,  Johannes Ciconia,  Guillaume Dufay  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rose Ensemble
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  • 19.
    A/Rythmia / Alarm Will Sound
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 467708 Release Date: 09/15/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benedict Mason,  Michael Gordon,  György Ligeti,  David Wong  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Pierson,  Payton MacDonald
    Conductor:  Alan Pierson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alarm Will Sound
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    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 20.
    Alfred Deller Complete Vanguard Recordings - Christmas Carols & Motets / 4-Disc Set
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 192 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Leonel Power,  Ludwig Senfl,  Thomas Stoltzer,  Heinrich Isaac  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Deller,  Honor Sheppard,  Robert Tear,  Alfred Deller  ... 
    Conductor:  René Clemencic,  Alfred Deller
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Musica Antiqua,  Deller Consort
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 21.
    Christo È Nato - Lauding The Nativity In Medieval Italy / Trefoil
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1094 Release Date: 10/26/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Ciconia
    Performer:  Marcia Young,  Mark Rimple,  Drew Minter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trefoil
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  • 22.
    Ballate E Madrigali / Albarello, Cantilena Antiqua
    Label: Tactus   Catalog: 400002 Release Date: 03/05/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrea Stefani,  Niccolò da Perugia,  Bartolino da Padova,  Johannes Ciconia  ... 
    Conductor:  Stefano Albarello
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consentus Lucensis,  Ensemble Cantilena Antiqua
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  • 23.
    Music For A Medieval Banquet / Newberry Consort
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 3957038 Release Date: 05/08/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Zachara Teramo,  Bartolino da Padova,  Johannes Ciconia,  Francesco Landini  ... 
    Performer:  Judith Malafronte,  Drew Minter
    Conductor:  Mary Springfels
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newberry Consort
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    CD: $7.99
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  • 24.
    Sidus Preclarum - Ciconia: Complete Motets / Mala Punica
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 21661 Release Date: 06/16/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Ciconia,  Anonymous
    Conductor:  Pedro Memelsdorff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mala Punica
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  • 25.
    Popes & Antipopes - Music For The Courts Of Avignon & Rome
    Label: Metronome   Catalog: 1008 Release Date: 09/19/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonius de Civitate,  Johannes Tapissier,  Gilet Velut,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Donald Greig,  Angus Smith,  Charles Daniels,  Robert Harre-Jones  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orlando Consort
    CD: $16.99
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