GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: Mandryka on November 06, 2018, 02:57:52 AM

Title: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on November 06, 2018, 02:57:52 AM
A thread devoted to recordings of composers who are mentioned in the The Squarcialupi Codex, including amongst others

Francesco Landini,
Bartolino da Padova
Niccolò da Perugia
Andrea da Firenze
Jacopo da Bologna
Lorenzo da Firenze
Gherardello da Firenze
Donato da Cascia
Giovanni da Cascia
Vincenzo da Rimini
Paolo da Firenze
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: 71 dB on November 06, 2018, 04:55:08 AM
Another thread that made me feel stupid, uneducated and ignorant. I had to Google The Squarcialupi Codex.  :-\
I have never been that much into pre-baroque music and the composers listed are unknown to me.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on November 06, 2018, 05:13:28 AM
(http://clubmedieval.be/onewebstatic/46c1473cd5-cd_1.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41QZ0BHM9QL.jpg) https://youtube.com/v/sFgBb8gRLbE

I’ve found three recordings of Paolo de Firenze’s madrigal Lena Virtù: Mala Punica, ClubMedieval and a live one from Tetraktys from Utrecht in 2013 on YouTube. All  three set for two voices and different quantities of instruments. The reason I want to mention it is, to my ears, it shows the absolute superiority of Mala Punica, and for an interesting reason: their musicians, especially the singers,  are listening to each other, responding, and that makes the music come to life. Tetraktys aren’t bad, but they really don’t really touch Mala Punica.

At least, that’s how I hear it.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: amw on November 06, 2018, 05:56:21 AM
Honestly I've always been kind of curious as to what the hell happened to Italian music between Landini and Palestrina. It seems the entire peninsula sort of slept through the great flowering of Franco-Flemish-English-Burgundian polyphony until the late Renaissance. I've heard some of the names associated with this codex, but they're not much more than just names right now. (except Landini himself obviously.)
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: JBS on November 06, 2018, 08:09:10 AM
A thread devoted to recordings of composers who are mentioned in the The Squarcialupi Codex, including amongst others

Francesco Landini,
Bartolino da Padova
Niccolò da Perugia
Andrea da Firenze
Jacopo da Bologna
Lorenzo da Firenze
Gherardello da Firenze
Donato da Cascia
Giovanni da Cascia
Vincenzo da Rimini
Paolo da Firenze

Where there any recognized schools/teacher-student relationships/family relationships?  There are four Florentine composers in that list.  That may be simply result from the fact that the Codex is Florentine itself, but presumably at least some of the four knew each other?  And then two musicians from Cascia.  Do we know anything about possible relationships there.

There is Marco dall'Aquila from approximately a century after the Codex, whom I know of from a CD by Paul O'Dette
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_music_2?ie=UTF8&field-artist=Dall%27Aquila&search-alias=music
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: (: premont :) on November 06, 2018, 10:23:09 AM
Another thread that made me feel stupid, uneducated and ignorant. I had to Google The Squarcialupi Codex.  :-\
I have never been that much into pre-baroque music and the composers listed are unknown to me.

It is no shame to be ignorant of the Squarcialupi Codex. Very few, other than especially interested people, know it. We can not all of us know everything about everything.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on November 06, 2018, 02:21:04 PM
Another thread that made me feel stupid, uneducated and ignorant. I had to Google The Squarcialupi Codex.  :-\
I have never been that much into pre-baroque music and the composers listed are unknown to me.

Premont's right. It's very obscure.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on November 06, 2018, 02:30:33 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61eksLYEnEL._SR600%2C315_PIWhiteStrip%2CBottomLeft%2C0%2C35_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg)

Jacopo da Bologna's madrigal Un bel sparver only has one recorded performance that I know of, by La Reverdie. What's interesting is that this music was singled out by musicologists in the 1930s as a prime example of something totally unsingable because the melismas are so extravagant. People thought it might be for organ, or someone singing syllabically and a viol. Listening to it now a cappella  it sounds absolutely like normal music to me! I'm acclimatised.

By the way, I'm getting this type of information about historical views about interpretation of early music from Daniel Leech Wilkinson's The Modern Invention of Medieval Music (Cambridge), which I think is rather good.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on November 08, 2018, 09:17:49 AM
Honestly I've always been kind of curious as to what the hell happened to Italian music between Landini and Palestrina. It seems the entire peninsula sort of slept through the great flowering of Franco-Flemish-English-Burgundian polyphony until the late Renaissance. I've heard some of the names associated with this codex, but they're not much more than just names right now. (except Landini himself obviously.)

And it’s not clear to me what happens to French music after Machaut. There’s a well regarded book on this, Nadas and Cuthbert Ars nova: French and Italian Music in the Fourteenth Century , it’s too expensive for me I think.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on November 09, 2018, 10:40:56 AM
In extraordinary "deeply felt" performance of Giovanni da Cascia's Io son un pelegrin by Max Meili here (track 2)

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k1273889.media


Wide vibrato in the voice, less so in the viol.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on November 20, 2018, 01:44:07 PM
(https://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0001/124/MI0001124834.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)


This recording dedicated to music from Squarcialupi is in a style which is the polar opposite of the of the style of many singers of small scale medieval music, like Gothic Voices and The Orlando Consort. Tempos are relaxed and there’s a great feeling of space, of the music respiring. They allow is to savour the harmonies, smell the roses. The singing is sensual and expressive, at times almost dramatic. The words matter for these musicians. I like the singers very much, for me it’s hard to stop listening once I start.

There’s a new wave in early music, what I think of the instrutruments revival, and Tetraktys along with Mala Punica are at the vanguard. They are both developing a really fluid style, much more so than previous voice and instrument approaches I think. Having said that I think that Jill Feldman is one of the few singers in this area I’ve heard who could pull off a solo song, she’s that good.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on November 29, 2018, 10:49:25 AM
(https://linn01.prod.sidonia.be/sites/linn01.prod.sidonia.be/files/styles/square_400/public/album_cover/BKD%20573%20Sleeve.png?itok=UHPCGTcm)

(Not sure of anything I'm about to type!)


Gothic Voices did not record very much Landini under Christopher Page. As far as I can see there are a couple of songs on The Garden of Zephirus and a couple of songs on A Song for Francesca. These are both relatively early recordings, when they were exploring the effects of straight tone and a very even pulse in each voice -- with all that means for surface variety. Apart from Giunta vaga bilta, which uses a voice and harp, they are a cappella.

A Laurel for Landini was made in 2008,  I think (but I'm not sure) that it was not made under Christopher Page's aegis. It continues the ensemble's experimental policies of harp only (despite the organ and viel on the cover! Someone's having a laugh), mostly a cappella, no vibrato and strong (rigid?) pulse, with one important step into new territory. They use vocalised vowel based melismas to replace instruments in some of the songs, a practice which they have used in French music, but as far as I know it's the first time it's been used by anyone in Landini. It may be the first time anyone has tried doing it in Italian music.

The other respect in which things have changed is the line up of singers.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: atm on November 30, 2018, 12:41:42 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51O0KYZ0AtL.jpg)

I like this, both the music and the performance. The musicians are very good.


This recording dedicated to music from Squarcialupi is in a style which is the polar opposite of the of the style of many singers of small scale medieval music, like Gothic Voices and The Orlando Consort. Tempos are relaxed and there’s a great feeling of space, of the music respiring. They allow is to savour the harmonies, smell the roses. The singing is sensual and expressive, at times almost dramatic. The words matter for these musicians. I like the singers very much, for me it’s hard to stop listening once I start.

There’s a new wave in early music, what I think of the instrutruments revival, and Tetraktys along with Mala Punica are at the vanguard. They are both developing a really fluid style, much more so than previous voice and instrument approaches I think. Having said that I think that Jill Feldman is one of the few singers in this area I’ve heard who could pull off a solo song, she’s that good.

I guess that these ones are old school then, but I prefer their treatment of the polyphony.

Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on November 30, 2018, 02:21:01 PM
That Landini CD by Micrologus is very intensely sung -- you can tell they're committed and enjoying what they're doing.

The reason I don't like the old wave is that the rhythms are so often taken in a predictable and uniform way, I can't stand it. 

This is interpretation, performance style, it has nothing whatsoever to do with HIP or truth to score or anything like that. That's why I'm so excited by the new wave that I mentioned! At least Tetraktys varies the articulation and the rhythms do justice to the poetry and the music.

On this forum we've had strong opinions expressed about instruments in medieval music, but this seems to me a relatively unimportant area, compared with rhythm. The jaunty strict modal rhythms that so many groups foist on the music are unbearable.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: atm on December 01, 2018, 02:57:55 PM
Do you mean meter rather than rhythm?
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on December 02, 2018, 10:06:13 AM
Do you mean meter rather than rhythm?

I mean the pattern of stresses which the interpretation of the melody imposes on the words. At least, that's what I think I mean -- I think this area is really interesting and I'm very much at the exploratory stage, as it were. And I'm sure I could do with getting some more refined concepts.

Can someone explain to me what isosyllabic means, and how it differs from a "modal" approach or an "equal note" approach? These are terms I keep coming across and I'm not at all sure I really get them.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: atm on December 02, 2018, 11:06:34 AM
Yeah, I understand that. The regular pattern of accents in music or poetry. There were several tracks for which it was hard to miss. It made me think that they were tunes for dancing to. The book that Ernst Křenek wrote seemed like a nice introduction to the basics.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on December 02, 2018, 11:21:54 AM
I have and I've read Krenek's book on Ockeghem, it's old fashioned but quite passionate.

Re dancing songs, this may be of interest, from a paper by Hendrik van der Werf, he's talking about troubadour music, I have no idea what the situation is for Italian music


Quote
About a dozen poems have been preserved, without music, under the
heading "estampie," but there is no indication whatsoever that they are
dancing songs, or that they were performed to a clearly measured tune.
We also have a number of tunes without text called "estampie" that may
be dance tunes, but they stem from the fourteenth century. As far as I
know, we have only one case in which both text and music have been
preserved for a song called "estampie." Moreover, the melody occurs
with both a French and an Occitan text; the former is anonymous, the
latter is attributed to Raimbaut de Vacqueiras. Nevertheless, we have
no clear indication about duration and accentuation in the melody, per
se. A confusing factor in the study of the estampie is that it clearly is
related to the Latin sequence, the German Leich, the French descort and
lyric lai, none of which seem to have had anything to do with dancing.
Clearly, we need an extensive study not only of the estampies, but also of
the various members of the large sequence family. This research must
be without preconceived notions; e.g., ft must not start with the premise
that the Latin sequence is the ancestor of this group

There is a theory that the rondeau, the virelai, and the ballade either are,
or derive from dancing songs. This usually goes together with the assumption that their refrains derive from a practice that dance songs
were intoned by a soloist, some of whose verses were repeated by the
(other) dancers. It is a thankless task to try to disprove a theory that has
never been proven. It may suffice to give the most pertinent facts. It
should not surprise anyone to learn from the narratives that medieval
people did dance, and (occasionally or often?) did so to a song. From
some narratives we may also conclude that an alternation between a
soloist and others occasionally occurred in dancing songs. Forms of the
word "rondeau" occasionally appear as labels for a dancing song. The
noun "ballade" seems to be related to the verb battare, meaning "to
dance." Some late entries in Le Manuscrit du Rot, which in their form
resemble the virelai, have the title danssa. Beyond that, there is little
or nothing to connect all rondeaux, virelais, and ballades to dancing.

Exploring their origin a bit further, I suggest that if the rondeaux,
virelais, and ballades of Guillaume de Machaut were descendants of
dancing songs, they are at least as far removed from their origin as
Beethoven's scherzos are removed from the courtly minuet.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: atm on December 03, 2018, 10:01:59 AM

I have and I've read Krenek's book on Ockeghem, it's old fashioned but quite passionate.

I like books like that but it would be nice to find something more comprehensive. It seems like massive subject.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on December 03, 2018, 10:15:44 AM
I recommend Daniel Leech Wilkinson's The Modern Invention of Medieval Music. I'm quite tempted to buy some books by Hendrik van der Werf and maybe Christopher Page, but I want to see them before I buy -- these things ain't cheap. In fact one thing I've found useful is to read Christopher Page's liner notes (you can find them on the web pages for the relevant CDs on Hyperion's site) , listening to the pieces he's discussing. I did this yesterday for the CD called The Earliest songbook in England, and I felt I learned some things which helped me appreciate what's going on in heterophonic music more. He talks about poise, about how the regular breathing produces a sense of poise. And about harmony of course. I was also rather struck by the casual way he commented on accidentals (ficta) when performing motets.

But none of this is specially Italian, I've found less on Italian music.

What would be great to find is a really detailed edition of a score, someone who explains in a readable way how he got from the neumes or whatever to his ideas about how to sing it.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: atm on December 03, 2018, 11:47:35 AM
This seems interesting.

https://pastebin.com/raw/3kh81iAi
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on December 03, 2018, 02:01:09 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81SVN1N3jqL._SL1200_.jpg)

This CD from Sollazzo Ensemble, their second, has won much praise this year, and I concur. The ensemble is made up for vielles, harp and voices. Much of the material on the CD is from Squarcialupi composers.

Why is it so good? Well it’s fluid, it’s expressive with both words and melody, and their voices are beautiful. But that’s not the real reason. The real reason is that they sing like a team, responsively, with a sense of freshness and discovery and pleasure in performance. There is nothing whatsoever routine or blasé about their art.

You can hear them and see them here, I’m specially fond of the final song by Loyset Compère. Here they use early arrangements in manuscripts testifying to a medieval tradition of blind vielle players.

https://youtube.com/v/nYjxQ4giHWg
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on December 16, 2018, 06:10:58 AM
Here are some comments on rhythm by Mark Everist (taken from one of John Potter's Conductus CDs), really about earlier music than you find in the Squarcialupi manuscript, but nevertheless not uninteresting

Quote
Over the course of the last 150 years, it has been proposed that these sections—which do the all-important work of projecting the poetic text—should be interpreted in the same way as caudae: in other words, according to the rhythmic modes. The immense difficulty in making the notation look remotely like any of the rhythmic patterns that the rhythmic modes involve has led others to argue for a relaxed interpretation of the notation but still within the context of the rhythmic modes. Some have argued for duple rhythm, while others have suggested that the unmeasured notation probably indicates a non-metrical, rhythmically flexible type of performance.

Arguments in favour of the use of the rhythmic modes are either circular (the music must be metrical because the conductus might have been used as a processional / the music is used as a processional because it is metrically regular) or based on a faulty understanding of the poetic principles underpinning rithmus (the poetry used in the conductus repertory). Rithmus usually tells us little about the accentual control over the line except for the cadence (paroxytonic or proparoxytonic), but editors over the years have claimed to see quantitative feet in the poetry, as if it were Virgil, and have drawn conclusions about which rhythmic mode to use as a result. This has been shown to be false.

So while we can be sure that the caudae of the conducti are to be performed in accordance with the rhythmic modes (as they are on this recording), it is much less clear how the syllabic musica cum littera might be performed. Significant amounts of experimentation of all types of delivery have led to a style of performance that rejects a priori rhythmic systems that are inappropriate or anachronistic, and that places the poetry at the centre of the performance's stage. This leads to a number of consequences, many of which are audible here. The first thing is not only the clear declamation of the poetry, but a flexibility on the part of the singers to declaim the poetry according to the way they might read and understand it; this is particularly interesting in strophic settings where—notionally—the same music is used for all the stanzas, but where the singer can articulate the poetry in different ways, with the same musical superstructure lightly adjusted in the light of the poetry. This can be heard, for example, by comparing the openings of the first two stanzas of `Ut non ponam' and contrasting the ways in which the first stanza (`Ut non ponam os in celum') and the second (Munda manus debet esse') begin and continue, subtly giving emphasis to different words, and declaiming the text at different speeds depending on meaning. Other, smaller-scale consequences of non-metrical but rhythmically flexible performance are the regular simultaneous presentation of ligatures of four and three notes, three and two notes, and other combinations, which hark back to the music of previous generations.

MARK EVERIST

The prima le parole idea expressed here is one I'm very attracted to emotionally . . .

Quote
The first thing is not only the clear declamation of the poetry, but a flexibility on the part of the singers to declaim the poetry according to the way they might read and understand it
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on December 16, 2018, 06:40:40 AM
Have you warmed to the Conductus CDs?  I can't keep up with your tastes.   ;)  One minute you way you prefer polyphony to monophony then a week later it is the opposite.

 8)

I don't think it's totally monophonic. Heterophonic maybe.  And no, I haven't bought CDs 1 and 3, though I'm tempted because I'm interested in the performers, I've had CD 2 for ages, all the booklets are on line.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on December 16, 2018, 10:22:29 AM
By the way, San, given your taste for desert landscapes unaccompanied monophony and blokes' voices, I hope you've discovered this CD

(https://i0.wp.com/www.marcmauillon.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/couv-songline-.jpeg?w=640)

details here

http://www.marcmauillon.com/?page_id=532
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on January 08, 2019, 02:01:44 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51hkKLUCysL._SX355_.jpg)

I’d completely forgotten about this recording, which contains quite a bit of music by Squarcialupi composers. And what a joy to rediscover it. What I want to say is this: the performances communicate the musicians’ enthusiasm for the music, their total and inspired involvement, their alpha-state. In this respect at least, Peres is like Schmelzer: they both know how to get the best from the people who work with them.

A capella, rather energetic and exciting rather than sensual and curvaceous, , a pulse without stiffness, only male singers, often sung more for melody than harmony I’d say.  Peres is one of the few, maybe the only one in fact, who can make me really enjoy this approach.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on March 06, 2019, 11:08:52 PM
(https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Pku3g8PnL._AC_US218_.jpg)

Does anyone know who the singers are on this Jacopo de Bologna CD? James Bowman is probably one of them. The vocal music on the recording is rather good I think.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: pjme on March 07, 2019, 12:22:55 AM
Ricercare Ensemble für Alte Musik Zürich
Wally Staempfli - soprano
Kurt Huber - tenor and percussion
Fritz Naf - tenor
Michel Piguet - Schalmei, recorder, tambourine
Christopher Schmidt - rebec, portativ
Jordi Savall - fidel, percussion
Françoise Stein - harp
Anthony Bailes - lute, bandurria, drum

Michel Piguet, conductor
1973 recording (LP). The cd was issued in 2000.

Peter



Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on March 07, 2019, 01:02:59 AM
Thanks, some good singers there who I'd like to hear more of.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: (: premont :) on March 07, 2019, 07:37:50 AM
Ricercare Ensemble für Alte Musik Zürich
Fritz Naf - tenor

Small correction:

Fritz Näf or Naef

http://www.fritz-naef.ch/
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: pjme on March 07, 2019, 08:44:39 AM
 :) Setting the record straight!

Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on March 22, 2019, 02:43:12 AM
(http://clubmedieval.be/onewebstatic/46c1473cd5-cd_1.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41QZ0BHM9QL.jpg) https://youtube.com/v/sFgBb8gRLbE

I’ve found three recordings of Paolo de Firenze’s madrigal Lena Virtù: Mala Punica, ClubMedieval and a live one from Tetraktys from Utrecht in 2013 on YouTube. All  three set for two voices and different quantities of instruments. The reason I want to mention it is, to my ears, it shows the absolute superiority of Mala Punica, and for an interesting reason: their musicians, especially the singers,  are listening to each other, responding, and that makes the music come to life. Tetraktys aren’t bad, but they really don’t really touch Mala Punica.

At least, that’s how I hear it.

And yet this

(http://clubmedieval.be/onewebstatic/46c1473cd5-cd_1.jpg)

is a totally satisfying recording when you don't do comparative listening and you're in the mood.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: (: premont :) on March 22, 2019, 02:53:06 AM
And yet this

(http://clubmedieval.be/onewebstatic/46c1473cd5-cd_1.jpg)

is a totally satisfying recording when you don't do comparative listening and you're in the mood.

Yes, a very nice recording. Comparative listening ought to be illegal. $:)  :)
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Biffo on March 22, 2019, 03:40:34 AM
And it’s not clear to me what happens to French music after Machaut. There’s a well regarded book on this, Nadas and Cuthbert Ars nova: French and Italian Music in the Fourteenth Century , it’s too expensive for me I think.

An interesting question. Possibly the ravages of The 100 Years War and the Black Death took its toll though you would expect the latter to affect Burgundy as well. The Binchois Consort have an album Music for the 100 Years War and most of the music is English or Anon, even the music for the coronation of Henry VI as King of France. This might just be a reflection of the choice made by BC of course.
Title: Re: Squarcialupi!
Post by: Mandryka on June 09, 2019, 12:15:14 PM
(https://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0001/027/MI0001027445.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

Revisiting this I find myself caught up by the intensity of it, the energy. In some moods this approach can be very satisfying! ATM was right.

A total contrast from this

(https://outhere-music.com/cache/im/album_portrait/uploads/albums/5cb9a17acf686.jpeg?1.0.1.1)

which has a feeling of breathlessness - not because it’s too quick but because it’s so articulated, short phrases. The extraordinary thing is that somehow the phrases are linked in such a way that it’s fluid, plastic, sensual. I like the singing and the organ playing very much.

What Reverdie don’t have is the raw energy of Micrologus, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.