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Composers of the Trecento

Donald Macleod uncovers the fascinating early days of polyphony in Italy, as rival composers competed for prizes at Verona, and a blind organist astounded Florence with his talent.

Rival composers compete for prizes at Verona, and a blind organist astounds Florence with his talent. Donald Macleod uncovers the fascinating early days of polyphony in Italy during the 'trecento'.

The transition from pure monophony to complex polyphony was a gradual one. It is argued that polyphony was never entirely absent from European music-making; nor did monophony suddenly go out of fashion. Nevertheless, a fascinating development can be traced between the 12th and 14th centuries, with new musical forms, new rhythmic modes, and new methods of musical notation.

In today's programme the art of polyphonic composition comes of age in the Italian states. Italian musicians of the 1300s are deeply indebted to certain of their French counterparts (two of today's composers chose to set words by Guillaume de Machaut). But they also develop a distinctive style, and develop new forms such as the madrigal - a very different form to its later incarnation. Rivals such as Giovanni da Cascia and Jacopo da Bologna compete for favours from a noble patron. But the greatest of all trecento composers - or at least the most prolific - is the blind Francisco Landini, who stunned the citizens of Florence with his skills as an organist, and as a composer of polyphonic music.

Anthonello de Caserta: Beaute parfait
Ensemble Alba Musica Kyo

Giovanni da Cascia: Sedendo all'ombra d'una bella mandorla
La Bella Stella
Palatino87

Giovanni da Cascia: Quando la stella
Gothic Voices
Christopher Page, director

Jacopo da Bologna: Aquil'altera, ferma; Elas mon cuer
Francesco Landini: Non ara may pieta
Ensemble Unicorn
Michael Posch, director

Francesco Landini: Ochi dolente mie; Per seguir la speranca
Gothic Voices
Christopher Page, director

Francesco Landini: Nessun ponga speranca; Giunta vaga bilta
Gothic Voices
Christopher Page, director

Francesco Landini, Adiu, adiu, dous dame yoli
Ensemble Alba Musica Kyo

Producer Geoff Ballinger.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 4 Aug 2017 18:30

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Music Played

  • Anthonello de Caserta

    Beaute parfait

    Ensemble: Alba Musica Kyo.
    • Channel Classics CCS 7094.
    • Channel Classics.
    • 12.
  • Giovanni da Firenze

    La Bella Stella

    Ensemble: Palatino87.
    • CPO 7776232.
  • Giovanni da Firenze

    Quando La Stella

    Choir: Gothic Voices. Director: Christopher Page.
    • Hyperion: CDH 55291.
    • 5.
  • Jacopo da Bologna

    No al su'amante piu Diana piacque

    Ensemble: Palatino87.
    • CPO 7776232.
  • Jacopo da Bologna

    Aquil'Altera, Ferma

    Ensemble: Ensemble Unicorn. Conductor: Michael Posch.
    • Naxos: 8.553618.
    • Naxos.
    • 4.
  • Jacopo da Bologna

    Elas mon cuer

    Performer: Ensemble Unicorn.
    • Naxos 8.553618.
    • Naxos.
    • 13.
  • Francesco Landini

    Non ara may pieta

    Performer: Ensemble Unicorn.
    • Naxos 8.553618.
    • Naxos.
    • 13.
  • Francesco Landini

    Ochi dolente mie

    Performer: Gothic Voices. Conductor: Christopher Page.
    • HELIOS : CDH-55289.
    • HELIOS.
    • 8.
  • Francesco Landini

    Per seguir la speranca

    Performer: Gothic Voices. Conductor: Christopher Page.
    • HELIOS : CDH-55289.
    • HELIOS.
    • 8.
  • Francesco Landini

    Nessun Ponga Speranca

    Ensemble: Gothic Voices. Conductor: Christopher Page.
    • Helios: CDH 55291.
    • Helios.
    • 5.
  • Francesco Landini

    Giunta vaga bilta

    Ensemble: Gothic Voices. Conductor: Christopher Page.
    • Helios: CDH 55291.
    • Helios.
    • 5.
  • Francesco Landini

    Adiu, adiu, dous dame yoli

    Ensemble: Alba Musica Kyo.
    • Channel Classics CCS 7094.
    • Channel Classics.
    • 6.

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