Vivat Leo! Music for a Medici Pope (2010)

de Silva, Willaert, la Fage, Mouton, Desprez, Festa

Cappella Pratensis

Joshua Rifkin

‘Let us enjoy the papacy, since God has given it to us’ – thus, according to a contemporary report, Giovanni de’ Medici, the second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, on becoming pope in March 1513. Enjoy it he did. In the eight years of his reign, Leo X, as Giovanni now became known, lived extravagantly, holding banquet after banquet, hunt after hunt, and sometimes parading a white elephant through Rome. His costly enthusiasms extracted their price, of course; within two years of taking the throne, he had turned a handsome surplus left him by his predecessor into a deficit, and before long he had to raise funds by such dubious tricks as selling indulgences on a grand scale – provoking what would eventually become the Reformation. Yet Leo did not exhaust the papal treasury on frivolous things alone. A man of extensive humanistic learning, he supported notable scholars and poets, including Pietro Bembo; commissioned major works from Raphael; and initiated significant building projects. Above all, Leo loved music. He knew it from the inside, possessing sufficient technical knowledge to compose in five voices. He staffed the papal choir – the body responsible for music at liturgical services – with some of the most eminent singers and composers of his day, and he maintained a private body of musicians that similarly included several highly prized singers, composers, and instrumentalists. His awareness of musical developments extended well beyond Rome, moreover; he particularly admired the French royal chapelmaster Jean Mouton, the most influential composer of the day, whom Leo had occasion to meet in 1515 and named to a highly honorific church position.

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Cappella Pratensis

The Dutch-based vocal ensemble Cappella Pratensis – literally ‘Cappella des prés’ – champions the music of Josquin Desprez and the polyphonists of the 15th and 16th centuries. The group combines historically informed performance practice with inventive programmes and original interpretations based on scholarly research and artistic insight. As in Josquin’s time, the members of Cappella Pratensis perform from a central music stand, singing from the original mensural notation scored in a large choirbook. This approach, together with attention to the linguistic origin of the compositions and the modal system on which it is based, offers a unique perspective on the repertoire.

 

Joshua Rifkin

Joshua Rifkin’s work as conductor, pianist, and harpsichordist has spanned music from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. His recordings and concert performances with the Bach Ensemble, which he founded in 1978, set an internationally recognized mark for historically informed and musically vital interpretation of their namesake composer. He has received acclaim in many countries for performances with modern orchestras of Strauss, Stravinsky, and more recent composers; has directed ‘period’ ensembles in works of Monteverdi, Schu?tz, Haydn, and many others; and has led operatic productions in Switzerland and Germany. In 1999 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Dortmund for his contributions to Bach interpretation. Joshua Rifkin has also published widely as a scholar, most notably in the fields of Renaissance and Baroque music. He has held guest seminars, workshops, and master classes at universities and conservatories throughout Europe, the U. S., and Japan, and holds a position as Professor of Music and Fellow of the University Professors Program at Boston University. His collaboration with Cappella Pratensis returns him for the first time in many years as a performer to Renaissance polyphony.

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Vivat Leo! Music for a Medici Pope (2010)

de Silva, Willaert, la Fage, Mouton, Desprez, Festa

Cappella Pratensis

Cables: Siltech
Digital Converters: Dcs
Mastering Equipment: Avalon Acoustic
Microphones: Sonodore
Producer: Bert van der Wolf
Recording Engineer: Bert van der Wolf, Fir Suidema
Recording location: AMUZ, Antwerp Belgium
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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CC72366: Vivat Leo! Music for a Medici Pope
01:04:52   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Gaude Felix Florentia
de Silva
00:11:02   Select quality & channels above
2.
Virgo Gloriosa Christi, Margareta
Willaert
00:03:12   Select quality & channels above
3.
Saluto te, sancta Virgo Maria
Willaert
00:06:15   Select quality & channels above
4.
Videns dominus civitatem desolatem
la Fage
00:04:20   Select quality & channels above
5.
Nesciens mater virgo virum
Mouton
00:03:21   Select quality & channels above
6.
Per lignum salvi
Mouton
00:02:23   Select quality & channels above
7.
Exalta regina Gallie
Mouton
00:03:01   Select quality & channels above
8.
Nymphes des bols
Desprez
00:04:32   Select quality & channels above
9.
Miserere mei, Deus
Desprez
00:14:19   Select quality & channels above
10.
Omnis pulchritudo Domini
de Silva
00:04:35   Select quality & channels above
11.
Inviolata, integra et casta es
Festa
00:07:52   Select quality & channels above

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