Lux Laetitiae

Program: #22-49   Air Date: Dec 05, 2022

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The latest by the Italian ensemble called La Reverdie (founded by two sisters) gives us ‚ÄúSplendors of the Marian Cult in Early Renaissance Ferrara‚ÄĚ with music by Binchois, Dunstable, and Dufay.

NOTE: All of the music on this program comes from recording Lux Laetitiae: Splendors of the Marian Cult in Early Renaissance Ferrara  featuring La Reverdie. Art is in the Arcana label and is CD A526.. For complete information:

With Lux laetitiae , La Reverdie continues its discographical journey after the success of its most recent production devoted to Francesco Landini: from the Florence of the great blind composer of the fourteenth century, to the splendour of the Este court in fifteenth-century Ferrara! The programme presents twelve pieces from an important codex that belonged to the court, in which fashionable composers such as Guillaume Dufay and John Dunstaple tried their hand at the motet genre. The performances combine six voices with a rich array of instruments and aim to reproduce the resplendent sound of the Este cappella at the time of Lionello and Borso, passionate patrons who attracted to Ferrara many talented artists charged with adorning the court with art, beauty and harmony. An exploration of the prolific tradition of the Marian cult which, from the twelfth century onwards, was manifested in an extraordinary wealth of musical forms and which, in the fifteenth century, resulted in grandiose compositions that can still captivate us today with their complexity and fascination.

The works contained in this program are a selection of motets whose texts all are dedicated to the praise of the Virgin Mary - one of the most popular subjects for this genre - composed by some of the more representative composters of the franco-flemish and English tradition, such as Guillaume Dufay, Gilles Binchois, John Dunstaple and Lionel Power. All come from one of the most important manuscripts compiled in the fifteenth century, a collection now conserved in Modena, and known to scholars as ModB. This volume was most likely compiled in Florence, and contains exclusively sacred compositions from northern Europe from the first half of the fifteenth century. It quickly found its way to Ferrara as a highly prestigious treasure of the Estense court probably at the age of Leonello d'Este, who reigned from 1441-1450, being the first marquise to transform the city into a prestigious artistic center. Our performance intends to reconstruct the splendor of the ducal chapel by making use of a vocal group which intertwines the sounds of a rich instrumental set from the alta and bassa cappella.

Gilles Binchois (1400 - 1460)

  1. Binchois: Ave regina celorum  04:26

John Dunstable (1390 - 1453): 

  1. Dunstable: Gaude virgo salutata / Virgo mater comprobaris  06:19

  2. Dunstable: Specialis virgo  02:56

  3. Dunstable: Salve Regina Mater mire  04:51

  4. Dunstable: Quam pulchra es  03:04

Leonel Power (1370 - 1445): 

  1. Power: Salve Regina misericordie  10:22

  2. Power: Gloriose virginis Marie   02:02

Guillaume Dufay (1397 - 1474): 

  1. Dufay: Ave maris stella  05:46

  2. Dufay: Flos florum  05:20

  3. Dufay: Magnificat octavi toni  08:32

  4. Dufay: Alma redemptoris mater  03:38

  5. Dufay: Fulgens iubar ecclesie Dei / Puerpera pura parens  10:11

Total Runtime  01:07:27

Composer Info

Gilles Binchois (1400 - 1460), John Dunstable (1390 - 1453), Leonel Power (1370 - 1445), Guillaume Dufay (1397 - 1474).

CD Info

Arcana label CD A526.