Program: #11-24, Air Date: 06/06/11The Schola Antiqua of Chicago gives us a rare glimpse into this manuscript of music from the late middle ages on the island of Cyprus.
NOTE: All of the music on this program comes from the recording West Meets East with the Schola Antiqua of Chicago. The CD is on the Discantus label and is CD 1002.
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Notes from the recording are below the music list.
1.Kyrie eleison Three-voice polyphony
2. Gloria in excelsis deo Four-voice polyphony
3. Alleluia. V. Ave sancte Ylarion Plainchant
4. Sequence for St. Hilarion: Exultantes collaudemus Plainchant
5. Credo in unum deum Four-voice polyphony
6. Sanctus Three-voice polyphony
7. Agnus dei Plainchant
8. Hymn for St. Anne: Lucis huius festa Plainchant
9. Motet: Magni patris magna mira/Ovent Cyprus Four-voice polyphony
10. Motet: Victima laudum pascalis/Victimis in pascalibus Four-voice polyphony
11. Motet: Qui patris atris honoris/Paraclite spiritus Four-voice polyphony
12. Rondeau: Rose, liz, printemps, verdure Guillaume de Machaut (d. 1377)
All but one piece of music on this album can be found in the early fifteenth-century Torino Codex (Torino, Biblioteca Nazionale MS J.II.9), an anonymous source of music that remains one of the few windows into Western music of that period. Although it is the largest musical source in the French tradition between the Ars nova manuscripts of the fourteenth century and the Franco-Burgundian manuscripts of the late fifteenth century, the music of the Torino Codex has attracted comparatively little attention from performing ensembles and scholars, no doubt stemming from the fact that almost all of the pieces are both anonymous and significantly lacking in concordances with other known sources.
The music of the Torino Codex originated on the island of Cyprus in the mid-1410s within the court of King Janus I of the ruling Lusignan family from western France. But the manuscript ended up at the court of Savoy, possibly connected with Anne of Cyprus in her marriage to Louis of Savoy in 1433. Spanning some 159 folios and ranging from sacred plainchant and polyphony to secular song, the music was probably not written for public consumption nor a one-time hearing, but rather for repeated enjoyment by an intimate circle of singers and a small court audience. The source comprises five sections (fascicles) organized by genre—the first devoted solely to chant and the remaining four fascicles dedicated to sacred and secular polyphony. The music on this recording derives from the first three principal parts of the manuscript: chant (fascicle 1), Mass Ordinary movements (fascicle 2), and motets (fascicle 3). This is the first recording to be devoted solely to the sacred music of this important source.