Shades of Trecento

Eglise de Bourgoin-Jallieu

December 4, 2021


Unlike the French Ars Nova, which finds its centre in Machaut (and his epigones), the Italian Ars Nova is similar to a river that branches out into a dozen streams, each corresponding to the activity of a certain composer, or to a set of anonymous compositions referring to a very circumscribed socio-cultural context.

The manuscript sources that have come down to us - almost all compiled at a later date, in some cases up to 70 years after the composition of the pieces they contain - give us the image of a kaleidoscope of artistic experiences grouped in two large geographical areas, each ideally linked to a river: the Arno, in Tuscany (with Florence as its main centre), and the Po, which ran along the northern courses of the Scaligeri, Carrara and Visconti.

Our itinerary gives us a glimpse of this rich musical season, from the monodic madrigals and ballate of the Rossi Codex, copied in the Veneto, to the polyphonic ballate of the most famous Italian composer of the 16th century, the Florentine Francesco Landini, and the cacce (madrigals in canon) of Vincenzo da Rimini and Lorenzo da Firenze.

Finally, some stages of the tour will show the other face of Italian Ars Nova, the instrumental repertoire, transmitted almost exclusively in the Faenza 11th and London add. 29987 codices.

Sara Maria Fantini

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