L’HOMME ARMÉSix masses attributed to Antoine Busnois Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale
Cantica SymphoniaGiuseppe Maletto
Laura Fabris, Francesca Cassinari, Lorenza Donadini, Maria Teresa Nesci, sopranos Gianluca Ferrarini, Raffaele Giordani, Giuseppe Maletto, Fabio Furnari, tenors Marco Scavazza, Mauro Borgioni, baritones David Yacus, Mauro Morini, sackbuts Guido Magnano, organSvetlana Fomina, Efix Puleo, fiddles
Total playing time 71:49 Recorded at Chiesa del Colletto, Roletto (Italy), in July and October 2008 Engineered and produced by Giuseppe Maletto and Davide Ficco Executive producer: Carlos Céster Art direction: Valentín Iglesias Booklet essay: G. Magnano & G. Maletto English Français Italiano Deutsch Español
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Six masses attributed to Antoine BusnoisNaples, Biblioteca Nazionale
01 Magnificat [octavi toni] 02 L’homme, l’homme (instr., from Mass I) 03 Kyrie (Mass VI) 04 L’homme armé (instr., from Mass II) 05 Gloria (Mass VI) 06 Doibt on doubter (instr., from Mass III) 07 Credo (Mass VI) 08 On a fait partout... (instr., from Mass IV) 09 Sanctus (Mass VI) 10 D’un haubregon de fer (instr., from Mass V)11 Agnus Dei (Mass VI)
About this CD
A notable manuscript from the late 15th century, housed today in Naples, contains a cycle of six cantus firmus masses all based on the chanson L’homme armé which can be regarded as a treatise on polyphonic composition as well as providing even more examples of masses based on this ubiquitous theme. Whilst surviving virtually complete the Naples manuscript has alas been shorn of its rich illuminations, losing along the way the identity of the composer of this unparalleled masterpiece from the late 15th century, although some scholars are inclined to believe that it was Antoine Busnois, a leading musical figure at the Burgundian Court of duke Charles the Bold, but whose compositional output remains little recorded.
Armed with their own artistic insights and detective work and an unfailing grasp of the musical language of the 15th century (witness their three discs of music by Guillaume Dufay on Glossa and the more recent a capella Stella del nostro mar album) Giuseppe Maletto and the musicians of Cantica Symphonia unlock the enigma of this L’homme armé masses, unveiling a real treasure of an early Renaissance musical masterpiece. A full performance of the sixth Mass is interspersed with fragments – played instrumentally – from the preceding five and complemented by a contemporary Magnificat setting.
For many years Cantica Symphonia has devoted much performing, musicological and recording energy over the music of the French composer Guillaume Dufay. Born at the dawn of the 15th century, Dufay’s musical career looked back to medieval conventions and forward to the early Renaissance. He was a much-travelled figure and was regularly present as musician, composer and emissary of church and secular powers at the many Ecumenical Councils held by the Roman Catholic Church during these turbulent political times. Dufay was often called on to write motets for important occasions such as the dedication of the Duomo of Florence – Nuper rosarum flores – or an especially critical meeting between the Pope, Eugenius IV and the Emperor, Sigismund – Supremum est mortalibus bonum (the names of both these two are to be found within the words of the motet). [read more...]