Regina Pretiosa - Marian Celebration in 12th- Century Florence
During the course of the thirteenth century, numerous lay congregations and confraternities were formed throughout Italy, following in the wake of anti-heretical movements and sentiments. The aims of the confraternities were manifold: their statutes specified, in fact, that in addition to the institutional fight against heresy (“the destruction and uprooting of any heresy”), the primary goals of the members were to be prayer, devotion, charity, the sanctification of feasts, and the intoning of simple songs in praise of the Virgin and the saints. Over time, it was this last aspect which characterized the congregations, to such an extent that the members took to calling themselves “laudesi”, i. e. , singers of laude. The confraternities of laudesi were powerfully active as centers of education and musical diffusion, favoring the development of a repertoire of songs which, despite their simplicity, played an important role in the musical life of the time. This recording offers a reconstruction of this repertoire, this musical world, this performance practice.