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Cortona Codex Devotional Chants

Il laudario di CortonaThe Codice 91 in the Biblioteca Comunale and the Accademia Etrusca of Cortona, together with the Codice Banco Rari 18 in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale of Florence, are the only two sources to contain both the poetic texts and the melodic transcriptions of laude. These pieces were sung by the confraternities of laudesi which arose in the towns of Tuscany and Umbria in the second half of the 13th century. The Cortona manuscript, which had belonged to Fraternita di Santa Maria della Laude at the church of San Francesco, is the older of the two and dates back to between 1270 and 1297, a period more or less coinciding with the founding of what is considered to be the first confraternity, which historians place in Siena in 1267 at the church of San Domenico in Camporegio. The lauda at that time already had a history. Laudes are the prayers sung at dawn during the monastic Office of the Hours and as such are linked to the genesis of the Laudes creaturarum of St. Francis (1182-1226), poems which have come down to us without musical notation (despite the presence of musical lines) in the Codice 338 of Assisi. Only poetic texts are available for the period preceding the establishment of the laudesi. Up until that time laude were sung primarily by Marian confraternities. The songs do not yet present defined formal characteristics, as they would later when the Cortona codex was compiled. The importance of this manuscript goes beyond the testimony which it provides concerning the musical practice of laude: it is in fact the oldest known collection of songs in the Italian vernacular and the only such source for the entire 13th century. It is thus a document of extreme significance for the history of music and culture not only in Italy but also in Europe, given the influence exercised by the lauda outside Italian-speaking confines

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Cod.: TC.270001
Composer: Anonymous
Performers: Ensemble vocale LA DOLCE VISTA - Giulia Galasso, Raffaela Siniscalchi, Daniela Troilo, Christine Streubühr-Solisti: Dario Paolini (tenore), Angela Bucci (soprano), Giulia Galasso (soprano), Raffaela Siniscalchi (mezzo soprano), Daniela Troilo (contralto), Christine Streubühr (contralto), Strumenti: Luigi Polsini (vielle - liuto), Antonio Addamiano (flauti dritti - arpa), Sandro Pippa (percussioni - cialamello - tambourin de Béarn), Giovanni Caruso (liuto - percussione)
Edition: 2005