Francesco Corteccia (1502-1571)
Musiche fatte nelle nozze dello illustrissimo duca di Firenze il signor Cosimo de Medici et della illustrissima consorte sua mad. Leonora da Tolletto
During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries it became a common practice, not only in Italy but also in Burgundy and Spain, for musical intermedi to be used to punctuate stage-plays, processions, tournaments, banquets and other festivities. Such events may have been patronised by the Pope, a Cardinal, a King, a Duke (as in Florence in 1539), or even by a Municipality. And the occasion itself may have been a wedding (again as in Florence), a betrothal, a political alliance, or the entry of an important visitor to the city. It was particularly on the occasion of state visits that intermedi were inserted into banquets and processions. In 1473 for example, when Eleonora of Aragon, the bride of Duke Ercole I d’Este of Ferrara, passed through Rome on her way north, she was entertained with a lavish banquet by Pope Sixtus IV (the founder of the Sistine Chapel) and his high-living nephew Cardinal Pietro Riario. (incidentally, it was no doubt occasions such as this one that caused a plan for curial reform to be drawn up, after Riario’s death, which proposed that “because the banquets given by the afore-mentioned lord cardinals give rise to scandal, we establish and command that henceforth [they] ... be conducted with sobriety and moderation ... At Table, let sacred texts be read ... let there be no music, no profane songs, no acted fables”).