Italian Ars Subtilior

Ars Subtilis Ytalica
Polyphonie pseudo-Française en Italie, 1380-1410
Mala Punica
Arcana 21


  1. Bartolomeus de Bononia (virelai): Que pena major (2 voices, recorder, vielle, organetto)
  2. Anthonello de Caserta (ballade): Dame d'onour (2 recorders, vielle, organetto, lute)
  3. Caserta (ballade): Amour m'a le cuer mis (voice, recorder, vielle, organetto, lute)
  4. Matteo de Perusio (ballade): Le greygnour bien (voice, 2 vielles)
  5. Caserta (ballade): Beauté parfaite (2 recorders, vielle)
  6. Caserta (rondeau): Dame zentil (voice, recorder, 2 vielles, organetto, lute)
  7. Magister Zacharias (ballade): Sumite karissimi (2 voices, 2 recorders, 2 vielles, organetto)

Performers: Pedro Memelsdorff (recorder), Kees Boeke (recorder, vielle), Svetlana Fomina (vielle), Christophe Deslignes (organetto), Karl-Ernst Schröder (lute), Jill Feldman (voice), Héctor Rodriguez (voice)

Playing time: 64'

Recording date: June, 1993

Reissued in: Arcana 372 [CDx3].

These compositions take up the Italian Ars Nova style as developed from the French and make up part of the large Italian contribution to what is broadly called the Ars Subtilior. These are some of the most complicated pieces of the period, especially item #7.

From Sergey Lebedev: Most tracks on this CD are arranged for high female voice supported by rich instrumentation. Two purely instrumental tracks (#2 and #5) are concieved as very large fantasies on the themes of the original (and rather compact) music.

This ensemble's other recordings in this series:

d'Amor Ragionando
Ballades du neo-Stilnovo en Italie: 1380-1415
Mala Punica
Arcana 22
En attendant
L'Art de la citation dans l'Italie des Visconti
Mala Punica
Arcana 23

And a recording of related sacred music from the era:

Missa Cantilena
Travestimenti liturgici in Italia (1380-1410)
Mala Punica - Pedro Memelsdorff
Erato 17069

A purely instrumental recording of Italian music from this era by one of the present performers:

Instruments 1
Les Maîtres de l'Organetto Florentin au XIVe Siècle
Christophe Deslignes / Thierry Gomar
Ricercar 206 662

Other programs of Ars Subtilior music from Italy:

En doulz chastel de Pavie
Chansons à la cour des Visconti, 1400
Ferrara Ensemble - Crawford Young
Harmonia Mundi "Documenta" 905241
The Saracen and the Dove
Music from the Courts of Padua and Pavia around 1400
Orlando Consort
Archiv Produktion 459 620

Finally, a recording by the present ensemble devoted to the prominent Italian composer Matteo de Perugia:

Hélas Avril
Matteo de Perugia: Chansons
Mala Punica
Erato 82163

To purchasing information for this disc.

To FAQ references to this recording.

To FAQ CD index page.

Todd M. McComb