The Faenza Codex

Le Codex Faenza – The Faenza Codex
Italie, XVe siècle
Ensemble Organum – Marcel Pérès, dir.
Harmonia Mundi HMC 901354 [CD]
Harmonia Mundi HMC 401354 [Cass.]
Harmonia Mundi musique d'abord HMA 1901354 [CD]


  1. Machaut: De toutes flours (à 3)
  2. Machaut: Honte, paour, doubtance (à 3)
  3. Anon: J'ay grant désespoir de ma vie (à 3)
  4. Jacopo da Bologna: Aquila altera (à 3)
  5. Anon: Deduto sey (à 2)
  6. Jacopo da Bologna: Io mi son uno che per le frasche (à 2)
  7. Landini: Che pena è quest'al cor (à 3)
  8. Jacopo da Bologna: O ciecho mondo (à 2)
  9. Bartolino da Padova: Imperiale sedendo fra più stelle (à 2)

  10. Instrumental (clavicythérium solo):
  11. Le ior
  12. De toutes flours
  13. Honte, paour, doubtance
  14. J'ay grant désespoir de ma vie
  15. Aquila altera
  16. Deduto sey
  17. Io mi son uno che per le frasche
  18. Che pena è quest'al cor
  19. Constantia
  20. Alors mon cueur

Codex Faenza, Faenza, ms 117

Ensemble Organum
Marcel Pérès (clavicythérium), Gérard Lesne (counter-tenor), Josep Benet (tenor), Josep Cabré (baritone), Malcolm Bothwell (bass)
Marcel Pérès, dir.

Playing time: 70' 27"

Recording site and date:
Unknown [10/1990];
Rel.: 1991 (HMC), 1994 (HMA)

Reviewed in:
Alte Musik Aktuell: (Nov. 1992)
Fanfare (Vol./#-p.): 15/3- (Jan./Feb. 1992); 18/5- (May/June 1995)

Information from CD; minor additions by Pierre-F. Roberge

The Codex Faenza is a manuscript of keyboard transcriptions of late medieval songs, mostly originating in Italy. In this recording, the Ensemble Organum has used the keyboard transcriptions to help illuminate the ornament styles of the era. Keyboard versions (on clavicythérium, a harpsichord-like instrument) are also included for most songs.

Although the Codex itself dates from the early 15th century, most of the songs on which it is based date from the later 14th century. It is thus the most significant example of Ars Nova instrumental transcription.

A fine program of this music done by an instrumental ensemble:

Codex Faenza
Instrumental Music of the Early XVth Century
Ensemble Unicorn - Michael Posch
Naxos 8.553618

And other programs featuring items from the Faenza Codex and other transcriptions of Ars Nova music:

Faventina - Liturgical Music of Codex Faenza 117
Mala Punica - Pedro Memelsdorff
Ambroisie 105
Instruments 1
Les Maîtres de l'Organetto Florentin au XIVe Siècle
Christophe Deslignes / Thierry Gomar
Ricercar 206 662
I dilettosi fiori
14th century music for clavisimbalum and flutes
Corina Marti
Ramée 1108
Intabulation and Improvisation in the 14th Century
Ensemble Super Librum
Sonclair 128 836

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Todd M. McComb