Codex Rossi

D'Amor cantando
Ballate e madrigali veneti: Codice Rossi XIV secolo
Opus 111 30-141
Opus 111 2033


  1. Madrigal: Vaguza vaga (2 slide trumpets, 2 shawms, tamburine, castagnettes)
  2. Ballata: E vatène segnor mio (2 voices)
  3. Ballata: Per tropo fede (voice, chorus, bagpipe, tamburine)
  4. Madrigal: Bella granata (2 voices)
  5. Madrigal: Piançe la bella Iguana (2 voices)
  6. Madrigal: La desiosa brama (2 shawms, tamburine)
  7. Ballata: Che ti çova nasconder (voice, harp)
  8. Madrigal: Abraçami, cor mio (2 voices)
  9. Ballata: Lucente stella (voice, rebec, lute)
  10. Madrigal: Lavàndose le mane (2 voices)
  11. Ballata: Che ti çova nasconder (bagpipe, shawm)
  12. Madrigal: Piançe la bella Iguana (harp, rebec, lute, 2 shawms)
  13. Madrigal: Canta lo gallo (2 voices)
  14. Madrigal: Su la rivera (voice, bagpipe, rebec, gittern, tamburine)
  15. Ballata: Amor mi fa cantar a la Francesca (voice, chorus, tamburine)
  16. Ballata: Non formò Cristi (voice, rebec, lute)

Performers: Patrizia Bovi (voice, harp), Francesca Breschi (voice), Ulrich Pfeifer (voice), Alessandro Pascoli (voice), Alessandro Quarta (voice), Adolfo Broegg (lute, gittern, castagnettes), Gabriele Russo (rebec), Goffredo Degli Esposti (shawm, bagpipes), Stefano Vezzani (shawm, bagpipes), Carlo Rizzo (tamburine), Luigi Germini (slide trumpet), Paolo Scatena (slide trumpet); Antonietta Bovi, Simona Pelacchi, Laura Cannelli (choir voices)

Playing time: 64'

Recording date: March 1994

Reissued in Opus 111 30-354.

Note the transposition of tracks #11 & #12 on the CD listing.

The Codex Rossi, compiled in Venice c.1340, is the earliest surviving source for Ars Nova music in Italy. The bulk of the manuscript consists of madrigals, always in two voices, and shows the emergence of the genre. The present program contains all of the ballatas in the manuscript, as well as track #2 (a sicilienne from the Reina manuscript from Venice). The compositions are all anonymous, with the exception of tracks #9 & #16 which may be by the Florentine composer Giovanni da Cascia.

Micrologus' anniversary edition, also featuring relatively early Italian Ars Nova music:

Alla Festa Leggiadra
Ballate, madrigali e danze all'epoca di Boccaccio (XIV sec.)
Ensemble Micrologus
Micrologus Edizioni Discografiche

An earlier recording of this repertory:

Amor mi fa cantar
Musica Italiana del primo Trecento
Ensemble Micrologus
Quadrivium 004

The Venetian style shown here was quickly overturned by the emerging Florentine style, first exemplified by Ghirardello da Firenze (c.1320-1362). Quality recordings devoted to him and to contemporary Jacopo da Bologna (fl.c.1340-60):

Ghirardello da Firenze
Magridali, Cacce, Ballate dal Codice Squarcialupi
Ensemble Modo Antiquo - Frederico Maria Sardelli/Bettina Hoffmann
Nuova Era 7151
Jacopo da Bologna: Italienische Madrigale des 14. Jahrhunderts
Ensemble Project Ars Nova
Ars Musici 1274

And a recording devoted to the dance music of this era:

Dança Amorosa
Danze italiane del medioevo
Ensemble Modo Antiquo - Bettina Hoffmann / Frederico Maria Sardelli
Opus 111 30-142

Finally, some broader programs centered on this era:

Suso in Italia Bella
Musique dans les cours et cloitres de l'Italie du Nord
La Reverdie
Arcana 38
Il Solazzo
Music for a Medieval Banquet
Newberry Consort - Mary Springfels
Harmonia Mundi USA 907038
A Song for Francesca
Music in Italy, 1330-1430
Gothic Voices - Christopher Page
Hyperion 66286

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Todd M. McComb