What is it about?
With the recording project "O quam Pulchra es" we want to give back voice to a very important musical document from Este' Court.
The Associazione Musicale Estense for 20 years has been offering 1000 years of musical culture, with a preference for the enhancement of the Este heritage, most of which is testified by the large ducal collection at the Estense Library. The current digitalization project of this extremely precious source preserved in Modena encourages us to strengthen our commitment.
Within the music recording market, ancient music still represents a privileged means for the dissemination of creativity, experimentation, a neverending exploration of new repertoires.
For this we need your concrete help in order to involve the best skilled workers in this area together with young talented musicians. LaReverdie is one of the leading ensembles of ancient music in the world, with an extremely rich discography; its interpretation, both colorful and careful to musicological research, for 35 years has been intercepting a transversal and international audience. For this project, the “historical” ensemble (Claudia and Livia Caffagni, Elisabetta de Mircovich and Doron Sherwin) will be enlarged to 8/9 musicians, singers and instrumentalists. Claudia Caffagni, besides being one of the founders, is also one of the greatest experts
A unique story: Ferrara 1448
December 17th, 1448: at the Ferrara court of Lionello d’Este the payment is documented "for ligatura de un libro de chanto in carta de capreto per uxo of the prefato nostro signore". The codex is now in the Estense Library of Modena (manuscript alfa.x.1.1); it contains 131 compositions by authors from the Franco-Flemish area, such as Guillaume Du Fay, Jilles Binchoise and Johannes Fede and English such as John Dunstable, Leonel Power, John Forest. If it is not easy to reconstruct the genesis of this collection, it is certain that it belonged as final destination to the court of Lionello d'Este (1407-1450) and tells us of the structure of the ducal chapel, made up of skilled singers, but not by composers. The manuscript therefore represents a fundamental document for reconstructing the Este musical tradition, before the great Renaissance and Baroque period. The executive work will be preceded by a study of the manuscript and transcription of the repertoire.
How we will use your donation
The Associazione Musicale Estense sets up the project by involving the best collaborations, following each phase.
1) Claudia Caffagni, musician of the laReverdie ensemble and specialist in medieval musical codes, studies the manuscript, selects the pieces on the theme of the Madonna, the characterizing theme of the manuscript, and transcribes them. The music is in fifteenth-century white notation and the transcription work requires specialized preparation.
2) Numerous musical rehearsals will take place, in which the executive aspects will be fine-tuned in anticipation of the record recording
3) The disc will be recorded in a few days of intense work.
4) The post production work will be carried out: editing of the recordings, drafting of the presentation booklet, including musicological apparatus, Latin texts and translations in three languages (Italian French English).
5) Printing of the cd for the Arcana label and international circulation.
Those who contribute to crowdfunding will have the opportunity to follow all the phases of the project and to participate in the creation of the so-called “O quam pulchra es”, as well as to obtain a tangible contribution from us.
Claudia Caffagni, voice, lute; Livia Caffagni, voice, recorders, viella; Elisabetta de Mircovich voice, viella; Matteo Zenatti, voice, harp; Teodora Tommasi, voice, harp; Doron David Sherwin, cornetto, voice; Emanuele Petracco, voice; Mauro Morini, trombone.
Claudia Caffagni, lutenist, singer, specialist in medieval notation, is one of the founders, in 1986, of the medieval music ensemble LaReverdie, one of the most important groups on the international scene which are dedicated to the study and interpretation of the medieval repertoire. With laReverdie ensemble she carries out an intense concert activity, participating in the most prestigious festivals in Europe and in non-European countries and recorded for numerous record companies and radio. She regularly deals with the transcriptions of all the projects of laReverdie ensemble, she has published numerous musicological essays, transcriptions, participating in conferences and master classes. Since 2007 she has been a teacher of medieval music at the Claudio Abbado Civic School of Music in Milan, and she is currently the coordinator of the prestigious Institute of Ancient Music.
LaReverdie A pair of sisters founded laReverdie in 1986: an ensemble that takes its name from the poetic genre of the same name in which the arrival of spring is celebrated. In compositions of various sizes and with vocal and instrumental repertoire of the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, laReverdie is a reference for productions and concerts rooted in in-depth research, natural virtuosity and a unique musical fusion.
Gilles Binchois (c. 1400-1460)
Ave regina celorum, f. 75v
Guillaume Du Fay (1397-1474)
Alma redemptoris mater, f. 60v-61
Ave maris stella, f. 7v-8
Ave regina celorum, f. 62v-63
Fulgens jubar / Puerpera pura parens f. 124v-126 unicum
Flos florum – mottetto f. 59v-60
Magnificat octavi toni ff. 42r-43v
John Dunstaple (c. 1390-1453)
Ave regina celorum/Ave mater f. 87v-88 unicum
Gaude virgo salutata / Virgo Mater f. 116v–117v unicum
Quam pulchra es, ff. 83v-84
Salve Regina Mater mire, f. 93v-94 unicum
Specialis virgo, f. 83r
John Forest (c. 1365-1446)
Tota pulchra es amica mea, ff. 101v-102
Leonel Power (tra 1370 e 1385-1445)
Gloriose virginis Marie, f. 76
Salve Regina misericordie f. 88v-90
Project created by
Associazione Musicale Estense
For 20 years we have been offering 1000 years of musical culture, with a preference for the great collezione ducale of the Estense Library in Modena. Thanks to various collaborations we have been able to contribute to projects of dozens of compact discs still in circulation today, intercepting projects already started and not started from our planning, due to our limited economic means. We finally want to design and implement our own project, which crowns twenty years of our work.