The Nuremberg physician, humanist and historian Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514) created an everlasting oevre not only with his Nuremberg Chronicle. With his collection of songs, today kept in the Bavarian State Library, he left a great musical treasure to posterity. It contains unique traditional songs in German but also especially some French chansons. The latter gained international fame and could be found in several songbooks during the polymath's lifetime. The German songs, however, offer a valuable source of regional compositions. At the transition from the Late Middle Ages to the Renaissance Schedel is regarded as contemporary witness of a changing world view and offers posterity an authentic insight into a musical repertoire which circulated in German towns at the early modern period.
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This programme carries the audience into the world of love poetry in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and intertwines their various aspects to a touching and passionate whole. French chansons and Italian ballate of the "Ars nova" - among which count composers like Guillaume de Machaut, Gilles Binchois and Johannes Ciconia - unite with Spanish music of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The lyrics symbolise "amour courtois", the "courtly love" whose traces can still be detected in the period of the Spanish "Siglo de Oro" in the 16th century. Religious worship, too, can be found in the lyrics of the devoted Italian laude which originated above all in the Tuscan region in the 13th and 14th centuries.These sacred songs are an expression of popular devotion and in their intensity a match for the secular pieces of the Trecento and offer an insight into the vivid musical tradition of that time. Instrumental pieces from Italy and France, like estampies and sallarelli are to be found in these programmes as well as Spanish dances of the 16th century. All this is enfolded by the subject of love and worship in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, revealing its various aspects and is reflected in the title "Outros Amores".
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The 14th century in Italy was a golden age for art, literature and above all for music. Especially in Tuscany numerous compositions in the popular ballat stylelike those by Francesco Landini or Paolo da Firenze were ceated but also madrigals and laude as well as instrumental pieces. This cultural abundance was partly recorded in richly ornamented and precious codices like the Scuarcialupi Codex once owned by the organist Antonio Scuarcialupi. The style, also called "Italian Ars nova" was closely connected with the French music and influenced by it. Thus formative Franco-Flemish composers like Guillaume de Machaut are represented in this programme and give an insight into the variety and refinement of this music which originated within this flourishing atmosphere when the Middle Ages passed into the Renaissance.
Until their expulsion in 1492 and 1513, the Sephardim has been living in Spain and on the Iberian Peninsula. For centuries a great treasure of wonderful traditional songs accumulatedsuch as"El Rey de Francia" narratingthe prophecy of a future love received by the daughter of the King of France during a daydream.To love relate many songs of the Spanish Renaissance, also known as "Siglo de Oro", the "Golden Age". The touching love poetry of that time had been handed down to us in the romances and villacicos and is reflected in the texts of the poets Jorge de Montemayor and Juan Boscán. Spanish dances as well as instrumental compositions such as by Diego Ortiz complete this programme.
From about 1576 to 1600 poets, philosophers and composers like Jacopo Peri and Giulio Caccini met in Florence in the Camerata Fiorentina, a circle of aristocratic artists and scholars longing for a new era of musical practice which was supposed to distinguish itself from the practice of vocal pholyphoy which was wide-spread in the 16th century. They were originally interested in the revival of an ideal from ancient Greece which they wanted to achieve by a recitative-accompanied vocal solo combined with a great understanding for the meaning of lyrics. During their endeavours, however, they incidentally created the opera recitative. It was above all Giulio Caccini who, enthused and influeced by the Camerata's creative spirit, edited his "Le Nuove Musiche" in 1602 in which he published arias and canconettas in the new style along with exact advice on the flourish and vocal interpretation of his works. This new singing style spread not only across Italy but was also highly esteemed at the French court. Caccini's singng style came into fashion in 17th century Germany and was adapted in music treatises and vocal textbooks by Prätorius, Herbst and Crüger. It is therefore in the focus of our programme and accompanied by instrumental pieces for lute and gamba by Alessandro Piccinini and Girolamo Frescobaldi.