WHITE AND VERMILION ROSE - early and traditional music from the italian peninsula
Auto-production, 2010

“Mary was a rose: white for her purity, vermilion for her mercy” St Bernard (1090-1153)

With this new work Musica Officinalis pays homage to their country within the sphere of ancient and traditional music, enriching it with original compositions. The itinerary we have chosen includes a set of pieces from various repertories ranging from the Carmina Buranas to the Cortona Laud books from 1200, passing through sacred and popular music from southern Italy up to composers. In particular we took the 13th century Latin tradition as a starting point to immerse ourselves in the sweetest, most rarefied notes of the Italian hymns of praise in vernacular.
In passing from feudalism to humanism, the whole of Europe saw a radical change involving various levels of society. Cultural life passed through a moment of great ferment: the free universities were set up, the monolithic hegemony of the church on knowledge and the application of studies began to crumble and new religious orders preached a way of life independently from Rome.
The Lauds coincide precisely with St Francis’ preaching which, opposed to the worldliness of the papacy, put forward a humble, plain mysticism, with a return to simplicity, drawing closer to the people as a Christian community. The authentic religious feeling in the common people arises from this and is expressed in all its beauty through the Laud book and the two Passions in dialect of peasant origin from Puglia. We have attempted to give sound and life to this profound metamorphosis in the life of ancient man.
Our aim is to transmit to our audience a sense of belonging to that sacred music, whose subjects, even though “high” and emblematic like Christ or the Virgin, are in reality presented in their human aspect with a simple, universal language precisely like ordinary people, like the people to whom St Francis preached. The style of the musical arrangements shows how we tried to freely mould the emotional content of the music, boldly linking together styles and genres from different periods. This was our task; now it is up to you to compose all the imaginative part that arises from listening, to touch the high sensitive and emotional spheres.
Listen and enjoy it!

1. Ave, donna santissima
anonimo, Laudario di Cortona. - XIII sec
2. Dami conforto, Dio, et alegrança
anonimo, Laudario di Cortona. - XIII sec
3. Cristo è nato et humanato
anonimo, Laudario di Cortona. - XIII sec
4. De la crudel morte de Cristo
anonimo, Laudario di Cortona. - XIII sec
5. Vienerdia Sande
trad. Ceglie Messapica, Puglia (I)/Arr. M. La Zazzera
6. Risveglio
Walter Rizzo
7. Che ti zova nasconder el bel volto?
anonimo, Codice Rossi - XIV sec
8. Laude novella sia cantata
anonimo, Laudario di Cortona. - XIII sec
9. Virent prata hiemata
anonimo, Carmina Burana. - XII sec
10. U Venerdia Sande / Tarantella
trad. Altamura, Puglia (I)/M. La Zazzera
11. Ave, Vergene gaudente
anonimo, Laudario di Cortona. - XIII sec

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Catia Gianessi
Gabriele Bonvicini
nyckelharpa, tapan, claves, voice
Massimo La Zazzera
bansuri, chalumeau, duduk, flauti dolci/recorders, ciaramello, bouzouki, conchiglie/shells, voice
Igor Niego
gaida bulgara/bulgarian bagpipe, ney, darbouka, def, riq, tamburelli, cimbali/cymbals, voice
Walter Rizzo
ceccola polifonica/poliphonic bagpipe, bombarde/shawms, ghironda/hurdy-gurdy, bouzouki, voice
Roberto Romagnoli
tapan, duf, darbouka, tammorra, shaker, sonagli/jingles, voice

Marco Ambrosini: nyckelharpa
Jule Bauer: nyckelharpa
Claudio Carboni: sax soprano
Katharina Dustmann: davul
Enzo Granella: voice
Peter Rabanser: oud
Renzo Ruggiero: santur
Riccardo Tesi: organetto/diatonic accordion