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The Sforza’s Milan

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[Begin Theme Music]

Welcome to Harmonia . . . I’m Angela Mariani.

It's a bit after midnight in January 1490. Jupiter and Apollo have appeared in the Green Room at a wedding at the powerful Sforza family’s castle of Porta Giova in Milan. The actors and spectacular machinery by Leonardo da Vinci depict celestial events. One onlooker describes, [quote] “Paradise was made in the likeness of a half egg, which on the inner side was all put to gold, with a very large number of lights to match the stars […] where all seven planets were [and there] were many songs and sounds very sweet and mellifluous.” This hour we’ll explore music from [15th-century] Milan in lavish court of the Sforzas. Plus, our featured release is My Cup of Tea, Baroque-to-folk music with violinist Gail Hernández Rosa.

[Theme music fades]
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News Cutaway: 01:00 – 6:00

MUSIC TRACK
Missa Galeazescha: Music for the Duke of Milan
Odhecaton (voc); La Reverdie (brass); Paolo Col (dir)
Arcana 2017 / Naxos A436
Loyset Compère
Tr. 13 Missa Galeazescha (excerpts), Ad elevationem; Adoramus te Christe (4:29)

Music by Milanese court musician, Loyset Compère. We heard “Ad elevationem; Adoramus te Christe” from Missa Galeazescha, music for the Duke of Milan. Paolo Col led Odhecaton vocal ensemble and La Reverdie historical brass. Coming up, we’ll be hearing from more musicians who were under the patronage of the powerful Sforza family in late fifteenth-century Milan.

In 1450, the Sfroza family became rulers of Milan. The city already had a long-standing religious music tradition, and the Sforza’s invested in the Cathedral music so that there were 12 professional singers, a music director, and a new organ. Most musicians associated with sacred music in Milan were Italians including Giovanni Molli and composer and theorist Franchino Gaffurio, known to subsequent generations of music theorists by his Latin name Gaffurius. We’ll hear his “Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah.”

MUSIC TRACK
Franchino Gaffurio: Missa de Carneval, Stabat Mater, Motteti
Il Convitto Armonico Convitto (choir); Baschenis Ensemble; Stefano Buschini (cond.)
Tactus 2013 / Naxos TC450701
Franchinus Gaffurius
Tr. 13 Lamentatio Hieremiae prophaetae (8:23)

“Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah” by [15th-century Italian composer] Franchinus Gaffurius. Stefano Buschini led the choir Il Convitto Armonico Convitto (choir) and Baschenis Ensemble.

Under Sforza rule, cathedral musicians were mainly Italian, but court musicians were brought in from the ever-fashionable North including Flemish and French masters like Josquin de Prez, Johannes Martini, Loyset Compère, and the lesser-known Gaspar van Weerbeke. Here are both Weerbeke’s “Quam pulchra es” and “Plus nulz regretz” by Josquin.

MUSIC TRACK
Global Player Maximilian
Ensemble Rosarum Flores
Musik Museum 2019 / Naxos MMCD13042
Josquin des Prez
Tr. 10 Plus nulz regretz (2:59)
Gaspar van Weerbeke
Tr. 15 Quam pulchra es (2:26)

Ensemble Rosarum Flores performed “Quam pulchra es” by Gaspar van Weerbeke and and “Plus nulz regretz” by Josquin de Prez.

This dynamic collection of artists from Italy Italian and Franco-Flemish backgrounds was threatened by scandal. When Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, was assassinated in 1476, many of his best hires fled to nearby Ferrara, where the D’Este family also supported a thriving music scene. The Duke was known for his cruelty, but it was a combination of factors that led to his murder—some involved in the killing were part of a land dispute and others were connected to the killing for believing that the Duke had sexually assaulted an aristocratic woman. Although the assassins were swiftly brought to justice, many high-level court professionals fled. Here is La Martinella by Johannes Martini, who left Milan for Ferrara after the assassination.

MUSIC TRACK
Missa Galeazescha: Music for the Duke of Milan
Odhecaton (voc); Liuwe Tamminga (organ); Paolo Col (dir)
Arcana 2017 / Naxos A436
Johannes Martini
Tr. 9 La Martinella (3:06)

That was La Martinella by Johannes Martini. Odhecaton vocal ensemble and Liuwe Tamminga were artists on that track.

[Theme music begins]

Early music can mean a lot of things. What does it mean to you? Let us know your thoughts and ideas. Contact us at harmonia early music dot org, where you’ll also find playlists and an archive of past shows.

You’re listening to Harmonia . . . I’m Angela Mariani.

[Theme music fades]

MUSIC TRACK
La musica a Milano al tempo di Leonardo da Vinci: La figurazione delle cose invisibili
Massimo Lonardi (lute)
La Bottega Discantica 2007 / Naxos 8015203101036
Franchinus Gaffurius
Excerpt of Tr. 2 Virgo Dei Digna (2:34)

(fades out at :59)

Welcome back. We’re exploring music from Renaissance Milan this hour.

On a cool night in January 1490, a spectacular show of planets and stars appeared inside the castle of Porta Giova in Milan. Too much chianti? No, it was part of a musical theatrical production with machines designed by Leonardo da Vinci, held during the festivities surrounding the wedding of Isabella of Aragon, whose mother was a Sforza, to Gian Galeazzo Sforza. No expenses were spared, nor did anyone blink back then at the idea of marrying your first cousin, if it was politically expedient to do so. Isabella was famous for her beauty, and Leonardo’s theatrical spectacle symbolized her as being the “center of the universe,” like the sun. His pyrotechnics were accompanied by music of Franchinus Gaffurius, with a text by Bernardo Bellincioni.

MUSIC TRACK
La musica a Milano al tempo di Leonardo da Vinci: La figurazione delle cose invisibili
Renata Fusco (soprano), Massimo Lonardi (lute)
La Bottega Discantica 2007 / Naxos 8015203101036
Franchinus Gaffurius
Tr. 13 Imperatrix reginarum (2:42)
Tr. 1 Beata progenies (2:49)

Renata Fusco (soprano) and Massimo Lonardi (lute) performed “Imperatrix reginarum” and “Beata progenies” by Franchinus Gaffurius.

The spectacular wedding celebration in Milan that featured this music was called Festa del Paradiso. In this case, Leonardo da Vinci’s designs were limited to the visual spectacle and idea for the night, but on some occasions the Renaissance master also wrote music. We’ll hear two pieces by Leonardo, “Re La Sol Mi Fa Sol” and “Ingenio musicale.”

MUSIC TRACK
Passeggiata Musicale: Leonardo da Vinci
Alta Early Music Ensemble
Ayros 2021 / Naxos 5902768283136
Leonardo da Vinci
Tr. 1 Re La Sol Mi Fa Sol (3:09)
Tr. 13 Ingenio musicale (3:39)

Alta Early Music Ensemble performed two pieces by Leonardo da Vinci: “Re La Sol Mi Fa Sol” and “Ingenio musicale.”

Moving from the 15th century to a congenial meeting of folk and Baroque, our featured release this hour is a CD entitled My Cup of Tea, by the group Beneath A Tree, which showcases a plucked and bowed string trio playing on baroque period instruments. First, we’ll hear a baroque favorite— the Gigue from Bach’s Cello Suite no. 4 performed here on viola.

MUSIC TRACK
My Cup of Tea
Gail Hernández Rosa (violin, viola); Beneath a Tree -- Baroque to Folk; Daniel Turkos (bass, octave mandolin); Paul Holmes Morton (theorbo, baroque guitar)
Independent Release (Gail Hernández Rosa) 2022
Tr. 9 Suite No. 4 in E Flat Major BWV 1010, VI Gigue (Viola) (2:48)

That was the Gigue from Bach’s Cello Suite no. 4; Gail Hernández Rosa performed on viola.

Hernández Rosa and colleagues shine most brightly at the intersection of baroque period performance, folk music, and improvisation. My Cup of Tea includes both a straight-up Telemann sonata in D Major as well as music inspired by that piece. Here is an excerpt from the Allemanda from Telemann’s Sonata in D Major, followed by a piece called “Telemann Folk”, in which Gail Hernández Rosa and Daniel Turkos use the chord structure from the final movement, gigue, of this Telemann Sonata with their own Celtic Folk-inspired work layered on top.

MUSIC TRACK
My Cup of Tea
Gail Hernández Rosa (violin, viola); Beneath a Tree -- Baroque to Folk; Daniel Turkos (bass, octave mandolin); Paul Holmes Morton (theorbo, baroque guitar)
Independent Release (Gail Hernández Rosa) 2022
Georg Philipp Telemann
Tr. 3 Sonata No 2 in D major – Allemanda (excerpt 3:11 of 6:55)
Gail Hernández Rosa and Daniel Turkos
Tr. 1 Telemann Folk (3:55)

That was the ensemble “Beneath a Tree,” performing music by and inspired by Telemann. The Allemanda from Telemann’s Sonata in D Major was followed by “Telemann Folk” arranged by violinist Gail Hernández Rosa and bassist Daniel Turkos.

Let’s wrap things up with a three-part medley created by members of Beneath a Tree, also from this week’s featured recording My Cup of Tea. We’ll hear “The Fisherman” composed by Gail Hernández Rosa; “Flower of Edinburgh” arranged by Turkos; and “Spike Island Lasses” arranged by Paul Holmes Morton.

MUSIC TRACK
Gail Hernández Rosa (violin, viola); Beneath a Tree -- Baroque to Folk; Daniel Turkos (bass, octave mandolin); Paul Holmes Morton (theorbo, baroque guitar)
Independent Release (Gail Hernández Rosa) 2022
Tr. 8 The Fisherman (Hernández Rosa) / Flower of Edinburgh (Turkos) / Spike Island Lasses (Holmes Morton) (6:02)

Folk Medley, “The Fisherman,” “Flower of Edinburgh,” and “Spike Island Lasses” composed and arranged by members of the ensemble Beneath a Tree – Baroque to Folk on the recording My Cup of Tea. an independent release by Gail Hernández Rosa.

[Fade in theme music]

Harmonia is a production of WFIU and part of the educational mission of Indiana University.
Support comes from Early Music America: a national organization that advocates and supports the historical performance of music of the past, the community of artists who create it, and the listeners whose lives are enriched by it. On the web at EarlyMusicAmerica-dot-org.

Additional resources come from the William and Gayle Cook Music Library at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

We welcome your thoughts about any part of this program, or about early music in general. Contact us at harmonia early music dot org. You can follow us on Facebook by searching for Harmonia Early Music.

The writer for this edition of Harmonia is Sarah Schilling.

Thanks to our studio engineer Michael Paskash, and our production team: LuAnn Johnson, Aaron Cain, and John Bailey. I’m Angela Mariani, inviting you to join us again for the next edition of Harmonia.

[Theme music concludes]
________________________________________
Pelagio Palagi's painting of the meeting of Charles VIII and Gian Galeazzo Sforza

Pelagio Palagi's painting of the meeting of Charles VIII and Gian Galeazzo Sforza . (Wikimedia)

It's a bit after midnight in January 1490. Jupiter and Apollo have appeared in the Green Room at a wedding at the powerful Sforza family’s castle of Porta Giova in Milan. The actors and spectacular machinery by Leonardo da Vinci depict celestial events. One onlooker describes, “Paradise was made in the likeness of a half egg, which on the inner side was all put to gold, with a very large number of lights to match the stars...where all seven planets were [and there] were many songs and sounds very sweet and mellifluous.”

We’ll explore music from 15th-century Milan in lavish court of the Sforzas. Plus, our featured release is My Cup of Tea, Baroque-to-folk music with violinist Gail Hernández Rosa.

PLAYLIST

Missa Galeazescha: Music for the Duke of Milan
Odhecaton (voc); La Reverdie (brass); Paolo Col (dir)
Arcana 2017 / Naxos A436
Loyset Compère
Tr. 13 Missa Galeazescha (excerpts), Ad elevationem; Adoramus te Christe (4:29)

Segment A:

Franchino Gaffurio: Missa de Carneval, Stabat Mater, Motteti
Il Convitto Armonico Convitto (choir); Baschenis Ensemble; Stefano Buschini (cond.)
Tactus 2013 / Naxos TC450701
Franchinus Gaffurius
Tr. 13 Lamentatio Hieremiae prophaetae (8:23)

Global Player Maximilian
Ensemble Rosarum Flores
Musik Museum 2019 / Naxos MMCD13042
Josquin des Prez
Tr. 10 Plus nulz regretz (2:59)
Gaspar van Weerbeke
Tr. 15 Quam pulchra es (2:26)

Missa Galeazescha: Music for the Duke of Milan
Odhecaton (voc); Liuwe Tamminga (organ); Paolo Col (dir)
Arcana 2017 / Naxos A436
Johannes Martini
Tr. 9 La Martinella (3:06)

Theme Music Bed: Ensemble Alcatraz, Danse Royale, Elektra Nonesuch 79240-2 / B000005J0B, T.12: La Prime Estampie Royal

:59 Midpoint Break Music Bed:

La musica a Milano al tempo di Leonardo da Vinci: La figurazione delle cose invisibili
Massimo Lonardi (lute)
La Bottega Discantica 2007 / Naxos 8015203101036
Franchinus Gaffurius
Excerpt of Tr. 2 Virgo Dei Digna (excerpt of 2:34)

Segment B:

La musica a Milano al tempo di Leonardo da Vinci: La figurazione delle cose invisibili
Renata Fusco (soprano), Massimo Lonardi (lute)
La Bottega Discantica 2007 / Naxos 8015203101036
Franchinus Gaffurius
Tr. 13 Imperatrix reginarum (2:42)
Tr. 1 Beata progenies (2:49)

Passeggiata Musicale: Leonardo da Vinci
Alta Early Music Ensemble
Ayros 2021 / Naxos 5902768283136
Leonardo da Vinci
Tr. 1 Re La Sol Mi Fa Sol (3:09)
Tr. 13 Ingenio musicale (3:39)

Featured Release:

My Cup of Tea
Beneath a Tree--Baroque to Folk; Gail Hernández Rosa (violin, viola); Daniel Turkos (bass, octave mandolin); Paul Holmes Morton (theorbo, baroque guitar)
Independent Release (Gail Hernández Rosa) 2022
Johann Sebastian Bach
Tr. 9 Suite No. 4 in E Flat Major BWV 1010, VI Gigue (Viola) (2:48)
Georg Philipp Telemann
Tr. 3 Sonata No 2 in D major – Allemanda (excerpt 3:11 of 6:55)
Gail Hernández Rosa; Daniel Turkos
Tr. 1 Telemann Folk (3:55)
Gail Hernández Rosa; Daniel Turkos; Paul Holmes Morton
Tr. 8 The Fisherman (Hernández Rosa) / Flower of Edinburgh (Turkos) / Spike Island Lasses (Holmes Morton) (6:02)

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