Laudario di Cortona No.91

Composer Anonymous
Artist Armoniosoincanto vocal ensmemble
Franco Racicchia conductor
Anonima Frottolisti vocal ensemble
Format 4 CD
Cat. number 94872
EAN code 5028421948720
Release February 2015

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About this release

Discovered around 140 years ago in the library archives of the small Tuscan town of Cortona, the Laudario di Cortona is a 13thcentury manuscript containing 66 laude, or lauds: a type of vernacular song written for praise and worship. Unusually, around 46 of the lauds had been set to music, making this manuscript the oldest known collection of music written in the Italian vernacular. All the periods of the Christian calendar are represented, with lauds relating to the Nativity, Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost, showing the manuscript’s continued importance throughout the year. The document originated in the Brotherhood of Santa Maria delle Laude, a group of monks devoted to Marian worship. Indeed, themes surrounding the Virgin Mary are present in many of the lauds; Ave Maria, gratïa plena (Hail Mary, full of grace), for example, or O Maria, d’omelia se’ fontana (O Mary, you are the fount of sacred learning). Performing these medieval works is the vocal ensemble Armoniosoincanto. Experienced interpreters of early music, their research has led them to offer an authentic performance of the Laudario, although they admit to some artistic license with the use of mainly female voices, which evocatively call to mind the spirit of Mary, the mother of God. They are supported by Anonima Frottolisti, a prominent vocal group on the early music scene, as well as several musicians playing on copies of authentic instruments; these include a hurdy‐gurdy, a lute, a vielle (an early bowed instrument like a violin) and even a portative organ, a type of medieval organ with bellows that was designed to be carried. This is one of the few releases documenting the complete musical works of the Laudario di Cortona. Recorded in the church of the Monastero delle Suore Clarisse in Perugia, close to the manuscript’s origins in nearby Arezzo, this rich and musically affective document offers a fascinating insight into the remarkable culture of medieval Italy. The Laudario Di Cortona was discovered in the library of a monastery in Cortona, Italy. The 13th century manuscript contains a wealth of Laude
or Lauds, songs written in the popular language for praise and worship. Thematically they follow the liturgical year of Advent, Nativity, Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost. They are the earliest examples of sacred songs in the common language found in Europe.
The ensemble Armoniosoincanto makes use of Female voices, and is accompanied by a variety of contemporary instruments like hurdy gurdy, lute, vielle and a positive organ, thus presenting a lively and colourful rendering of these ancient songs of worship, enhanced by the atmospheric recording in the church of the Monastery delle Suore Clarisse in Arezzo.
The booklet contains extensive liner notes, full texts are available on

Other information:
Recorded in 2013 and 2014 in the church of the Monastero delle Suore Clarisse, Perugia, Italy.
Contains liner notes and ensemble biography.
Contains details of the period instruments used for the performance.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Venite a laudare
  2. Laude novella sïa cantata
  3. Ave, donna santissima
  4. Madonna santa Maria
  5. Ave Maria, gratïa plena
  6. Ave, regina glorïosa
  7. Dal ciel venne messo novella
  8. Altissima luce col grande splendore
  9. Fami cantar l’amor di la beata
  10. O Maria, d’omelia
  11. Regina sovrana de gram pïetade

Disk 2

  1. Ave, Dei genitrix
  2. O Maria, Dei cella
  3. Ave, vergene gaudente
  4. O divina virgo, flore
  5. Salve, salve, virgo pia
  6. Vergene donçella da Dio amata
  7. Peccatrice, nominate
  8. Cristo è nato et humanato
  9. Gloria ’n cielo e pace ’n terra
  10. Stella nuova ’n fra la gente
  11. Plangiamo quel crudel basciare
  12. Ben è crudele e spïetoso

Disk 3

  1. De la crudel morte de Cristo
  2. Dami conforto, Dio, et alengrança
  3. Onne homo ad alta voce
  4. Iesù Cristo glorïoso
  5. Laudamo la resurrectïone
  6. Spiritu sancto, dolçe amore
  7. Spirito sancto glorïoso
  8. Spirito sancto, dà servire
  9. Alta trinità beata
  10. Troppo perde ’l tempo ki ben non t’ama
  11. Stomme allegro et latioso
  12. Oimè lasso e freddo lo mïo core

Disk 4

  1. Chi vole lo mondo descprecçare
  2. Laudar vollio per amore
  3. Sïa laudato San Francesco
  4. Ciascun ke fede sente
  5. Magdalena degna da laudare
  6. L’alto prençe archangelo lucent
  7. Faciam laude a tutt’i santi
  8. San Iovanni al mondo è nato
  9. Ogn’om canti novel canto
  10. Amor dolçe sença pare
  11. Benedicti et llaudati
  12. Salutiam divotamente