Gloria Moretti: voice
Viva Biancaluna Biffi: voice, viola d’arco
Enrico Fink: voice, narrator
Avery Gosfield: recorder, pipe and tabor
Marco Ferrari: recorder, dulcian, shawm,
double flute
Francis Biggi: viola da mano, viola da penna,
cetra, colascione
Massimiliano Dragoni: hammer dulcimer,
(Elisabetta Benfenati: Renaissance guitar,
chitarra battente)
(Federico Marincola: lute, chitarra battente)
This international group, specialized in medieval and Renaissance music, was founded in 1991. Besides a busy concert calendar, ensemble members collaborate regularly with important educational and scientific institutions, in parti Much of LUCIDARIUM’s research and is dedicated to repertoires considered "minor," that
were, in reality, powerful vehicles for spreading and evolving new musical concepts during
the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. This music, meant for daily use and wide distribution, represents a mirror of the taste and mentality of the era, at the same time raising a series of questions about the relationship between written music and oral transmission, and about the continuous exchange of forms and themes between the different levels of medieval and Renaissance society.
Each program is the fruit of a long period of research and preparation in various fields, resulting in a different sonority for each program: a vivacious combination of voices and instruments with the freedom in execution which comes from a solid knowledge of musical style and historical background. From its founding, this combination of meticulous preparation and creativity, which has opened up new perspectives in historical performance practice, has brought both popular and critical acclaim to the ensemble.
LUCIDARIUM is currently in residence at the Abbey of Royaumont, for a project dedicated to
the reconstruction and realization of Angelo Poliziano’s Fabula d’Orpheo, the 1480 precursor of the modern opera. The project, under the direction of Francis Biggi, will be a co- production of the Fondation Royaumont – CERIMM, the Centre de Musique Ancienne de Genève, the Konzergebouw Bruges as well as various other international institutions. In 2004, the Ensemble won theaward for musical creation for “La Istoria de Purim: Music and poetry of the Jews of Renaissance Italy.” Since then, the program, recorded for K617 in 2005, has had more than 20 performances in 7 countries.
A SELECTION OF PAST CONCERTS: Alia Musica (Parma,) l'Art de l'Archet (Geneva,) Bratislava
Music Festival, il Canto delle Pietre (more than 15 concerts throughout Italy and Switzerland,)
Les Chemins du Baroque (Sarrebourg,) Chicago Art Institute, Divina Musica, Dvigrad Festival (Croatia,) Erice Musica Medievale e Rinascimentale, Festival Antonio il Verso (Palermo,) Festival di Corciano, Festival de Faverney, Festival de l'Île de France, Festival van Oude Muziek, Festival de Música Medieval de Sesimbra (Portugal,) Festival de Musique Ancienne de Ribeauvillé, Festival du Thoronet, Festival van Vlaanderen, Festival de Wallonie, Festivoce (Corsica,) “Figures Méditerranée” (Radio France,) Frankischer Sommer, Freunde alter Musik Basel, Getty Museum (Los Angeles,) Jewish Music Festival (Budapest,) Landshuter Hofmusiktage, Medieval Music Days of Montalbâne, Musée du Moyen-Age (Paris,) Musica Cortese (Italy/Slovenia,) Musica e Poesia a San Maurizio, Regensburg Early Music Festival, Resonanzen, Royaumont Foundation, Royal Museum of Art (Toronto,) San Francisco Jewish Music Festival, St. Louis Art Museum, Settimane Musicali Meranesi, Voix et Route Romane.
In addition, Lucidarium has recorded for Radio 3, Klara (Belgium), Joodse Omroep/Vara (Holland) on Hungarian, and was recently featured on the Italian show dedicated to Jewish culture, Sorgente di Vita.
La Istoria de Purim
Music and poetry of the Jews in Renaissance Italy
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Northern Italy was the confrontation point between a variety of Jewish communities: the Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazy from North of the Alps; the Sepharadi, who found exile in Italy there after a series of expulsions from Spain, Sicily, Portugal and the Kingdom of Naples; and the Italikim, who spoke Italian and traced their presence in Italy back to the Roman Empire.
This program is dedicated to the musical and poetic legacy of the Jewish communities of Renaissance Italy, which present a vast, entertaining and cohesive repertoire, the exuberant result of the fertile crossover, fed by the confrontation between different cultures, made possible by one of the rare moments of peaceful cohabitation and mutual respect between Jews and their neighbors. In Mantua, a Jewish theatrical group entertained at the Gonzaga court, and throughout Italy, the mainstream population would visit the Jewish quarter to observe the festivities for Jewish Carnival, Purim. Among enlightened clerics, there was a real curiosity about Jewish learning and practice, while Jewish musicians, composers, theatrical troupes, directors, costume makers, dancing masters, poets and playwrites abounded throughout the peninsula. Two 16th Century Purim plays have come down to us written in sung poetic forms which still survive in the oral tradition of Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria. Written in Italian, but in Hebrew characters, they are designed, in particular, for the women of the congregation, who may have been able to read Hebrew characters without necessarily being well-versed in the language itself. Although no music has survived, a reconstruction has been made possible by borrowing the archaic melodies sung by the modern day housewives, farmers, craftsmen and factory workers who have lovingly conserved the tradition of the sung ottava rime and Maggio. Clearly archaic liturgical and para-liturgical melodies drawn from Jewish communities from throughout Italy, and songs from the short-lived but vigorous flourishing of Yiddish (with a Latin lilt) on the peninsula have been combined with dance music of the era, in an attempt to recreate the rich musical life, from synagogue to celebration, of the Jews of Renaissance Italy.
Prayer for the Removal of the Torah from the Ark (En Kamokha / Shema Israel)
Trad., Gorizia, (Ashkenazy / Italian rite)
[From: Musical Traditions of the Italian Jews , Leo Levi collection, edited by Francesco Spagnolo]
Les Caterines / La Cara Cossa (La Folia)
Music: anon., D-Mbs. Ms. 1503 (Italy, 16th Century)
Text : “Les Caterines” Joan Escrivà (Catalan, ca. 1500)
Dos lid fun der sreyfe in Venedig (Song of the Fire in Venice)
Text: Elia Bachur Levita GB-Oxb Ms. Can.Or 12
Music: Tzur Mishelo D-Mu, Cod. Ms. 757 (4o), transcription: Dr. Israel Adler
Guglielmo Ebreo da Pesaro (ca. 1420 - after 1484)
I-Foligno, Duomo MS B.V. 14
All Creatures in Heaven and on Earth (Kol Berue)
Trad., Padova, (Italian rite) From: Musical Traditions of the Italian Jews , Leo Levi collection, edited
by Francesco Spagnolo
Text: Elia Bachur Levita (1469-1549) (Zurich Central Library),
transcription by Dr. Claudia Rosenzweig
Music: traditional, Venice, Transcription by Giuseppe Baretti, 1768
Buovo d’Antona
Text: anon. (ed., Caligola de’ Bazalieri, Bologna: 1497)
Music: Tuscan traditional
Moresca (sull’ Aria d'ottava)
Giovanni Lorenzo Baldano (1576-1660)
(Libro per scriver l'intavolatura per sonare sopra le sordelline: Savona, 1600)
Tu dormi, io veglio e vo perdendo i passi
Text: Serafino Aquilano (1466-1500)
Music: anon., (Frottole libro Sexto: Petrucci, Venezia: 1506)
Ishena at ani geor venodad
Text: Joseph Sarphati (died 1527) (GB, Oxford, Bodleian Library Mich 353)
Music: “Tu dormi, io veglio” de Bartolomeo Tromboncino, (Tenore e contrabassi intabulati… Francisci
Bossinensis, Venezia: Petrucci 1509 )
Tu dormi, io veglio a la tempesta e vento
Text: anon.
Music: Bartolomeo Tromboncino, (Tenore e contrabassi intabulati… Francisci Bossinensis Venezia:
Petrucci 1509)
Pass’e mezo a la bolognesa / Saltarello a la bolognesa
Giovanni Maria da Crema (fl. 1540-1550) (Intabolatura de lauto…libro primo) Venezia: Antonio
Gardane, 1546)
La Cansonetta di Purim
Text: Ms. GB Lo BM, Ms. 10,463, Gaster 678,transcription by Dr. Maria Luisa Mayer ModenaMusic: traditional, Emilian Appenine mountains La Istoria de Purim io ve racconto
Text: Mordekay Dato (Italian, 1525 – ca. 1590) (Biblioteca Civica di Verona Ms. 14 (83.1))
Transcription by Dr. Giulio Busi
Meghillat Esther
Trad., Florence, (Italian Sephardic)
Ma Nishtana / Avadim Hainu
Trad., Florence, (Italian Sephardic)
Fuggi, fuggi, fuggi (Il Ballo di Mantova)
Anon. (ca. 1600) (I-Fc Codex Barbera G.F.83)
Khad Gadya / Un Caprett
Trad., Ferrara,
Khad Gadya, Khad Gadya
Trad., Florence
The program was created with the support of: A recent review to a concert (San Francisco Jewish Fest: Berkeley, California, March 15th, 2007) The Jewish Roots of Renaissance Italy
By Chloe Veltman
The ideal of different cultures blending together into a unified whole is one that this country holds dear. The metaphor of the melting pot means a lot to Jews in particular. The term was coined by Anglo-Jewish author Israel Zangwill in 1908, when he described America as “the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and re- forming!” Meanwhile, the poem engraved on a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty, which celebrates America’s once open-armed policy toward immigrants, was written by the Jewish poet and activist Emma Lazarus. Given American Jews’ longstanding empathy with multiculturalism, it’s not surprising that the audience at Berkeley’s Jewish Music Festival greeted Ensemble Lucidarium’s performance at First Congregational Church on Thursday evening with cheers and stamping feet. Its program of Jewish music from Renaissance Italy was nothing if not an embodiment, in musical form, of the melting pot idea. The Milan-based Ensemble Lucidarium consists of seven Renaissance music experts who sing and play a range of period instruments, from the colascione (a type of long-necked lute) and viola da mano (an ancestor of the acoustic guitar) to the hammer dulcimer and pipe and tabor (a fife and drum combination). The concert, titled “L’Istoria de Purim,” featured several 16th-century Italian songs celebrating the festival of Purim. But the program was more an exploration of the eclectic cultural influences that fed into Italian Jewish life during the period than it was a presentation of music relating specifically to And what a mix it was. Boasting myriad musical styles from liturgical melodies used in synagogues to courtly dances, Lucidarium’s careening cocktail of stories and songs, sung in Italian, Hebrew, Catalan, and proto-Yiddish, echoed the state of 16th-century Jewish- Italian life. Italy was already home to the oldest Jewish community in Europe, whose roots dated back to Roman times, when persecuted Jews from other European countries, including Portugal, Spain, and Germany, arrived on the scene. The new transplants not only soaked up the local customs, they also transmitted their own, extremely varied Sephardic, Ashkenazi, and other traditions. Morris Dance and Chivalric Romance
Lucidarium reflected this historical backdrop through a program that was as playful in spirit as the festival of Purim. The madrigal-like ambience of Giovanni Lorenzo Baldano’s Moresca (sull’ Aria d’ottava) (Morris dance, on an aria in octave rhyme), translated into Hebrew from a 16th-century Italian poem, was sung in a skipping, rhythmic manner by vocalists Enrico Fink, Gloria Moretti, and Viva Biancaluna Biffi. That contrasted warmly with the buffoonery of Fink’s interpretation of Bofo-Bukh (Bovo Book) an epic poem told in old Yiddish to traditional Venetian melodies. The juxtaposing of the ottava rima-infused Moresca and Bofo-Bukh (whose roots can be traced back to Buovo d'Antona, a popular Italian chivalric romance in ottava rima, which in turn came from an Anglo-Norman original, Bevis of Hampton) was a particularly inspired piece of programming. Ottava rima and the Anglo-Italian connection link the two pieces across meter and culture. Also, the Moresca, originally a fanciful reenactment of a battle, connects, obliquely, with the Purim story and also has a mock- epic genesis that contrasts with Bovo. Fink’s role in Lucidarium’s concert was particularly powerful. With his bold tenor (comically usurped by a pungent falsetto for one section of Bofo-Bukh) and expressive physicality, he ricocheted between the roles of a zealous religious leader, as he somberly opened the concert with a Hebrew Shabbat prayer, and a Commedia dell’arte clown. Ancient and Modern
One of the most delightful aspects of the concert (besides the largely Jewish audience’s raucous jeering and foot-stamping response, in accordance with tradition, to the mention of the Purim story’s arch-villain, Haman) was connecting Lucidarium’s investigation of cultural assimilation in 16th-century Italy with other musical traditions. Strains of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana emerged out of the ensemble’s fiery, feisty rendition of Dos Lid fun der Sreyfe in Venedig (Song of the Fire in Venice) — a half- spoken, half-played narrative in old Yiddish brought to life by Fink and musicians playing viola da mano, recorders, dulcian (a bassoonlike bass shawm), and percussion. Similarly, the blend of Moretti’s salty mezzo-soprano voice with Biffi’s sweet soprano in the anonymous song Fuggi, Fuggi, Fuggi (Il Ballo de Mantova) (Fly, fly, fly — the dance of Mantua) brought the connection between that melody and the Israeli national anthem The madcap quality of the concert wasn’t well served by the venue. It’s unfortunate, given the importance of syncopation, ornamentation, and percussion in Lucidarium’s repertoire, that First Congregational Church possesses such sound-swallowing acoustics. The high-energy parts of the program suffered the most. Instead of hearing the birdlike brilliance of the three-holed pipe and the whip-crack beating of the tabor, we frequently got a muffled stew of sound, like a formless mass of food churning around inside a cavernous stomach. It was a melting pot, all right, but not quite the kind that Many people prefer to think of cultural assimilation in the U.S. as more a salad bowl than a melting pot. Rather than fusing together into an indistinct whole, the ingredients in a salad create unity while retaining their individual shape and identity. I’m not sure which of the two images, if either, best sums up Jewish life in Renaissance Italy. But I do wish the sonic ingredients in “L’Istoria de Purim” had been tossed rather than puréed. (Chloe Veltman is the chief theater critic for S.F. Weekly, and has contributed articles about theater, music, and other art forms to such publications as The Guardian, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Believer. She also plays oboe and sings contralto with a number of Bay Area-based music ensembles, including Redwood Winds and San Francisco Renaissance Voices.) 2007 Chloe Veltman, all rights reserved

Source: http://enrifink.interfree.it/Lucidarium_Purim.pdf


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