Splendors of the Marian Cult in Early Renaissance Ferrara
Modena, Biblioteca Estense, MS α.X.1.11
9 singers and instrumentalists
The works contained in this program are a selection of motets whose texts all are dedicated to the praise of the Virgin Mary - one of the most popular subjects for this genre - composed by some of the more representative composters of the franco-flemish and English tradition, such as Guillaume Dufay, Gilles Binchois, John Dunstaple and Lionel Power. All come from one of the most important manuscripts compiled in the fifteenth century, a collection now conserved in Modena, and known to scholars as ModB. This volume was most likely compiled in Florence, and contains exclusively sacred compositions from northern Europe from the first half of the fifteenth century. It quickly found its way to Ferrara as a highly prestigious treasure of the Estense court probably at the age of Leonello d'Este, who reigned from 1441-1450, being the first marquise to transform the city into a prestigious artistic center. Our performance intends to reconstruct the splendor of the ducal chapel by making use of a vocal group which intertwines the sounds of a rich instrumental set from the alta and bassa cappella.