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ClassicsOnline Home » JACOPO DA BOLOGNA: Italian Madrigals of the 14th Century (Ensemble Project Ars Nova)
Jacopo da Bologna Madrigals
The fourteenth century, i.e., 1300-1400, known as the Italian "Trecento" or Italian "ars nova," is the period associated with the beginning of the Renaissance, which included the development of Italian music, especially Italian polyphony. Apart from his major role in the beginning of composed Italian polyphony, relatively little is known about the life of Magister Jacopo da Bologna, who flourished around 1340-1360. Born and educated in Bologna, he worked at the Visconti court in Milan during the 1340s. The Black Death, which swept across Europe between 1348 and 1350, struck Milan in 1348. Jacopo survived, but his patron Luchino died in 1349, from either the plague or being poisoned by Isabella Fieschi, his allegedly unfaithful wife, who was never charged with any crime. Exposure to the Visconti family power struggles, the ensuing violence and treachery, and the events of the plague inevitably affected many of Jacopo's works.
During the 1350s, Jacopo worked at the Verona court of Mastino II della Scala. There, his rivalry with two other composers, Magister Piero and Giovanni da Cascia, is reflected in some of his compositions.
The performances are exemplary, with crystal-clear delivery from each performer, the recording is well balanced, and the sound quality is excellent. If early-Italian Renaissance music appeals to you, this CD will surely please you.
- Ted Wilksmore....
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