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European Spiritual Song ca. 1500 - The Boston Camerata - Anne Azéma
The musical program "Treasures of Devotion" was commissioned by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters, New York for Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures, an exhibition co-curated by the AGO, Toronto; The Met Cloisters, New York; and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
The same composers who produced grandiose mass cycles for public celebration also created, with equal skill and care, the musical miniatures of this CD. We also strive in this program to evoke the sound world of this period, as instruments and instrumental music began to develop alongside the singers' art. We are in a pivotal period, ca.1500, as several kinds and sizes of bowed string instruments, with their specially crafted bows, coexist and collaborate. The lute, too, has a growing place in all circles: aristocrats, bourgeois and professional musicians. It develops its own repertoire and its own, specific kind of musical notation, accompanying the voice, leading the dance (Adrien le Roy), and even commenting on scenes of Christ's passion (Franceso da Milano, 'O bone Jesu'). These echoes of musical piety during the Flemish and European Renaissance evoke many feelings, both light and dark, about life, death, and the purpose of existence. We ourselves can, and do, easily share these emotions. Let us leave the last word to Josquin des Près: 'In te domine speravi.'
Anne Azéma, 2018
Translated by Joel Cohen, 2018