Medieval Banquet: Music From Trecento Italy
Il Solazzo, a storyteller, singer and instrumental virtuoso, was a character created early in the fifteenth century by the Tuscan poet, Simone Prudenzani, in his allegorical work Il Solazzo. This concert explores the music and events that took place in the castle of Buongoverno (good government) over seven evenings during the Christmas holidays. The wealthy owner of the castle, Pierbaldo and his friend Buonare, create sonnets together (a fashionable pursuit at this time) in which they create the character of Il Solazzo, who is invited to entertain their imagined guests. Throughout the sonnets there are references to works that were performed (over 70 pieces), of which nearly half are still extant: there are works by Jacopo de Bologna, Bartolino, Landini, Zacara da Teramo and Johannes Ciconia. These are works that represent the major collections of trecento polyphony. Throughout the sonnets there are also many descriptions of dancing and instruments that were used such as the hurdy gurdy, vielle, harp, lute and even the playing of pots and pans.