Un Fior Gentile

Un Fior Gentile
L’ars nova di magister Antonio Zacara da Teramo
Ensemble Micrologus
Baryton CDM0023. 68’41

This is a re-release and re-packaging of a recording made in 2003 (first released in 2008) which stemmed from musicologist Francesco Zimei, the Institute of Musical History of Abruzzo, and a conference in Teramo that aimed to revive the music of the fascinating character, Antonio Zacara da Teramo. Antonio was active around 1400. The rather unkind nickname Zacara (which could mean a small thing, a thing of little value, or a splash of mud) stems from his being rather short in stature, and having a range of physical deformities (possible a result of what later became known as phocomelia) including several missing fingers, as depicted in the Codex Squarcialupi illustration. Continue reading

Adam de La Halle: Le Jeu de Robin et de Marion

Adam de La Halle: Le Jeu de Robin et de Marion
Ensemble Micrologus
Baryton CDM0026. 58’22

This is re-launch and revision of a 2003 recording of the 13th century Pastourelle, ‘The Game of Robin and Marion’, telling the story of an encounter between the knight Aubert, the shepherdess Marion, and her lover Robin and his attempts to rescue her from his advances. The staged drama was written in 1284 for the Naples Court of the French Charles of Anjou, King of Sicily, shortly after the Sicilian Vespers had ousted him from Sicily itself. It was possibly intended to reflect a longing for their French homeland, but with undertones of Crusading mythology and the massacre of the French forces at Palermo. It is an early example of the genre of musical theatre. Continue reading