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Canzoni e Danze: Wind Music from Renaissance Italy

Piffaro , Heinrich Isaac , Francesco Bendusi , Giorgio Mainerio , Rossino Mantovano , Costanzo Festa , Joan Ambrosio Dalza , Fillippo Azzaiolo , Orazio Vecchi , Vincenzo Ruffo Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Composer: Heinrich Isaac, Francesco Bendusi, Giorgio Mainerio, Rossino Mantovano, Costanzo Festa, et al.
  • Audio CD (November 14, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Archiv Produktion
  • ASIN: B0000057EX
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,012 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Piva
2. Palle, Palle - Ne piu bella di queste - La mi la sol
3. Recorders: Pass'e mezo ditto il Romano - Moschetta - Bandera
4. La Parma - Un sonar de piva in fachinesco (Lirum bililirum)
5. Regem archangelorum - Alma, che scarca dal corporeo velo
6. Aldi, dolce ben mio - Bona via faccia barva (Venetiana) - Gentil madonna, del mio cor padrona
7. Donna, quando pietosa - El travagliato - La gamba in basso e soprano - Amor e foco e ghiaccio
8. Putta nera ballo furlano
9. All'arm', all'arm' - Com'al primo apparir - Sonata 'La facca'
10. Canzona 'Istrina' - Sonata 'La fontana' - Canzona 'Licori'
11. la morte de la ragione (Pavane) - La traditora (Gagliarda) - Bel fiore - La rocha el fuso (Gagliarda) - El desperato (Saltarello) - La lavandara (Gagliarda)

Editorial Reviews

Piffaro discs make this sedentary fool want to get up and dance. Renaissance dance music is a much-underrated source of general delight, anyway. You don't have to be the kind of specialist listener who loves medieval masses to get a kick out of this tasty, highly rhythmic music--the disco of an earlier era. The tunes are appealing, the sounds of the varied instruments consistently delightful. I rate discs of Renaissance dances not so much by their authenticity, a debatable matter anyway, but rather by their danceability. Piffaro discs rank consistently high in this respect, and they are realistically recorded. --Leslie Gerber

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Triumphant! November 30, 2006
This is truly one of the best albums of Renaissance music currntly available! Purely instrumental! Much of it appears to be music for a royal court event or the like, with much use of brass and wind instruments. There are also many selections for the festival setting, usually involving the bagpipes and hurdy-gurdy. Too many albums of ancient music "pad" the content with monotonous choral polyphonic selections, perhaps starting out with one or two really good instrumental pieces. However, they did not do that in this one!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen! Music in the Air! Let's Go to the Plaza! May 29, 2008
There are 30 selections of Renaissance instrumental music - some dances, some polyphonic fantasies, some incidental music for courty or urban celebrations. It would have been a common experience in the 15th C to hear in public places the instruments you can see "Piffaro" holding in the cover art. Piffaro means "piper", and most of their instruments are wind - the dounble reed shawms, the narrow-bore trombone, flutes and recorders. Wind players were tradesmen and guild members in the Renaissance, but they were not commonly unable to read music as some have claimed. In fact, many of the manuscripts of elegant vocal chansons that have survived were originally prepared for use by the "piffari" of Ferrara, Verona, etc. There was no wall of separation between vocal music composed by clerics and court favorites and instrumental music that functioned as lively entertainment.

That's what Piffaro brings to life for concerts and recordings. But it's fiendishly hard to make a satisfying concert of 30 short, brilliant, but similar instrumental fantasies, however often one changes horns. I adore this music but it's best in small doses, a piece or two at a time, overheard in a park or before a wedding. Fortunately, with a CD, that kind of listening is possible, and you don't even need to get married!

What makes Piffaro special is not only that they play all those exotic instruments, but that they play them well. If you're old enough to remember David Munrow, the New York Pro Musica, and other Renaissance Faire bands of the 50s and 60s, you may be skeptical that anyone could play a shawm or a crumhorn with finesse, but Piffaro does it. Load this CD on your iPod. It's perfect for outdoors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really fun collection of Renaissance music April 8, 2001
I was lucky enough to see this group in concert a few years ago. Their music is delightful, a playful collection of Renaissance pieces. At this concert were young and old alike, and all ages revelled in the performance. The performers were enthusiastic and gracious enough to allow concert-goers to come look at their instruments during intermission and after the show. I bought this CD as soon as I could following the concert.
Piffaro uses "ancient" instruments, including a French bagpipe (smaller than the Scottish), sacbuts, and the hurdy-gurdy.
This is an upbeat collection of early music, much more fun than some (although I also enjoy more somber early music collections as well). It's very accessible for listeners unfamiliar with the period. The songs are delightful enough that I can picture children at play with this CD as background music.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Worth the Listening January 25, 2004
Verified Purchase
Simply lovely. Some whimsical, some more technically serious. In all, definitely worth the money and the time. One of my new favorites.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piffaro Renaissance Band Superb May 20, 2001
By A Customer
This CD has me dancing in the streets. I have played holes in the recording. The musicianship is extraordinary with excitement, love and a great warm sense of pleasure taken by everyone involved. Renaissance instruments are not generally known for subtlety or nuance, but these players work miracles. The percussion sections are also integral to the whole and thrilling, where appropriate. Piffaro, please keep your music coming.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb musicianship on ancient instruments.... October 2, 2001
I wish composers were still writing for hurdy-gurdy @ crumhorn...what a wonderful sound. I especially liked "La Parma". I do believe a modern tunesmith has taken that melody @ recently made a rather haunting popular song from it; a female vocalist, I think. If anyone out there can remember what the name of that modern tune is @ will post it here, it will save me some on-going mental annoyance. You won't go wrong in buying this album!
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