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Anonymous , Italian Anonymous , Alla Francesca Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Alla Francesca
  • Composer: Anonymous, Italian Anonymous
  • Audio CD (October 21, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B00009W3RG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #881,654 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. MS Add.29987 (British Library): [Unspecified] Salterello: Prélude / Salterello
2. Isabella
3. MS Add.29987 (British Library): [Unspecified] Salterello: Prélude
4. MS Add.29987 (British Library): [Unspecified] Salterello: Salterello
5. Tre fontane
6. Non formò Cristi
7. Principio di virtù, istanpitta: Prélude
8. Principio di virtù, istanpitta: Istanpitta
9. In pro
10. Saltarello Traditionnel: Prélude / Gliu pecoraru revota revota (13th cent.)
11. MS Add.29987 (British Library): [Unspecified] Saltarello
12. Lamento di Tristano, estampie: Prélude
13. Lamento di Tristano, estampie: Lamento
14. Lamento di Tristano, estampie: Rotta

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immensely enjoyable July 20, 2005
By Sator
Verified Purchase
Istanpitta is a word related to the English word stomping or stamping. The reference is to the fact that the forms here are dance forms, though like those in Baroque dance suites, these were also not intended to be danced to. It has been surmised that the pieces here (originating from a manuscript found in the British Library) could have been connected to the marriage of Isabella of France and Gian Geleazzo Visconti in 1360. The manuscript eventually found its way into the collection of the Medici family in around 1420.

Alla Francesca was founded in 1989 from members of Ensemble Gilles Binchois and is based at the Centre de Musique Médiévale de Paris. They are a group with some following in France and definitely deserve to be even better known internationally than they are. They have already won a Diapason d'Or prize for a recording in 2000. If you look at the Amazon France site they have a listing of CD's recommended by Diapason (the French equivalent of Fanfare or Gramophone) and it is very noticeable how prominent Alla Francesca recordings feature on this list. They are an ensemble that differs from their English colleagues for a much warmer, more spontaneous and expressive sound of immense appeal. In fact the English ensembles tend to sound a bit chilly and academic by comparison to this.

The performances here enjoy a delightfully wide palette of instrumental colour and are brought off with much charm and elan. The music here is all highly appealling listening and even if they are less than earth-shakingly profound works, they remain immensely enjoyable to listen to. The instruments include a variety of woodwind, percussion, Gothic harp, and luth.

Classicstoday gave this a rave review and a 10/10 rating for the artistry and recorded sound quality. The sound certainly measures up quite well to the high standards set by Opus 111/Naive although the music is still the main reason to listen to this.

Highly recommended.
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