Ecco la primavera – Francesco Landini – Řemdih

By March 5, 2018Music

Francesco Landini c.1325-1397, was the most widely praised composer of the Italian Ars Nova, and a leading representative of the Florentine style which came to dominate subsequent appraisal of the art and music of the Trecento. Landini’s life & interests reflect the early humanist movement, and indeed some accounts of the Renaissance place the origin of that phenomenon in his time & place, with the school of the painter Giotto di Bondone. Landini’s own father, Jacopo del Casentino, was a painter of the school of Giotto, and Francesco himself contributed poetry in the style of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio. Landini’s humanist orientation manifested itself in his writings on ethics and William of Ockham’s new logic, as well as in his multifaceted work in music. Blind since childhood, Landini was not only a leading composer, but a prominent organist and designer & tuner of instruments. Landini evidently mastered instruments other than the organ, and has been portrayed as an integral member of Florentine society, adept at the erudite philosophical & political discussions which marked this increasingly self-aware age. His place of birth may have been Fiesole, and it seems he may have spent some time in Venice before 1370. In any case, the center of Italian music in the Ars Nova style moved from Venice to Florence during the period, a period during which Landini was the most prominent of an accomplished group of composers. He can be connected directly to both Lorenzo da Firenze and Andreas de Florentia, and his works appear in sources which also feature the music of those and other Trecento composers. It is believed that Landini may have held the post of organist at San Lorenzo as long as from 1365 until his death, and he was certainly buried there. One concrete reference to his activity occured in 1387, when he was called upon to plan the new organ for Florence Cathedral.

Perhaps in keeping with his humanist orientation, Landini’s surviving music is entirely secular. Landini may have written motets, but none are securely attributed, and at most one survives intact. Aside from these works and one French virelai, his surviving music is entirely in Italian, and almost entirely in the ballata form he apparently pioneered. Landini is the best-represented composer in the Squarcialupi Codex, the most important single source for Trecento secular polyphony. Landini’s music is known for its progressive tonal layout and clearly defined parts. Although it did not remain in fashion for long, Landini’s music was used as a model by Italian Ars Subtilior composers, who sometimes added new parts.

Ecco la primavera, writen and composed by Landini is two-part ballata song literary rediscovered in modern times and literary became one of the major inspiration theme for many an artist of today.

Ecco la primavera,
Che’l cor fa rallegrare,
Temp’è d’annamorare
E star con lieta cera.

Spring has come apace
To waken hearts to gladness;
Time for lovers’ madness
And to wear a happy face.
Noi vegiam l’aria e’l tempo
Che pur chiam’ allegria
In questo vago tempo
Ogni cosa vagheça.

The elements together
Are beckoning to mirth;
In this delightful weather,
Delight pervades the earth.
L’erbe con gran frescheça
E fior’ coprono i prati,
E gli albori adornati
Sono in simil manera.

The grass in fresh rebirth
Helps meadows come a-flower,
And every branch and bower,
Is decked with kindred grace.
Ecco la primavera
Che’l cor fa rallegrare
Temp’è d’annamorare
E star con lieta cera.

Spring has come apace
To waken hearts to gladness;
Time for lovers’ madness
And to wear a happy face.
Song is recorded by Řemdih 2012

Leave a Reply