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Vergine Bella

Ilaria Patassini


Valeria Martini


Paolo Fontana


Fabio Lorenzi

guitar, viola da gamba

Paolo Pasqualin


The ideal of a spiritual love, of the contemplative desire of a beauty as much as possible ideal, divine, autonomous in comparison to the material reality, constitutes the trait d’union among the profane nature of some compositions in this program, and the sacred aspect that we would like to underline. Such aspect, acclaimed by the influence of the poetic work of Petrarca on the conception of love in the first 16th century, is apparent in the fourteenth-century environment of the Ars Nova Fiorentina, contemporary to Petrarca, as in cultures which have their roots in such context, as for instance the Moslem’s sufism, where – also due to Christian influences – the first forms of mystical love were elaborated for God, together with a renouncement to material ambitions.

As a symbol of the link between the sacred-popular repertoire and the properly cultured one, we have adopted Petrarca’s Vergine Bella. Its sacred-popular origin is associabile to the ‘lauda cortonese’ Fammi cantar l’amor de la Beata, in which Garzo dell’Incisa, Petrarca’s great-grandfather, writes: “Vergine bella, fior sovr’ogni rosa”, while its cultured version was tuned up by Guillame Dufay, founder of the Renaissance Franco-Flemish polyphonic school in the first half of 15th century, and subsequently gave origin to a long series of cycles of compositions during the 16th century and over.

The Vergine Bella project underlines the resurfacing in cultured music of practices like improvising or “rewriting”, that have always been present in popular music, with particular reference to the sacred repertoire. The project’s program, therefore, traces the evolutionary path of the sacred-popular practice from its origins up to the first 16th century, and Petrarca represents the ideal guidance of this journey.