Piffarissimo: Instrumental Music at the Council of Constance 1414-18 | Challenge Classics CC72631

Piffarissimo: Instrumental Music at the Council of Constance 1414-18

Label: Challenge Classics

Cat No: CC72631

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 24th March 2014



This enterprising and innovative album by the specialist ensemble Capella de la Torre under its director Katharina Bäuml includes a selection of pieces representative of music that might have been performed at the Great Council of Constance between the years 1414 and 1418.

In the years 1414-1418 the largest congress of the Middle Ages took place in Constance, Germany for the election of a pope. The council was set up to end the “Three-Popes Controversy”, by deposing or accepting the resignation of the remaining Papal claimants and electing Pope Martin V. The meetings were framed by church services and various celebrations that were naturally enriched with music.

According to contemporary sources, at least 365 instrumentalists stayed in the town during this period. However, as these sources never mention the names of specific composers whose music was performed at the Council, the programme chosen for this CD consists of a selection of sacred music, dance and popular song of the time, some of which are anonymous and others by leading musical figures.

The years 2014-2018 mark the 600th anniversary of the Council of Constance, and the city is celebrating this with Europe-wide broadcasting, lectures, exhibitions, and festivals.

The ensemble Capella de la Torre gathers together musicians who have made a name internationally as specialists in historically informed performance. Capella de la Torre’s aim is to perform the rich and hitherto insufficiently appreciated music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance on authentic instruments.

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